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Mike Leach expects Kylin Hill to play against Kentucky

Hill is arguably the best running back in the SEC.

NCAA Football: Mississippi State at Louisiana State Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Mississippi State Bulldogs received good news Monday as they prepare for Saturday’s matchup in Lexington against the Kentucky Wildcats.

During his Monday press conference, Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach said he expects star running back Kylin Hill to play Saturday after he suffered a back injury in the Bulldogs stunning loss to Arkansas last weekend.

The senior running back was named First-Team All-SEC last season after rushing for 1,350 yards and 10 touchdowns while making 18 catches for 180 yards and score.

This season in Leach’s air raid, Hill has already established himself as an elite pass-catching back, as he made eight receptions for 158 yards and a score in the Bulldogs Week 1 victory over the defending champion LSU Tigers while adding 34 yards on the ground on seven attempts.

Before leaving the Bulldogs Week 2 loss to the Razorbacks, he had no catches and just one rushing attempt that went for seven yards.

Hill has had both great success and his struggles in three prior games against the Wildcats. He ran the ball just twice as a true freshman against UK in 2017 for 16 yards. In 2018, he was held to just 14 rushing yards and 19 receiving yards as the starter, but in 2019, he ran for 120 yards and three scores.