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Justice Hill Shouldered the Load in Career Game against Texas Tech



On Saturday night, Oklahoma State hit the ground running for 221 yards total yards and the bulk of that load was carried by one man. With 30 carries (a career high), sophomore Justice Hill dug up 164 yards of turf inside Jones AT&T Stadium. It was the most of his career and the biggest total by a Cowboy since Desmond Roland rushed for 219 yards and four scores in Ames, IA back in 2013.

But Hill’s not new to setting milestones. He broke the freshman rushing record set by Thurman Thomas last year and led all first-year FBS running backs with 1,142 yards.

On Saturday night in Lubbock, it was a different former OSU, Hall-of-Fame running back that Hill resembled. See if you can guess who I’m talking about.

That ability to keep his feet moving and then bust into a scrum for what should be a short gain and then emerge seemingly magically on the other side, it’s special.

And his change of direction is otherworldly.

Hill really is fun to watch and Oklahoma State fans are fortunate to have him for the next season or so, hopefully more.

Mike Gundy was pleased with his sophomore, enough to ride him for the most carries by a Cowboy in four seasons.

“I thought Justice ran really hard,” said Gundy. “A lot of carries now, 30 carries.”

Later in the week, on his Cowboy Football Roundup, Gundy said he’d rather see Justice take more like 20 snaps. Whether it’s an issue of trust in true freshman J.D. King or what, it would be better to see a little more balance amongst the tailback group.

We talked about Hill’s usage in our PFB Roundtable and I thought Kyle Boone had a good point about Hill’s wearing down towards the end of last season. At this point in 2016, he was at 69 carries. Through five weeks in 2017, Hill has carried the ball 92 times. And that’s not considering the additional risk of injury even after Hill bulked up during the offseason. That proposition is scary when you look at the experience behind last year’s Freshman All-American.

When asked post-game about his career game and what it was like, the sophomore who Gundy loves about as much for his limited vocabulary as his abundance of moves, kept it short and sweet.

“I mean, doesn’t feel like the best game ever, but it’s a good game,” said Hill. “We won.”

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