Glenn Guilbeau / Gannett Louisiana
BATON ROUGE All that Kenny Hilliard talk by LSU coach Les Miles during August practices walked strong Saturday night.
The senior tailback from Patterson was expected to quietly exit to the background behind returning leading rusher Terrence Magee and incoming freshman sensation Leonard Fournette this season.
Not just yet. He looked faster and lighter, just as Miles has said often in recent weeks, as he led all LSU rushers with 110 yards on 18 carries in the No. 13 Tigers' 28-24 win over No. 14 Wisconsin in Houston. His 28-yard touchdown scamper with 9:41 to play was the game winner.
'I felt like Kenny Hilliard played hard,' Miles said.
Meanwhile, Magee gained eight yards on six carries, while Fournette managed 18 on eight rushes.
'That's something about our offense,' said Hilliard, who had his first 100-yard rushing day since getting 116 against Idaho in 2012. 'Whoever can get in there and get the hot hand and first downs will basically stay in the game.'
Fournette had his chances, but his longest run was five yards and he mishandled a good pitch from quarterback Anthony Jennings. He did return five kickoffs for 117 yards with a 33-yard return.
'I liked Leonard Fournette's contribution,' Miles said. 'He did just what we asked him to do ran hard, returned a couple of kicks.'
COMEBACK COMPANY: LSU's comeback from a 17-point deficit (7-24) with 12:24 to play in the third period against Wisconsin for the 28-24 win Saturday tied the fourth biggest Tiger comeback since 1960. The comeback from the most points over that span happened in the 2008 season when the Tigers trailed Troy 31-3 with 11:13 to play in the third quarter and won 40-31.
LSU came back from a 21-0 deficit against Ole Miss in the second quarter in the 1977 season to win 28-21. The Tigers trailed Houston 34-14 in the 1996 season opener with just 5:57 to play in the third quarter before winning 35-34. The other 17-point deficit that turned into a victory happened against Ole Miss in the 1979 season. The Rebels led 17-0 in the second quarter before losing 28-24.
DURAL BY THE NUMBERS: LSU sophomore wide receiver Travin Dural led all receivers Saturday with three catches for 151 yards a 50.3 yards-per-catch average. His 80-yard touchdown cut Wisconsin's lead to 10-7 in the first quarter. Dural has caught touchdown passes of 80 and 49 yards over his last three games.
QUOTE OF THE GAME: 'I expect to be exponentially better.' ---LSU quarterback Anthony Jennings, who was 9-of-21 passing.