Fournette Breaks Rushing Mark in Win Over Aggies
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BATON ROUGE -- Leonard Fournette broke the program's 38-year-old single-season rushing record as the LSU football team snapped a three-game skid by beating Texas A&M for the fifth-straight time, 19-7, on Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.
Fournette ran 32 times for 159 yards and a touchdown that put the game out of reach against the Aggies, passing Charles Alexander's 1977 rushing total of 1,686. Both played 11 games in the regular season.
With a bowl game yet to be included in his season tally - unlike Alexander, whose bowl stats did not count toward NCAA totals at that time - Fournette has rushed for 1,741 yards on 271 carries in his sophomore season. The SEC record for single-season rushing yards was set in 1981 by Herschel Walker of Georgia (1,891).
Fournette added a team-high four catches for 43 yards.
Trent Domingue hit field goals of 32 and 38 yards to put LSU ahead before the Aggies scored its only touchdown to lead 7-6 in the first quarter.
Freshman running back Derrius Guice put LSU ahead for good, 13-7, with a 50-yard end-around for a touchdown midway through the third quarter. Fournette's 4-yard touchdown run with 2:50 remaining gave LSU it's final margin. Guice finished with 73 yards on 10 carries.
The Tigers defense carried its offense throughout the game, holding Texas A&M to 250 total yards with four sacks, an interception and two fumble recoveries.
As the clock expired and firework were fired from the south endzone, LSU head coach Les Miles was carried by Christian LaCouture and Vadal Alexander from midfield to the northwest corner of the stadium where the Golden Band from Tigerland played the LSU Alma Mater.
"I want to make it clear that Les Miles is our football coach and will continue to be our football coach," LSU Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Joe Alleva said in a postseason press conference prior to Miles' media briefing.
LSU (8-3, 5-3 SEC) awaits its postseason bowl destination, which will be announced on Sunday, Dec. 6.
Texas A&M (8-4, 4-4 SEC) was led by quarterback Kyle Allen, who was 15-of-28 passing for 161 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Running back Tra Carson had 69 net yards on 19 carries, as the Aggies finished with 89 rushing yards as a team on 33 attempts.
Blow-by-Blow Recap by Bill Franques
After the LSU defense forced a three-and-out on Texas A&M’s first possession, the Tigers drove 44 yards in nine plays with the march culminating in a 32-yard field goal by Trent Domingue. The key play in the drive was a 20-yard, third-down completion from quarterback Brandon Harris to running back Leonard Fournette to the Aggie 36-yard line.
Texas A&M returner Christian Kirk fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Donte Jackson recovered for LSU at the Aggie 20. The Tigers were unable to advance the football in three plays and settled for a 38-yard Domingue field goal to increase the lead to 6-0 with 9:11 remaining in the first period.
The Aggies grabbed a 7-6 lead at the 3:26 mark of the first quarter on an eight-yard TD pass from quarterback Kyle Allen to wide receiver Ricky Seals-Jones. The score capped an 80-yard, seven-play march that featured a 47-yard completion from Allen to wide receiver Josh Reynolds to the LSU 18.
LSU had the opportunity to take the lead early in the second quarter, but Domingue’s 25-yard field-goal attempt bounced off of the left upright.
The Aggies moved the ball to the LSU seven-yard line later in the second period, but Allen fumbled when he was sacked by linebacker Kendell Beckwith and defensive tackle Davon Godchaux recovered for the Tigers at the LSU 13.
LSU’s ensuing possession stalled at its 30-yard line, but a roughing-the-punter penalty against the Aggies allowed the Tigers to keep the football. Domingue, however, was wide left on a 50-yard field goal attempt with 44 seconds left in the first half.
LSU’s Derrius Guice returned the second-half kickoff 75 yards to the Texas A&M 25-yard line, but the Aggie defense stiffened and Domingue missed a 46-yard field goal try at the 12:19 mark of the third quarter.
The Aggies drove to the LSU 36, but placekicker Taylor Bertolet was wide right on a 54-yard attempt with 8:34 left in the third period.
LSU regained the lead just over a minute later when Guice sprinted to paydirt on a 50-yard end-around, capping a three-play, 63-yard drive that gave the Tigers a 13-7 advantage. On the first play of the drive, Fournette rushed for two yards to break the LSU single-season rushing record of 1,686 yards set by Charles Alexander in 1977.
Early in the fourth quarter, LSU engineered a 13-play, 80-yard drive that took 8:11 off the clock and ended with Fournette's 4-yard score. The Tigers rushed the ball 12 times on the drive, while Harris connected with Fournette for 17 yards on third-and-11 at the Texas A&M 34 to keep the drive alive.
LSU led 19-7 with 2:50 remaining in the game. An interception and a turnover on downs by the Tigers defense sealed the victory.
Looked so good we had to share it again. Coach Miles with the dab. pic.twitter.com/nEh1yjK597— LSU Football (@LSUfball) November 29, 2015