Rare return caps magical night

Odell Beckham Jr. stole the show in LSU's return to Tiger Stadium Saturday night. The junior receiver racked up yards on returns, through the air and on the ground. After the game Beckham talked about his magical feat.

With a little less than two minutes and 30 seconds to go in the third quarter, UAB kicker Ty Long lined up for a meaningless field goal down 49-17 to home-standing LSU in an exceedingly dead game.

What unfolded was anything but dull.

Long's trifecta attempt came up well short, about three yards from the end line to be precise, and all-purpose LSU guru Odell Beckham took care of the rest. The junior wide-out, having already reeled in three touchdown passes, snatched the ball from mid-air and raced 107 yards for an exhilarating – and rare – touchdown.

In the aftermath of the play, amid mass confusion regarding Beckham's total yardage, the press box P.A. announced (and I paraphrase): "Our computers are not configured to register, statistically, what he just did."

Following the game, Beckham himself was a little lost for words on the play and his overall performance.

"Honestly I don't know what to say," said an incredulous Beckham. "I just think this was in God's plans for me tonight. I prayed before the game just for a big game, and He finally came through. I just have to give my hat's off to my teammates for their effort tonight."

The Isidore Newman product gave a glimpse into what his field goal return for six felt like on the field, adding that special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey had prepared him for this situation, sort of.

"Not that exact situation," Beckham responded when asked if that play was rehearsed, "but we worked on a look that if it's a long field goal, you're going to be back there, just in case they run a fake or anything like that. I was kind of hoping he would kick it up a little high, and I was going to try to block it. But it ended up working out better.

"When I went to the right, I saw their whole team just go to the right. Then I made a cut-back left and, I don't know who it was, I think it was Jalen Mills, and there was a huge wall of everybody just blocking. I think Kwon [Alexander] had two blocks at the end, picking up two guys. They led the way to the end zone."

OBJ's sweet but bizarre return was merely the icing on a cake he had spent the whole game baking.

Beckham ended the contest with 331 yards all-told, including 100 yards on the field-goal return (college stats don't allow for return totals over 100), 136 yards and three touchdowns on five receptions, 59 yards on three punt returns, 21 yards on one kick return and 15 yards rushing on a reverse.

LSU's No. 3 attributed his success to an attention to detail this offseason that he previously lacked in his days on campus.

"Focus was one of the biggest things for me throughout the summer," Beckham explained. "I just focused on everything, the small details – catching, top ends of the routes, everything, just trying to fine-tune it. I still have a lot more learning and growing to do."

Beckham also conceded he played this game a bit angry, or at least reactive to some of his lesser moments in the TCU opener, which included not properly fielding punts.

"Coach Miles kind of got into me a bit at practice. It's not something I'm used to doing – not fielding punts," recalled Beckham. "But he got into me, and it actually helped me out."

Fellow wide receiver Jarvis Landry enjoyed another big night of his own, hauling in five Zach Mettenberger passes for 71 yards and two touchdowns. Beckham told reporters the trio has believed this could happen for years and are thankful their time to shine has arrived.

"It's kind of something we talked about," Beckham continued. "Our freshman year we had this tight chemistry. Now it's like a dream come true. Finally everybody is getting together and we're all on the same page."

But, wrapping up his thoughts, Beckham made sure to thank the man responsible for his growth and so many positive changes along the LSU offense – new coordinator Cam Cameron.

"I think it has a lot to do with the offense that Cam has put in and the mentality that he brings to this offense," leveled Beckham. "It's something that can't be matched. We're going to get better each and every day. It's not where we want to be, but it's a start."

If 331 yards, four touchdowns and one of the most spectacular returns you'll ever see is only the start, it's scary to think what's in store for Beckham the rest of this fall.

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