And while the final numbers were simply disheartening in all areas of the game, Texas Tech received a reality check that might be exactly what this program needs as it heads into year four of Kliff Kingsbury’s tenure.
LSU Coach Les Miles wasn’t at all surprised by Leonard Fournette’s performance in the Texas Bowl.
What was so curious about the strategy? – LSU QB Brandon Harris completed 13-of-22 passes for 254 yards and a score with an interception, and ran three times for 41 yards and a touchdown. Tech, meanwhile, has been one of the country’s worst rush defenses all season.
For the time being, the Tigers will enjoy the Advocare V100 Texas Bowl championship.
LSU taking a 7-0 lead courtesy of RB Leonard Fournette on a 2 yard run.
(18) Baylor 49, (10) North Carolina 38: Johnny Jefferson rushed for three touchdowns and a bowl-record 299 yards to lead Baylor in the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando, Fla. “The guys were phenomenal. Couldn’t be a better feeling”.
It woke up in a hurry, as the Tigers scored touchdowns on three straight four-play drives spanning 217 yards in the third quarter.
Tigers’ Fournette ran for a 2-yard TD. He lowered his shoulder and blew Tech safety Keenon Ward off his feet. He rambled around left end for about 30 yards, then cut it to the other side of the field and had just enough gas to get in the end zone. Brandon Harris soon added a touchdown on a 26-yard keeper just before the third quarter expired to send LSU to the fourth up 42-20 and well on its way to not only a bowl victory but the highest-scoring bowl win in school history. But last night, even Tech’s all-American Le’Raven Clark was made to look second-rate…by a true freshman, LSU defensive end Arden Key. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who was looking for receiver Tony Brown, saw his pass spiked in the air.
Fournette was stopped for no gain on one carry on LSU’s next drive and managed just 2 yards on the next one. The Tigers were at the 4. He threw an interception early in the third quarter but bounced back nicely, finding receivers open over the top of a Tech defense that was clearly doing all it could to slow Fournette.
The Red Raiders got within eight when Grant, who finished with 125 yards receiving, grabbed a 3-yard pass from Mahomes about 3 minutes later.
LSU rushed for 384 yards and a 9.6 average on 40 attempts, with Fournette doing the most damage.
But against the Tigers Mahomes was sacked six times and hit or hurried on nearly 20 more plays. Grant caught two touchdown passes from Mahomes in the first half to keep Texas Tech close.
The 36-year-old coach believes it was a year of improvement and is excited for what he has coming back next season, including Mahomes.
In the box score it doesn’t look awesome, but to make this throw while running one direction and come back across your body – that takes some arm strength and skill. “It really couldn’t get any better than this for the offense as a whole”.
Plus, Tech won’t run into Fournette again.