LSU's Leonard Fournette falls from Heisman frontrunner to out of contention
It seems like Leonard Fournette was awarded the Heisman Trophy winner just a few weeks into the season.
He was all anyone was talking about. There were comparisons to Herschel Walker and Adrian Peterson. He seemed impossible to stop.
But now, with just a week left in the college football regular season, it seems like an impossibility for Fournette to win the Heisman. He hasn’t looked like the same player that had LSU fans dressing their infants like the running back — and not just on Halloween weekend.
In his last three games, Fournette has been held to just 232 yards on the ground. While respectable, those aren’t the numbers we were accustomed to seeing from Fournette.
Fournette has had three games with more than 225 yards this season. Before the Alabama game, his worst performance came against South Carolina, when he was held to 150 yards and a touchdown.
When great players perform at a high level week in and week out, we come to expect it. But as of late, Fournette hasn’t met our expectations.
So what exactly has happened?
There best guess is Fournette has faced really solid defenses in the last three weeks. It started with Alabama, who is No. 2 in the country against the run. Then came Arkansas, who is No. 20 against the run. Today, it was Ole Miss, who is No. 23 against the run (and Fournette still posted a 108-yard game).
Those are three tough tests in three weeks. Sure, Fournette put up 180 yards against a solid Florida defense earlier this season, but that was clearly an exception.
No running back, no matter how great, can pick up yardage with defenders blocking the running lanes.
LSU doesn’t have a strong passing game. When the nation’s top defenses can make Fournette their focal point, we see what can happen.
Fournette may not win the Heisman, but he’s a great player. He has 2,508 yards and 27 touchdowns at LSU. He will be playing on Sundays, probably as first-round draft choice.
Fournette’s lack of success the last few weeks proves that no running back is impossible to stop if he has nowhere to run.
Louisiana online sports betting is officially live in much of the state. Louisiana joined the handful of other SEC football states with legalized sports betting in January 2022.