LAFAYETTE, LA (WAFB) - For more than a decade, former running back Alley Broussard has had his name attached to a pretty special piece of LSU football history, as he holds the program's single-game rushing record.
Broussard pounded the Ole Miss Rebels for 250 yards in a 27-24 victory during the 2004 season.
"Eleven years later, still having the record and my name brought up, it's a great honor," Broussard said from his home in Lafayette. "The tradition of LSU, we're a family. We all stick together until the end of time. It's just really nice. I feel blessed."
But Broussard is clinching to that record by his fingernails. LSU sophomore phenom and Heisman Trophy front runner Leonard Fournette is charging at the number hard, putting up 228 yards rushing in a 45-21 rout of Auburn and 244 more last Saturday during 34-24 triumph at Syracuse. During those games, full screen graphics have appeared during national telecasts featuring Broussard's name and that significant achievement Fournette seems destined to claim for himself. And many people in Broussard's circle are definitely noticing.
"Text messages, Facebook, Instagram - I'm getting a lot of my old friends calling. They say, 'He's getting close to your record. What are you going to do?'" Broussard added.
Fournette made his final carry against Auburn with 4:14 remaining in the third quarter. It's safe to say he could've easily surged past the 250-yard mark had the contest been more competitive or had Fournette's knee not been slightly bruised.
"There was also a story going around that I called Coach Miles during the Auburn game. I said, 'Take Fournette out. He's getting close to my record.' I thought that was pretty funny," Broussard laughed.
During the Syracuse game, Fournette had a gorgeous 87-yard scoring romp wiped out because of an illegal formation penalty against LSU. That jaunt would've put "Buga" over 300 yards rushing in the Carrier Dome and Broussard certainly knew it.
"I was like, 'Go! Go!' Then I was like, 'Oh wait, hold on,'" Broussard chuckled.
While the former Acadiana High School Wreckin' Ram playfully joked about wanting to keep his rushing record intact a little bit longer, he'll hardly be upset if and when Fournette breaks it.
"He's the best back in the nation - hands down. I would love for him to have it more than anybody else. So, he can have it. He can shatter it. Because, it would be an honor just to have a guy like Fournette break it," Broussard explained.
But the humorous side of Broussard quickly reemerged, as he placed a few stipulations on overtaking his spot.
"The only way I accept it? It has to be against an SEC defense. I'm sorry. It has to be against a good opponent, not against Eastern Michigan. I'm sorry Eastern Michigan fans. It has to be South Carolina, Florida, Ole Miss, Alabama. You can't be at the top of the list and then you scroll and see Eastern Michigan. People will be like, 'Well who is that???'" Broussard smiled.
This weekend, indeed, the No. 9-ranked Tigers play host to woeful Eastern Michigan. The Eagles rank dead last in the country (No. 127) in rushing defense, getting ripped for 373 yards per game on the ground. Broussard said it obviously could be a path of little resistance between Fournette and "Alley Cat's" record.
"He could get it, on what, four carries if he wanted to," Broussard said.
Broussard led the Tigers in rushing during that 2004 season, gaining 867 yards and scoring 10 touchdowns on just 142 carries. The Tigers finished 9-3 that year in what was Nick Saban's last season as LSU's head coach. Broussard would rip off a 74-yard touchdown run in Saban's last game, a nauseating 30-25 defeat to Iowa in the Capital One Bowl. A major knee injury during the 2005 LSU fall camp sidetracked his career and No. 22 was never quite the same.
"I think the fans never got a chance to see the whole Alley Broussard. I left a lot out there, as far as injury-wise. As far as being in shape, I was in my best shape going into the '05 season. Then I tore my ACL and it was just kind of downhill from there," Broussard reflected, somewhat painfully.
But before those setbacks, Broussard was also a key piece of LSU's 2003 national championship team that defeated Oklahoma in New Orleans for the crystal ball. His 108 yards rushing during a 33-7 road win at South Carolina and 79 more in a 27-3 thumping of Alabama in Tuscaloosa were just two major highlights that season. These days, the soon-to-be-married Broussard is at peace with himself and where his life is heading.
"Absolutely, I've got my daughter here. She is hilarious. She's my world. She's the best thing that's ever happened to me," he said while smiling ear to ear.
Alley and Kennedy, 5, are also quite the humorous pair. Watch 9Sports at 6 p.m. for that story.