The baseball playoffs are in full swing, but LSU’s Derrius Guice is making sure that home runs aren’t just limited to the diamond.
Ole Miss defensive coordinator Wesley McGriff highlighted Guice as a “home run” threat during his weekly news conference before the Rebels face Guice and LSU on Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford.
Looking at Guice’s tape, McGriff said, is like watching an NFL running back.
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“The guy’s explosive,” McGriff said. “He can hit a home run from anywhere on the field. He prides himself on getting a lot of yards after contact, does a tremendous job of catching the football out of the backfield. He also gets a handful of rocket sweeps where he tries to capture the edge.”
Guice still isn’t back to his form of 2016, when he led the SEC in rushing yardage. But he is steadily getting closer to full strength and carried 20 times last week against Auburn, his most carries since the season-opening victory against BYU.
“He is a cornerstone of their offense, so we’ll have our hands full stopping him,” McGriff said.
Last season, the Rebels did indeed slow down Guice – he only gained 57 yards on 16 carries.
But they were totally run over by LSU’s starting running back, Leonard Fournette, who rushed for 284 yards and three touchdowns. With his first eight carries, including touchdowns of 59, 76 and 78 yards, Fournette set the Tigers’ single-game rushing record. In his three career meetings with the Rebels, Fournette carried for at least 100 yards each time.
There’s reason to fear that Guice may do the same. Ole Miss ranks 118th in the nation in rushing defense, giving up 238.5 yards per game, and allowed 188 rushing yards last week against a Vanderbilt team that entered the game as one of the four worst running units in the FBS.
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