Fournette SEC's First NCAA Rushing Champ Since '49

LSU running back Leonard Fournette
LSU running back Leonard Fournette
Steve Franz
Michael Bonnette (@LSUBonnette)
Michael Bonnette (@LSUBonnette)
Assoc. Athletic Director/Communications

BATON ROUGE – LSU’s Leonard Fournette added another honor to his list of achievements in 2015 as he’s been crowned the NCAA rushing champion with an average of 162.8 yards a contest.

Fournette is the first player in LSU history to lead the nation in rushing. In 12 games, Fournette rushed for 1,953 yards and 22 touchdowns – both school records – in helping the Tigers to a 9-3 overall mark and a Texas Bowl win over Texas Tech.

The NCAA released final 2015 statistics for the Football Bowl Subdivision following last night’s College Football Championship Game.

The NCAA recognizes college football’s annual rushing champion based on yards per game and not total rushing yards, a change that was made prior to the 1970 season. Before 1970, the NCAA rushing champion was based on net rushing yards.

Fournette becomes the first Southeastern Conference running back to lead the nation in rushing since 1949 when John Dottley of Ole Miss ranked first nationally with 1,312 rushing yards. The only other SEC player to rank first in the nation in rushing came in 1941 when Georgia’s Frank Sinkwich led all players with 1,103 yards.

In addition to leading the nation in rushing, Fournette ranked No.3 in the nation in three other categories – net rushing yards (1,953), all-purpose yards (183.83), and points per game (11.5) and he finished No. 4 nationally in rushing TDs with 22.

Fournette set the LSU record for 200-yard games in a season with four and he tied the school mark for games with at least 100 rushing yards at 10.

Fournette goes into his junior season with the Tigers in 2016 with 2,987 rushing yards, which ranks No. 4 on the all-time LSU list. Kevin Faulk holds the LSU career rushing record with 4,557 yards, followed by Dalton Hilliard (4,050), and Charles Alexander (4,035).

The following is a look at the records that Fournette either set or tied in 2015:

LSU Single-Season Records

  • Rushing yards in a season (1,953)
    Previous: 1,686 by Charles Alexander in 1977
  • Rushing yards per game (162.8)
    Previous: 153.3 by Charles Alexander in 1977
  • Rushing TDs in a season (22)
    Previous: 19 by LaBrandon Toefield in 2001
  • Total TDs in a season (23 – 22 rushing, 1 receiving)
    Previous: 19 (all rushing) by LaBrandon Toefield in 2001
  • 200-yard rushing games in a season (4)
    Previous: 2 by Charles Alexander in 1977
  • 100-yard rushing games in a season (10)
    Tied with Charles Alexander in 1977
  • Consecutive 200-yard rushing games (3)
    Previous: None
  • Consecutive 150-yard rushing games in a season (7)

LSU Single-Game Records

Total TDs in a game (5) vs. Texas Tech (2015 Texas Bowl)
Tied with Kevin Faulk vs. Kentucky, 1997; Carlos Carson vs. Rice, 1977

LSU Bowl Records

Rushing TDs (4) vs. Texas Tech (2015 Texas Bowl)
Tied with Domanick Davis vs. Illinois (2002 Sugar Bowl)

Total TDs (5) vs. Texas Tech (2015 Texas Bowl)
Previous: 4 by Domanick Davis vs. Illinois (2002 Sugar Bowl)

Total points (30)
Previous: 24 by Domanick Davis vs. Illinois (2002 Sugar Bowl)

 

NCAA Top 10 Rushing Yards Per Game

Rank, Player, Class, Games, Rush Att., Rush Yds., Rush TD, YPG
1, Leonard Fournette, LSU, So., 12, 300, 1,953, 22, 162.8
2, Derrick Henry, Alabama, Jr., 15, 395, 2,219, 28, 147.9
3, Christian McCaffrey, Stanford, So., 14, 337, 2,019, 8, 144.2
4, Royce Freeman, Oregon, So., 13, 283, 1,836, 17, 141.2
5, Dalvin Cook, Florida St., So., 12, 229, 1,691, 19, 140.9
6, Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio St., Jr., 13, 289, 1,821, 23, 140.1
7, Larry Rose III, New Mexico St., So., 12, 240, 1,651, 14, 137.6
8, Brian Hill, Wyoming, So., 12, 281, 1,631, 6, 135.9
9, Devontae Booker, Utah, Sr., 10, 268, 1,261, 11, 126.1
10, Matt Breida, Ga. Southern, Jr., 13, 203, 1,608, 17, 123.7

 

 

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