Nov. 8, 2015 was not Leonard Fournette’s finest evening.
His final stat line of 19 carries for 31 yards in a 30-16 loss to Alabama was a disappointment for the entire college football world.
Fournette entered the game averaging roughly 200 yards rushing per game through the first seven contests of the season, but simply did not come through when the Tigers and Crimson Tide took center stage on that Saturday night in Tuscaloosa.
It was the first loss of the season at the hands of a hated rival, and the post-game narratives swirled around an uncharacteristically poor 1.6 yards per rushing attempt for the star running back.
Fournette felt like he let people down. And according to a Father’s Day feature on Fournette by The Advocate’s Ross Dellenger, it’s something that still bothers him to this day.
“That was the toughest part,” he said. “Everybody was down on me: ‘Thirty-one yards and he was not what we expected.’
“It helped me deal with people,” he continues. “It made my bond with my players and coaches stronger.”
Fournette returns for a junior season on a LSU team that is again likely to have high expectations entering a contest with Alabama. Only this time, the defending national champions will have to travel to Baton Rouge for the Nov. 5 meeting.
All eyes are likely to again be on Fournette. It will be interesting to see how he performs in his chance for redemption.