The redshirt sophomore from Miami (Fla.) Southridge entered Saturday night's game at Boston College as the nation's interception leader and tied with Anthony Floyd for the school's single season record. By the time the Cardinals put the finishing touches on a 38-19 victory over the Eagles, Holliman put an exclamation point on a new school mark and put himself within reach of an NCAA record.
Holliman established a new U of L single season record on the game's first play, intercepting a Tyler Murphy pass that led to the Cardinals first score of the game.
Rated as a four-star and the nation's No.10 safety as a high school senior, high expectations followed Holliman when he arrived on campus for the 2012 season. An injury his freshman year and playing behind All-Americans Hakeem Smith and Calvin Pryor limited his on-field opportunities during his first two seasons. Sensing an opportunity to excel in 2014, Holliman set lofty goals prior to the season.
He snagged two more interceptions against Boston College, upping the new school record to 13. He also set a school record for number of games with at least two interceptions with his fourth of the season tonight and he's just the third player in U of L history to record three interceptions in a game.
Prior to the season, Holliman looked up the record book for FBS schools and set his sights on the record for interceptions in a season. The current record of 14 interceptions has held up over 45 years, set in 1968 by Al Worley of Washington. Holliman is now within reach of placing his name in the NCAA record books.
”Yes, I'm very well aware of that,” Holliman said after the win.
”That was one of my goals coming in, to at least tie the record, or even break it.”
Holliman, who once had four interceptions in a game in high school, is also quick to credit the coaching staff's game plan and preparation.
“We work on these plays that they run all week long,” he explained, adding that, “I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time.”
It's just the second time in the program's history that a player has recorded double-digit interceptions in a season.
“He's done a great job,” said Petrino. “He's got a good pass rush in front of him. He's always in position. He plays the ball in the air and he makes great catches on the ball. The type of year that he has is very special.”
Holliman has two remaining opportunities to establish a new FBS single-season record. The Cardinals visit Notre Dame on November 22 before closing the regular season at home against rival Kentucky.