BATON ROUGE, La. -- Leonard Fournette highlighted his third straight 200-yard game with a 75-yard touchdown run, and No. 9 LSU overcame a fitful performance to beat Eastern Michigan 44-22 on Saturday night.
Fournette had 233 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries to remain among the top contenders for the Heisman Trophy. He also became the first player in Southeastern Conference history to rush for 200-plus yards in three straight games.
But some might have expected even more from the 6-foot-1, 230-pound sophomore against the Eagles (1-4), who came in allowing a nation's-worst 373.2 yards rushing per game.
The Eagles stacked their defense to stop the run, but the Tigers (4-0) struggled to cash in through the air. LSU quarterback Brandon Harris was 4 of 15 for 80 yards with one interception.
Fournette has 11 touchdowns in four games -- one more than he had all of last season.
LSU led 20-14 at halftime, and Fournette broke his long scoring run around the left end on the first play of the second half.
Fournette reached final rushing total when he scored on an 11-yard run to make it 37-22. That left him 18 yards short of surpassing LSU's single-game record of 250 yards, set by Alley Broussard in 2004. But before LSU could get the ball back on offense, Deion Jones returned an interception 26 yards for a score, and coach Les Miles decided to give Fournette the rest of the night off.
In his past three games, Fournette also has posted single-game rushing totals of 244 yards at Syracuse and 228 yards against Auburn. With his past three outings, he has posted the third-, sixth- and ninth-best single-game rushing totals in LSU history.
LSU appeared to be well on the way to meeting oddsmakers' expectations when it raced to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. Fournette finished LSU's opening drive with his 3-yard TD, set up by Dural's 27-yard reception a play earlier.
Harris capped LSU's next possession with his 21-yard scoring run on a keeper after the EMU defense froze on a play-fake to Fournette.
Soon after came LSU's first turnover of the season when Harris was hit as he started to throw deep in LSU territory. The ball popped up and was caught by defensive end Luke MacLean and returned to the 3. Jackson plowed in from the 1 to make it 17-14.
Trent Domingue increased LSU's lead to 20-14 with a career-long 45-yard field goal seconds before halftime, but only after Dural uncharacteristically dropped a third-down pass near the goal line.