Cracking through what Ed Orgeron called a flat night for the LSU offense, senior running back Nick Brossette showed that his performance against Miami was no fluke, and that he is the feature back for the Tigers.
The University High graduate set a career-high in yards rushing for the second consecutive week, recording 137 yards on 19 carries in No. 12 LSU's 31-0 win over Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday night at Tiger Stadium.
By halftime, Brossette had 84 yards on 15 carries — built on steady rushes of 4, 6, and 7 yards before breaking off rushes of more than 10 yards three times.
Orgeron said during preseason camp that Brossette was the best zone runner out of the running-back-by-committee, and that’s part of how the 6-foot, 221-pound tailback was used.
LSU dropped one spot in the AP Top 25 Poll Sunday afternoon, moving from No. 11 to No. 12 after its 31-0 win over Southeastern Louisiana Satur…
Then, on the first LSU possession of the second half, the Tigers called a power run to the right side of the field, where a pulling center and fullback carved out a hole on the edge and Brossette broke through to the sideline for a 42-yard gain to the LSU 42.
It was Brossette’s second consecutive game with a run of more than 40 yards. He rushed for a 50-yard touchdown that helped the Tigers beat then-No. 8 Miami 33-17 in Week 1.
Asked whether cut-backs on stretch zone runs were his bread and butter, Brossette said Saturday that he couldn’t really say.
“I just have to press it,” said Brossette, who is ranked 13th nationally with 262 yards rushing this season. “I do my job, and whatever opens up, that’s where I need to be at.”
Brossette is still listed as a co-starter with sophomore Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who recorded 27 yards on eight carries and scored his first career touchdown on a 7-yard run late in the fourth quarter.
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“We’re still going to use both backs,” Orgeron said. “(Brossette’s) not going to carry the ball 30-35 times a game. We’re still going to use Clyde. We still got packages where we’ll use the guys. But is (Brossette) the feature back? Yeah, he’s our best back. For sure most productive.”
Brossette is keeping pace with the running backs that preceded him. LSU starting running backs have now started the season with consecutive 100-yard games in the past four seasons. Leonard Fournette started the 2015 season with 387 yards and the 2016 season with 285, then Derrius Guice started the 2017 season with 224 yards.
Fournette started the 2015 season with seven consecutive 100-yard games, totaling 1,352 yards and 15 touchdowns in that span. He finished sixth in the Heisman voting that season.
Brossette’s effectiveness will be tested against No. 7 Auburn this week, which beat Alabama State 63-9 Saturday night while holding the Hornets to 47 yards rushing.
Auburn is ranked 17th nationally in rush defense (74.5 yards allowed per game). In Auburn season-opening 21-16 win over Washington, the Tigers held Myles Gaskin, the Huskies’ all-time leading rusher, to 75 yards on 17 carries.
LSU plays at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama, at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.