At LSU, it’s all been about Leonard Fournette for the past couple of years. But, there’s not a lot of schools around the country with back up Running Backs playing in the NFL, outside of the Tigers of LSU.
Fournette should have had 2,000 yards rushing a year ago, but the SEC doesn’t do make up games a lot of times. The Tigers had a game canceled a year ago leaving Fournette short 47 yards of reaching the 2,000 barrier.
But, 2016 has not been good for Leonard Fournette. He has missed games due to injury and others have
had to step up.
Sophomore Derrius Guice has stepped up remarkably. Simply put, Guice is a beast. He was a beast on the high school level, and he was also as a true freshman last season. Guice just runs hard. He hits the hole hard and with an attitude almost refusing to go down. He looks like he intends to hurt tacklers which is the attitude that most defensive players possess. Guice just runs like you would want your Running Backs to as they punish the defenders instead of the other way around.
Guice came into LSU last year as a 5-11, 222 youngster and he was impressive immediately as he took the first back up job away from other good Running Backs. He ran for 436 yards on 8.55 yards per carry and he scored 3 Touchdowns. Coming into his sophomore season, Guice dropped 10 pounds and he could be slightly faster this season.
Darrell Williams was expected to be the main back up last season and he was forced to become third team. Williams ran for 296 yards and 4 Touchdowns. Williams is the same type of physical specimen as Leonard Fournette at about 6-0, 235.
Then, there was Guice’s fellow freshman, Nick Brossette, who was a talent in his own right.
With Fournette mostly sidelined this season, these guys have had to take up the slack and they have done really well.
Derrius Guice has 564 yards rushing and 6 Touchdowns. In the second game of the season against Jacksonville State, Guice exploded for 155 yards rushing and a score. Yes, I do realize that Jacksonville State is a lower level school. But, Guice also ran for 163 yards against Missouri and then for 162 yards against Southern Miss. He scored 5 Touchdowns in those two games, too.
Williams and Brossette have been all too glad to step up, too. Williams had 130 yards rushing against Missouri and he now has 163 on the season.
Brossette has added 113 yards rushing so far with another 73 against Missouri.
Other things that LSU has done this season other than firing head coach Les Miles, is switching
Danny Etling is the new starter and the Tigers are now moving the ball much better.
Plus, the Offensive Line has been rearranged.
Watching the LSU Spring Game they had last year’s true freshman sensation Left Guard Maea Teuhema at Left Tackle. It was clear that he was playing out of position, at least to me. Then, this season, they had him at Right Tackle.
This past week, they moved Center Ethan Pocic to Right Tackle and he looked like he was born out there. Teuhema was moved back to where he clearly belongs, at Left Guard. Left Tackle is NBA Hall of Fame Karl Malone’s son, KJ Malone. Karl Malone was considered by some as the dirtiest player in the NBA. I don’t watch it, so I don’t know, but KJ is a very physical Left Tackle for the Tigers.
Andy Dodd, the former back Center, now takes over the starting role. Right Guard remains Josh Boutte and he’s the largest Offensive Lineman for the Tigers at 6-5, 345.
The new combination worked really well against Southern Miss. But, now, the Tigers have Ole Miss, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida and Texas A$M remaining.
The LSU Tigers need to play mistake free football from here on out if they hope to make a statement and interim coach Ed Orgeron gets the job he so highly desires.
LSU’s destiny is in their own hands.