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Leonard Fournette, LSU pummel Texas Tech

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For several weeks, many thought LSU’s Leonard Fournette would win the Heisman Trophy in 2015. He piled up impressive statistics, including a string of 200-yard rushing games, as the Tigers moved to as high as number 3 in the AP Top 25 poll.

Then came the disaster against Alabama, when he was held to just 31 yards while Derrick Henry rumbled for 210 yards and three touchdowns. Henry took over as the Heisman favorite.

On Tuesday, Fournette looked like the back from earlier in the season as he rushed for 212 yards and four touchdowns in the Tigers’ 56-27 Texas Bowl win against Texas Tech in Houston. The Red Raiders had the 125th ranked defense against the run. Fournette scored a fifth touchdown on a 44-yard pass from quarterback Brandon Harris.

The scoring started early. The Tigers got on the board on their first possession, going 66 yards in 6 plays following a Texas Tech punt. Fournette tallied his first touchdown on a two-yard plunge.

After trading punts, Texas Tech took over at their own 10 and went 90 yards in 9 plays. The last 46 came on a pass from quarterback TMahomes to Jakeem Grant for the score. Red Raiders’ coach Kliff Kingsbury decided to go for the two-point conversion, but failed.

Following the kickoff, D.J. Clark took off on a 79-yard TD run. With 6:41 remaining in the second quarter, Fournette hauled in a 44-yard pass from Brandon Harris to go up 21-6.

Grant hauled in his second TD pass from Mahomes late in the second quarter to narrow the halftime deficit to 21-13. When Mahomes found Reginald Davis for a 31-yard touchdown pass four and one-half minutes into the third quarter, it was 21-20.

LSU regained control just two minutes later with another Fournette run, this one for 43 yards. His fourth touchdown, a four-yard run, made it 35-20. Harris’s 26-yard TD scamper with 9 seconds left in the third quarter turned the game into a rout.

After Grant scored his third TD for the Red Raiders, Fournette tallied his fifth with 8:16 remaining to make it 49-27. Fournette left the game soon after. He finished the season with 1,953 rushing yards.

Mahomes, harassed all night by the LSU defense, finished with 370 yards and four touchdowns. Grant had 125 receiving yards to go along with his 3 touchdowns.

LSU finished the season with a 9-3 record for Coach Les Miles, who received a contract extension after their regular season finale. Texas Tech concluded with a 7-6 mark.

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Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at Bob@ramos-sparks.com.

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