Les Miles: Officials need to protect Leonard Fournette on low hits
One question regarding LSU running back Leonard Fournette is whether the team can preserve him over the long haul of a potential 14-game season. Fournette is a battering ram as a tailback, and his bruising style could expose him to injury. In last weekend’s game, Fournette took a low blow after being tackled by a convoy of Syracuse defenders. LSU coach Les Miles said the officials need to do a better job of keeping a “level playing field” when it comes to protecting players.
Miles added that he wouldn’t change one thing about Fournette’s running style.
“I don’t know that I’d want to change his style in any way,” Miles told the media during his press conference on Monday.
Fournette has had a couple of injury scares this season. The first one came two weeks ago against Auburn, when Fournette left the game after scoring his third touchdown of the day. It turned out it was only a knee bruise.
Fournette has an SEC-best 631 rushing yards through the first three games of the season. He is the first LSU tailback to run for 200 yards in consecutive games. He has won the SEC Offensive Player of the Week award three weeks in a row. Fournette is on pace to break the 2,000-yard mark and certainly looks as if he could do so.
The Tigers need their star healthy. But Miles will not alter Fournette’s style to preserve him. Miles will keep the contact minimal in practice and let Fournette do his thing on game day.
#LSU coach Les Miles: "We don't have a lot of contact for our running backs during the week," asked ab limiting contact on Fournette.
— Jerit Roser (@JeritRoser) September 28, 2015
"It's the officials' job to make sure there's a level playing field," Miles said of Fournette, who got hit below belt and missed few plays.
— Glenn Guilbeau (@LSUBeatTweet) September 28, 2015
Miles on telling Fournette to avoid contact to prevent injury: "I don't know that I'd want to change his style in any way." #LSU
— Ross Dellenger (@DellengerAdv) September 28, 2015