Sep 25, 2015 01:27 PM EDT
Leonard Fournette Could Be in for Less Touches in Coming Weeks to Stay Fresh Later
The LSU Tigers are off to the best start they could hope for, but head coach Les Miles knows how his football team finishes will be far more important.
Therefore, LSU's upcoming schedule might be the perfect opportunity not to lean heavily on running back Leonard Fournette. Miles said at a recent press conference he and his coaches "routinely" discuss restrictions on the Heisman hopeful's workload, ESPN reported.
"In certain situations, you have the opportunity to reduce his exposure," Miles said. "In other games, you want to give him every opportunity that he needs to get his carries.
"We wouldn't want to wear him out before we get to some of the key contests in our season. But in the same vein, it's also important that we win. The criteria is, who is the guy that should touch the ball the most to give us an opportunity to win the game."
Fournette took 28 carries for 159 yards and three touchdowns against Mississippi State, a road win to open the season for LSU. A week later, LSU was facing its second consecutive nationally ranked SEC West foe in Auburn. Fournette was even better, taking 19 carries for 228 yards and three more touchdowns.
Meanwhile, quarterback Brandon Harris has done his part by contributing 114 rush yards on 13 carries in those two games. But more significant is that the sophomore has not committed an interception in his 31 pass attempts, while also posting a 67.7 completion rate. Harris showed promise as a freshman, though in limited playing time. These upcoming games could be an opportunity to build his confidence, and who better to stand in the backfield as a decoy than Fournette?
LSU plays Syracuse and Eastern Michigan before returning to the SEC with South Carolina and Florida. But the Tigers do not play a currently ranked opponent until Nov. 7, when they are scheduled to go to Tuscaloosa to play Alabama. LSU then plays Arkansas, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M in its final three weeks.
Miles knows his team is good enough to compete for not only the SEC Title, but the College Football Playoff as well. Based on his comments, those are the games he really feels he needs Fournette for.
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