Fournette waltzed into the end zone from four yards out after breaking off a 40-yard run the previous play. He dropped the ball after crossing the goalline, pumped three signs of “Buga Nation” to his right eye, then struck the infamous Heisman pose — against Sam Houston State…in his second ever collegiate game.
The Internet proceeded to melt down.
Reactions poured in from every corner of social media. Some of which showed the sheer excitement of an LSU fan base, forgiving a moment of immaturity for the long-awaited payoff from his first touchdown.
Certain recruits even praised him.
I like that Heisman pose fournette did ??????— %%MATCH_3%% (@TheDylan1Moses) September 7, 2014
Most reactions weren’t so positive though. “Selfish” and “pathetic” were some of the adjectives thrown his way on Twitter. One particularly displeased observer made sure he voiced his opinion as soon as Fournette came off the field.
Les Miles gave his star running back an earful after the play and expressed his disappointment postgame.
“He needs to realize this is a team, it’s not to do with personal liberty,” Miles said. “There was a lot of effort and energy to help that man score that touchdown. We’ll make that point, but he’s fine. I’d much rather have him enthusiastic. Maybe he was a little full of himself, but it’s not all bad yet.”
It wasn’t the first time Miles has seen a player flash the Heisman, much to his dismay.
Patrick Peterson, also wearing the No. 7 jersey, did it in 2010 after a 60-yard punt return touchdown against West Virginia into the same endzone as Fournette. His Heisman resume was a bit more legitimate than Fournette’s though and his actions weren’t quite received with as much venom.
But Fournette was the one who said his goal as a true freshman was to win college football’s most prestigious award. As unlikely as it seemed, few considered it impossible. Even national writer Bruce Feldman made a bold preseason prediction that he’d win it.
He certainly has a long way to go though.
“It’s premature to launch a Heisman candidacy,” Miles joked.
Fournette finished the night as LSU’s leading rusher. He totaled 92 yards on 13 carries, 46 of which came after the Heisman pose.
His second career touchdown is still on hold though. And you can be sure that when it comes, he’ll have a much more muted celebration.
“It was misspent youth, a daydream,” Miles said of Fournette’s celebration. “But I don’t mind that. He just needs to realize things like that happen…after you’ve accomplished something significant.”