Kylin Hill will be big part of Mississippi State football success in 2020

Kylin Hill #8 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Kylin Hill #8 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill was a huge part of the offense in 2019, and he’ll need to continue that for this team to grow in 2020.

Kylin Hill is the epitome of an SEC running back; tough, punishing, fast, and gets even better as he’s given more touches. For three seasons he’s steadily improved and become a bigger and bigger part of the Mississippi State offense.

In 2020, he’ll need to really be featured.

While the passing game is going to take over the bulk of the snaps for the Bulldogs, the running game cannot (and should not) be forgotten. Mike Leach may believe in airing the ball out but he also knows the value of a running back who can catch and run.

Kylin Hill is about as versatile as they come. He can pound the ball inside and pancake defensive linemen. He can stretch to the edge and hit the jets to make linebackers miss. And he can catch the ball and grab plenty of yards in the open field.

What will 2020 bring for Kylin Hill?

While the wide receivers are still getting used to the new offense, Kylin Hill will be doing more of the same as he’s always done.

Rushing for 1,350 yards and catching passes for another 260 yards made Hill the No. 17 player in the nation in yards from scrimmage, and fourth in the SEC behind three LSU players, two of which were wide receivers.

Hill’s carries may go down in 2020, but it’s a safe bet that his receptions out of the backfield will increase. The only downside is that his already slim chance of breaking the all-time school rushing record is even slimmer now.

Given what Mike Leach does in terms of run/pass balance, Hill’s carries will probably be reduced by about 25-30 percent, meaning he’ll probably get around 160-170 touches on the ground this season. If he maintains close to a 5-yard per carry average, he’ll wind up with probably 850-900 yards rushing.

But if you look at total yards from scrimmage, Hill will undoubtedly be the bell cow.

The last two seasons, Hill has averaged about 20 receptions. That will probably more than double this year, and his YAC number when he gets the ball out of the backfield will mean more big plays.

If Hill keeps his yards-per-catch average up about 10, then he could easily top 450-500 yards in receiving yardage. Combined with his rushing totals, he’ll still be close to the 1,500 yards from scrimmage he hit in 2019.

Kylin Hill is undoubtedly one of the best running backs in the SEC, and although how he goes about getting his yards may take a shift this year, he’s still going to be a crucial part of the Mississippi State offense.

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