Rapid Reaction: Fournette's record day leads LSU to rout of Ole Miss
Leonard Fournette is back.
The junior returned after missing two games with an ankle injury and set an LSU single-game rushing record with 284 yards as No 25 LSU wore down No. 23 Ole Miss 38-21 at Tiger Stadium.
Fournette scored on runs of 59, 76 and 78 yards as LSU (5-2, 3-1) set up its Nov. 5 showdown with Alabama at Tiger Stadium.
What it means: For LSU, it means Ed Orgeron passed his first big test as the Tigers’ interim head coach with flying colors. The Tigers almost doubled the Rebels in total yards and controlled the second half, outscoring the Rebels 17-0.
As for Ole Miss, a team that was a few plays from being 6-0 now finds itself 3-4 with its first true beatdown of the four losses. Has Hugh Freeze’s team that relies so much on one aspect of the game, the passing of Chad Kelly, run out of gas?
What I liked: For LSU, what’s not to like about Fournette’s dominant return? But beyond that, one had to like the way offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger mixed the pass in with Fournette’s runs. Danny Etling was effective, going 19-for-28 for 204 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
For Ole Miss, it’s the toughness of Kelly. The Rebels no longer longer have the vintage Land Sharks defense and the run game is lacking. Kelly was held in check, passing for 186 yards and running for 45 more. But he threw two more interceptions.
What I didn’t like: For Ole Miss, it’s the complete deterioration of the Land Sharks. the Rebels allowed 515 yards and again allowed the obvious gaping holes in the running game.
For LSU? Turnovers. Two lost fumbles leading to touchdowns and a drive-killing interception by Etling. Take those away and a game that was statistically one-sided reflects it on the scoreboard.
Who’s The Man: Who else but Fournette, who broke Alley Broussard’s school record of 250 rushing yards on a game. That record was set in 2004, also against Ole Miss. It took Broussard 26 carries. Fournette broke the record on his eighth carry.
Key Play: Take your pick with Fournette’s three long touchdown runs, but we’re going to go with the first play of the second half when Fournette took a toss sweep 78 yards to break a 21-21 halftime tie. It opened the floodgates to a lopsided second half.
What’s next: It doesn’t get any easier for Ole Miss, which hosts an Auburn team coming off a 56-3 thrashing of the same Arkansas team that beat the Rebels, 34-30 last week. LSU has the week off before the annual showdown with Alabama Nov. 5.