There are dozens of plays in each football game, but some stick out more than others. That is multiplied over the course of a whole season — even among hundreds of plays, there are a few that set the tone for what happened more than the others.
We at SEC Country are spending the next two weeks counting down the most important plays of the 2016 LSU football season. Most on the list were crucial to the outcome of that particular game or the season as a whole. Others we couldn’t resist placing on the list because they were just too awesome to ignore regardless of their impact.
Today, we reach the No. 7 play of the year — fittingly one that prominently features No. 7 himself, Leonard Fournette.
No. 7: Leonard Fournette trucks Ole Miss defender
Nearly every time Fournette touched the ball against Mississippi on the night of Oct. 16, something magical happened.
A 59-yard touchdown run. And he was just getting warmed up. That was followed by a 76-yard touchdown run. And once again, it turned out he hadn’t peaked yet. Fournette added a 78-yard touchdown run to complete his 16-carry, 284-yard masterpiece.
But none of those plays was the one we are gathered here to talk about today. Somehow, he did something even more impressive.
It started harmlessly enough — a swing pass from Danny Etling. The play was a beautiful design from offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger that had the Rebels moving in the opposite direction.
Except for one unfortunate soul. Ole Miss freshman safety Deontay Anderson was there trying to do his job — tackle Fournette. He was the one man Fournette had to beat, and Anderson did well to prevent a touchdown.
In retrospect Anderson might wish Fournette had juked by him and made his way to the end zone. The players instead experienced a “Freaky Friday”-type role reversal, with the running back lowering the boom on the safety, who bounced away into oblivion.
In the stat book, a 22-yard reception doesn’t seem like much compared to everything else Fournette did that night. But those who were in Tiger Stadium will never forget the gasp of 102,000 voices when Fournette lowered the boom.
LSU 10 most important plays of 2016
No. 9: The Florida field goal flub