USA TODAY/Mark Konezny

LSU running back Leonard Fournette fell seven yards short of the single-game school rushing record

Leonard Fournette set another new career-high, but he again fell short of the school's single-game record.

Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades — certainly not when it comes to breaking records.

The ever-humble Leonard Fournette won't care that he fell just seven yards short of breaking LSU's single-game rushing record. His only concern is winning, something the Tigers did in a tighter-than-expected game against Syracuse.

Fournette finished with 244 yards rushing Saturday. That's 16 more than he had last week, the first time he flirted with Alley Broussard's 11-year-old single-game school record of 250. 

And, oh, what might've been.

Fournette had several long runs called back because of penalties, a common theme Saturday. None were harder to stomach than an illegal formation penalty that nullified an 87-yard touchdown run. That would've given Fournette 300 yards rushing at the time — had it stood.

Click Here for video of that long run.

"Leonard Fournette probably has another 120 yards if we’re not penalized," said LSU coach Les Miles after the game.

Though that play never actually happened, there were plenty of other Fournette highlights to remember Saturday.

There was this 48-yard pickup on a play that should've been a sack. Not only was Brandon Harris heads-up to find No. 7 just before his knee hit the ground, but Fournette showed tremendous awareness to even put himself in that position.

He followed that up two plays later with his first touchdown of the game and his seventh of the season. He faked right, took the inside handoff and left everyone in his dust, going virtually untouched for the 14-yard score.

Anyone can run 14 yards for a touchdown, right? How about 62?

Fournette upped himself later in the game. He didn't need to juke, didn't need to run any defenders over. All he had to do was follow his fullback and sprint the rest of the way. He's 240 pounds, but nobody can catch him.

Fournette's on an unreal pace to start this season. He's set new career highs in all three of LSU's games. He has back-to-back 200-plus yard rushing performances, the first LSU player to ever do that.

He's the bettor's favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, and those odds should be even better after this week.

He has 631 yards rushing this season, most by any FBS player through three games in 15 years. If he maintains this pace, he'll finish the regular season with 2,310 yards and 29 touchdowns. Those numbers would shatter records, and he'd do it in only 11 games.

Fans, of course, will worry about the workload. Cameras caught Fournette on all fours late, trainers surrounding him in the fourth quarter. Many wondered if all those yards were finally catching up to LSU's workhorse.

Fournette would shrug it off postgame though, saying he simply took a hit "downstairs."

That must be the only way to stop him.

It did keep him out for a few plays, potential carries that might've given him the record.

But nobody at LSU seems to care about that. LSU opted to kneel it in the closing seconds instead of giving No. 7 just one more, potentially record-breaking handoff.

"Once I had secured victory, that was the key piece," Miles said. "Leonard will have plenty of opportunities to achieve records and get awards, that’ll all happen naturally and against very quality teams.”    

Indeed, Fournette will have his chances to finally break Broussard's record. 

But even if all he ever does is come close, LSU will still win games. And that's all that matters.

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