LSU running back Leonard Fournette showed Saturday why he was rated the No. 1 high school running back in the nation in 2013, and in so doing, made Auburn's defense look like he was back at New Orleans St. Augustine High, anyway.
The Tigers' true sophomore rushed 19 times for a career-high 228 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-21 home win for LSU, setting the tone with a 71-yard run on the first play from scrimmage. He averaged 12.0 yards-per-carry average in his first career 200-yard game, mostly using raw power to break tackles and finish nearly every run with authority. NFL scouts from the Buffalo Bills, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Giants were on hand for the game, although they'll have to wait until 2017 or 2018 to welcome Fournette to the pros. The highlights were plenty, and NFL players with an eye on the television Saturday took notice. Perhaps the most impressive of Fournette's runs made came on a 29-yard touchdown run that left the AU defense in tatters:
He later leaped over the top of the line of scrimmage for a one-yard touchdown plunge that put the outcome out of reach for Auburn, and when he limped off the field, it signaled an early end to his day. CBS cameras later caught him riding a stationary bike on the sideline, a good indication he wasn't injured seriously.
It was the kind of game that will help solidify Fournette as a potential Heisman Trophy candidate, and one that Auburn's Rudy Ford won't forget anytime soon. Ford told reporters earlier in the week that handling Fournette shouldn't be too much trouble for the Auburn defense.