ENGSTER: Statistically Speaking - Fournette primed to shatter LSU records
2/10/2014 8:59:23 AM
Tiger Rag Featured Columnist

With the signing of Leonard Fournette, LSU boss Les Miles is offering a refreshing dose of candor by acknowledging his five star prize from St. Aug is a Heisman Trophy candidate the day he steps on campus.

If Fournette wins the Heisman in his freshman year as Johnny Manziel and Jameis Winston did the past two years at Texas A&M and Florida State, he will likely have to break Charles Alexander’s 37-year old school mark for most yards rushing in one season.

Alexander rushed for 1,883 yards in 12 games in 1977, averaging 156.9 yards per game. Fournette has the opportunity to play in 15 games in 2014 because of the new NCAA playoff system. If Fournette averages the same amount of yards per game as Alexander in ’77, he would complete his freshman odyssey with 2,354 yards.

It is not beyond the realm of possibility for Fournette to become the first LSU back to surpass 2,000 yards in one season and for LSU to reign as national champion with the first 15-win season in NCAA history. The next step will be to change the Ole War Skule acronym to LFU.

As good as Fournette is, he does not arrive in Death Valley as the top rusher from New Orleans in this year’s freshman class. That honor goes to Darrel Williams of John Ehret, who rushed for 2,201 yards and 32 touchdowns as a senior. Fournette ran for 1,792 yards and 16 touchdowns last year. It’s the best one-two combo in one class for LSU since 1982 when Dalton Hilliard and Garry James came to TigerTown together. It was Hilliard, who was considered the lesser of the two recruits, who left LSU as the most prolific rusher in Tiger history.

Pete Carroll no stranger to Tiger Stadium

Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll directed his team to a 43-8 Super Bowl demolition of Denver and Peyton Manning last Sunday in New Jersey. Carroll is a decade removed from the controversial 2003 NCAA campaign when his USC team was voted the national championship from the Associated Press and LSU won the BCS title with Nick Saban hoisting the crystal trophy in the Superdome.

Carroll remains in competition for coaching supremacy with Saban, who at 62 is 46 days younger than the effervescent leader of the Seahawks.

CoachNCAA RecordNFL RecordTotal RecordChampionships
Nick Saban165-57-1 (.743)15-17 (.469)180-74-1 (.709)4 NCAA
Pete Carroll97-19 (.836)77-61 (.558)174-80 (.685)2 NCAA, 1 Super Bowl

Carroll joins Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer as the only coaches to win Super Bowl and NCAA crowns, and he has done something at Tiger Stadium that Peyton Manning, Herschel Walker, Bo Jackson and Joe Namath never did. Unlike the four SEC luminaries, Carroll actually played against the Tigers in Baton Rouge as a defensive back for Pacific.

In 1972, LSU opened its season at home against Pacific in a battle of Tigers. LSU prevailed 31-13 as Bert Jones opened his senior season nine days past his 21st birthday. Carroll celebrated his 21st birthday the night before the contest on Sept. 16, 1972. LSU entered the game ranked No. 1 by Sports Illustrated.

Bradshaw reigns as Louisiana Super Bowl king

Peyton Manning was unsuccessful in his bid to give a Louisiana born quarterback victory in nine Super Bowls. Louisiana natives boast eight Super Bowl titles with Peyton once, Doug Williams once, Eli Manning twice and Terry Bradshaw four times.

For those who were uncomfortable with pre-game taunting of Manning by Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman, it is appropriate to recall the ridicule directed at Terry Bradshaw by Dallas linebacker Hollywood Henderson prior to Super Bowl XIII. Henderson said of the Shreveport native, "Bradshaw couldn’t spell cat if you spotted him the C and the A.”

Bradshaw responded to Henderson by passing for 318 yards and four touchdowns in a 35-31 win for Pittsburgh.

Nobody better than Kurt Warner

Quarterbacks have had 96 starts in Super Bowls. The names of the passers are a Who’s Who of NFL stars: Unitas, Starr, Namath, Dawson, Griese, Tarkenton, Bradshaw, Staubach, Montana, Young, Elway, Aikman, Manning, Brady, Favre, Rodgers, Brees, Roethlisberger.

The top three passing performances in the history of the most celebrated game ins sports belong to Kurt Warner, who tossed for 414 yards, 374 yards and 368 yards in three Super Bowl performances. Warner gets one vote as the greatest passer in league history based on his unparalleled performances in a trio of championship games.

The best and worst of records for the Mannings

The success of Eli and Peyton Manning has enabled the Manning quarterbacking trio to enjoy an overall winning record in NFL games. Eli, Peyton and Archie Manning have started a remarkable 530 regular season games in the league with a mark of 287-240-3 (.545). According to the record, Peyton is best NFL quarterback produced by an SEC school and Archie is the worst.

These SEC quarterbacks have made at least 25 professional starts.

 Quarterback W-L-T Winning % School 
 Peyton Manning167-73 69.6 Tennessee 
 Ken Stabler96-49-166.2 Alabama 
 Charlie Connerly58-31-1 65.2 Ole Miss 
 Bart Starr94-57-6 62.3 Alabama*
 David Woodley34-18-1 65.4 LSU 
 Y.A. Tittle78-52-5 60.0 LSU*
 Eli Manning85-66 56.3 Ole Miss 
 Scott Hunter21-18-3 53.8 Alabama 
 Jay Cutler56-48 53.8 Vanderbilt 
 Fran Tarkenton124-106-6 53.3 Georgia* 
 Rex Grossman25-22 53.2 Florida 
 Cam Newton25-23 52.1 Auburn 
 George Blanda53-50-1 51.5 Kentucky* 
 Joe Namath62-63-4 49.6 Alabama* 
 Bert Jones47-49 49.0 LSU 
 Richard Todd48-59-1 44.9 Alabama 
 Jason Campbell32-47 41.6 Auburn 
 Matthew Stafford24-37 39.3 Georgia 
 Tim Couch22-37 37.3 Kentucky 
 Steve Spurrier13-24-1 35.1 Florida 
 Zeke Bratkowski16-30-1 34.8 Georgia 
 JaMarcus Russell7-18 28.0 LSU 
 Archie Manning35-101-3 25.7 Ole Miss 

*Indicates a Pro Football Hall of Famer 




Posted by: Jim Engster | Submit comment | Tell a friend

Categories: 2014  |  Football  |  Jim Engster

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