Paschall: Fournette expectations 'unrealistic'

Paschall: Fournette expectations 'unrealistic'

September 4th, 2014 by David Paschall in Sports - Columns


Arkansas 59, Nicholls St. 6

Florida 37, E. Michigan 10

Kentucky 34, Ohio 17

LSU 38, Sam Houston St. 9

Mississippi State 35, UAB 13

Missouri 28, Toledo 20

S. Carolina 29, E. Carolina 24

Texas A&M 63, Lamar 16

Ohio State 30, Va. Tech 17

UNC 33, San Diego St. 10

Clemson 56, S.C. State 3

N.C. State 35, ODU 14

Duke 28, Troy 13

Louisville 51, Murray St. 18

Miami 45, Florida A&M 10

FSU 62, The Citadel 7

Southern Cal 23, Stanford 20

Minnesota 34, MTSU 24

Georgia tailback Todd Gurley rushed for 100 yards and had a 100-yard kickoff return during his introduction to college football two seasons ago against Buffalo.

Several hours later, Alabama's T.J. Yeldon had 11 carries for 111 yards in his inaugural performance against Michigan, but not every touted tailback has such a dynamic debut. In last Saturday's 28-24 opening escape of Wisconsin, LSU heralded freshman Leonard Fournette had just 18 yards on eight carries.

One of his rushes was an 11-yard loss due to an off-target toss from quarterback Anthony Jennings.

"I think he did great, and first games are certainly not to be compared with his 30th game," LSU coach Les Miles said Wednesday. "I think expectations are unrealistic. Can you imagine that somebody would comment on how you played in your first game as a true freshman? To say it was anything other than exactly what we needed is a mistake.

"We needed for him to come in and contribute, which he did, and he'll contribute more and more and better and better as we go forward."

The Tigers trailed the Badgers 24-7 in the third quarter before rallying behind senior tailback Kenny Hilliard, who carried 18 times for 130 yards.

"Kenny is a veteran back who has been in a number of situations in his career," Miles said. "We know what to expect from him."

Pasquali's Pix:

Florida Atlantic at Alabama: Nick Saban announced Wednesday that sophomore cornerback Eddie Jackson, who tore his ACL this spring, will play Saturday in a limited role. Crimson Tide 44, Owls 7.

Arkansas State at Tennessee: These two programs have a combined nine different head coaches since the start of the 2008 season. Volunteers 31, Red Wolves 10.

Ole Miss at Vanderbilt: Derek Mason needs to prove relatively soon that he didn't come from Stanford to turn the Commodores into Samford. Rebels 31, Commodores 14.

San Jose State at Auburn: Quarterback Jeremy Johnson and tailback Cameron Artis-Payne were backups last season yet combined for 420 yards in last week's whipping of Arkansas. Tigers 49, Spartans 22.

Jacksonville State at UTC: This year's list of former SEC players on the Gamecocks includes quarterback Christian LeMay and safety Shaq Fluker (Georgia), defensive lineman LaMichael Fanning (Alabama), tailback Jojo Wynn (Arkansas), safety Cantrell McKinley (Kentucky), linebackers Harris Gaston and Chris Landrum (Auburn), and defensive linemen Allan Carson and Greg Clark (Tennessee). Mocs 27, Gamecocks 24.

Georgia Tech at Tulane: This was an SEC game from 1933 to 1963. Yellow Jackets 35, Tulane 16.

Michigan State at Oregon: In a four-team playoff era with five major conferences, this isn't just Spartans vs. Ducks but Big Ten vs. Pac-12. Spartans 20, Ducks 17.

Michigan at Notre Dame: This is college football's second most expensive ticket this season behind the Iron Bowl. Irish 21, Wolverines 18.

Last week:


Lightning delays.......3

Pasquali is 21-3 overall (87.5 percent) this season.

Contact David Paschall at or 423-757-6524.