By Dig News Services
LSU running back Leonard Fournette and offensive guard Vadal Alexander both picked up Southeastern Conference Player of the Week honors for their performance in the Tigers’ 30-27 win over Florida on Saturday night, the league office announced on Monday.
Fournette, who was making the first start of his career, was named co-SEC Freshman of the Week along with Georgia running back Nick Chubb, while Alexander earned SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week.
Against Florida, Fournette had the best game of his seven-game career, rushing for a career-high 140 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries. The 140 yards were the most by an LSU true freshman since 2003 when Justin Vincent ran for 201 yards in the SEC Championship Game win over Georgia.
Fournette’s 140 rushing yards came against a Florida defense that was allowing just 103 yards rushing a contest. Fournette averaged 5.2 yards per carry and had five carries of at least 12 yards, including two runs of 20 yards. Fournette scored on runs of 12 and 2 yards.
Fournette also tallied 85 yards on kickoff returns to finish with a career-best 225 all-purpose yards. Fournette currently ranks No. 3 in the SEC in all-purpose yards with 136.9 a contest. He’s seventh in the league in kickoff returns with a 23.0 average and he’s just outside of the top 10 in rushing with 72.0 yards per game. In seven games, Fournette has rushed for 504 yards and six touchdowns.
Alexander, a junior who’s in his third year as a starter on the offensive line for the Tigers, played all 73 snaps and led the Tigers with 11 knockdowns in the win over the Gators.
Alexander helped pave the way for an LSU running attack that racked up 195 yards and three touchdowns against a stingy Florida defense. LSU’s four running backs combined to rush for 209 yards on 39 attempts, an average of 5.4 yards per carry in the LSU victory.
The honors are the first of the year for both Fournette and Alexander.
LSU, Ole Miss set for night kickoff
When LSU and Ole Miss meet on the gridiron for the 70th-straight season, the contest will kickoff at either 6:15 or 6:30 p.m. CT, it was announced Monday by the Southeastern Conference.
The game will be televised by either ESPN (6 p.m.), ESPN2 or the SEC Network (both 6:30), with the exact kickoff time will be announced following the Oct. 18 slate of SEC games.
LSU (5-2, 1-2 SEC) will open the season with nine-straight night games for the first time since 1958. The Tigers have never played 10-straight games at night.
Should third-ranked Ole Miss (6-0, 3-0 SEC) defeat Tennessee this weekend (6 p.m. CT, ESPN), the Rebels would enter Tiger Stadium on Oct. 25 undefeated for the first time since 1963. Ole Miss will also face LSU as a ranked team for the first time since 2003.
Prior to facing the Rebels, LSU plays host to Kentucky (5-1, 2-1 SEC) on Saturday, Oct. 18, at 6:39 p.m. CT on the SEC Network. The game will be broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network beginning with the pregame show at 4:30 p.m.