From 1982-85, LSU fans cheered as James racked up 27 touchdowns on the ground and caught another three. All total, No. 33 amassed 180 points for the Tigers in his career. Currently, that total stands at tenth on LSU's all-time career scoring list. By next Saturday afternoon, after the dust settles from a likely whitewashing of the Green Wave by the Tigers, James will probably fall to No. 11. Replacing him in that spot will be David.
Long gone are the days when LSU fans look at the roster, find No. 6, and read his name as "Colt Dah-veed." If they were still doing so coming into this season, they most certainly aren't after David's highlight rushing touchdown on a fake field goal in the waning moments of the second quarter that extended the Tigers lead to 21-7 over South Carolina.
It was the first touchdown that David has scored in an organized game of football and the ensuing PAT afterward put his LSU career point total at 175. One last extra point last Saturday lifted his total to 176.
"It worked out perfectly," David said of the trick play. "Everybody executed their jobs perfectly, and it turned out a touchdown."
The play was setup initially when Danny McCray hauled in his second interception of the season, a ball that was tipped twice before he made a diving grab at the Gamecocks 32 yard line. Four consecutive runs put the ball at the 15 yard line and the play calling drew a bit of the crowd's ire as being a bit too conservative. It appeared that LSU was setting up for a field goal attempt all along, an inconceivable act considering the Tigers only had a seven-point lead, there was plenty of time on the clock, and that David had already missed wide-right on a previous attempt of 42 yards with 9:09 to go in the second quarter.
LSU lined up, Matt Flynn made the call for the play, and there was no hesitation from David. The only thing he was worried about then was not slipping, not ruining the play from the start.
"I knew that we'd been practicing all week that we could take it in for a touchdown," David said. "Turned out perfectly."
Leading rusher Jacob Hester was actually surprised when the call was made. Not because of the play call itself but because of what he saw across from him – basically nothing.
"We do it in practice, and our defense covers it a lot better than that," Hester said. "So when I went out there I was just shocked that there was nobody to block. But like I said, it was a good problem to have and the only thing we had to worry about was the pitch, and we got that so we're good."
Once the ball was snapped, David immediately began sprinting to his right. Flynn simply flipped the ball over his own head without looking, and it hit David's hands in stride. From there, it was simply 15 yards to the end zone.
Even South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier agreed that everything happened exactly as it needed to for the play to be successful.
"It worked perfectly," Spurrier said. "Obviously when they work they're a good call. I was sitting over there wanting to go safe field goal (defense) because that guy had just missed a 30-yarder, and I was worried we were going to rough him. I said, ‘What are we doing here?' and somebody said, ‘We're going after him.' I said ‘Well, okay.' I hesitated, but I would have said ‘Let's see if he can make it' because we had done a good job of holding them and forcing a field goal. But we went after him, and Captain (Munnerlyn) went. We had some guys standing around behind him, but they executed it perfectly. Give those guys credit for that."
David revealed candidly that the most nerve-racking part of the whole affair wasn't getting into the end zone, it was what came after. Booting the conversion caused more angst than anything else.
"Actually, it hit me worse afterwards when I scored the touchdown," David said. "That's when my heart started racing. I just didn't want to miss that kick, that extra point."
He didn't miss, and the celebration continued.
Two field goals, a field goal and two PATs, five PATs, another touchdown – any of these scenarios next week against Tulane will elevate David past James on the all-time career scoring list. It would also make David the sixth kicker on the list, joining the likes of David Browndyke, John Corbello, Juan Betanzos, André Lefleur, and Mike Conway.
Realistically, Conway and Lafleur could see their names fall down a notch next week, just like James. After all, the former is only 11 points ahead of David, and the latter is only 13 points ahead.
The last time David was in the Superdome for a game this year, he managed to add 10 points to his career total with two field goals and four PATs. Those 10 points came against Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl. If Tulane's defense Saturday is anything like the Fighting Irish's was on January 3, 2007, David might claim the No. 8 spot on the list well before the bells of St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square toll to announce Saturday evening mass. Ironically, it may not be field goals and PATs that allow David to reach that spot.
Are there more fake field goals in the bag of tricks that would see David having additional touchdown opportunities?
"Who knows?" David asked rhetorically.
The likelihood is there are. The only question now is whether "who" will be able to stop David from scoring the next time he gets his hands, as opposed to his feet, on the ball.