USA Today

Leonard Fournette sets single-game rushing record while out of shape, credits teammates in doing so

LSU star running back Leonard Fournette returned to action here Saturday night in Death Valley only to set the school's single game rushing record at 284 yards on just 16 carries. Go "Inside" Tiger to see what the humble young man had to say about his performance.

There were those questioned the return of Leonard Fournette to the LSU lineup.

National sports analyst all week asked the question why bring back the talented running back if he wasn’t full strength? Why risk an injury to what certain is going to be a successful career in the NFL?

The LSU Coaching and training staff held out of the Tigers last two games against Missouri and Southern Mississippi and even threw in an extra bye week that was forced when the LSU vs Florida matchup was rescheduled due to a hurricane.

Three weeks of rest must be just what the doctor ordered.

Fournette returned to action here Saturday night lead No. 25 LSU over No. 23 Ole Miss in convincing fashion 38-21. importantly the talented running back set an all-time single game rushing record with 284 yards only on 16 carries. The Tigers now move to 5-2 on the season, but more importantly 3-1 in SEC play.

Fournette was the first to admit that his absence the last three weeks caused him not to be at his very best tonight.

Say What?

“I’m physically out of shape,” Fournette told a swarm of media that surrounded him outside the LSU locker room after leading his team to an impressive victory. “I will use these next two weeks to get myself into better shape, so I can be at my best against Alabama.”

If Saturday’s night performance wasn’t his best, then Bama might should start worrying just a tad.

LSU Interim Head Coach Ed Orgeron wasn’t shy when singing Fournette’s praises.

“I think he is the best player in the nation,” Orgeron said in his post-game press conference. “That decision isn’t up to me, but I’m sure glad he’s on our team. I still think that there isn’t a better player in the country than Fournette.”

Oh by the way Coach O, did you know Fournette felt he was out of shape.

“The rest did him good,” Orgeron said. “He is explosive.”

Fournette of course didn’t accept praise for himself, but instead gave his to his offensive line and his other teammates.

“My line did a great job of blocking,” Fournette said. “Our entire offense is beginning to click on all cylinders.”

Tiger tight end Colin Jeter laughed when asked about keeping up with Fournette three different long touchdown runs of 59, 76 and 78.

“I got tired running up and down the field trying to catch him,” Jeter said smiling. “No I didn’t catch him either, no one did for Ole Miss either.”

There is no doubt that Fournette is a legitimate Heisman candidate, the only question will be if the two games he missed will dash his chances.

One reporter put it this way, let him run for 200 yards against Alabama in two weeks and lead LSU to a win over No. 1 Alabama, then the voters will have a hard time not voting for him.

If Orgeron could vote there is no doubt who would get his vote.

With three weeks’ rest Fournette turned in a single game rushing record, don’t rule out another star-studded performance against the Crimson Tide.

No doubt that Alabama’s run defense is better than Ole Miss, but also don’t forget according to Fournette, he was physically out of shape for tonight’s performance against the Black Bears. 


Tiger Blitz Top Stories