Murphy Runs Wild In Spring Showcase
by Matt Reynolds
Tiger Rag Assistant Editor
LSU running back Richard Murphy didn’t get many carries in LSU’s national title run last season. In his freshman year, Murphy only had 35 rushing attempts.
That’s likely to change this season — especially after Murphy’s PS2-like performance in LSU’s spring ending scrimmage in Tiger Stadium.
Murphy was without a doubt the MVP of the spring game, rushing for 145 yards and picking up 52 more receiving. The sophomore running back accounted for three scores, leading the Gold to a 38-10 victory over the purple.
“I liked the way we rushed the ball on offense. (Richard) Murphy was very loose and fast,” said LSU coach Les Miles. “I wanted to see Murphy today. Charles Scott is injured so he didn’t get to play.
With three backs I really wanted them all to get a lot of carries.
Murphy came out of the spring maybe a little advanced as a runner in certain situations.
Murphy had the most carries of any back in the spring game with 11.
This was party because Keiland Williams carrying opportunities disappeared when he fumbled inside the opponents ten-yard-line early in the first quarter.
“That’s exactly why he (Williams) didn’t come back,” Miles said. “Anybody that throws the ball on the ground around here, they don’t plan on playing a lot. Murphy came in and did well. Have some good runs. I also think (Steven) Ridley showed some nice signs today.”
Murphy’s first score of the day came on a pitch from Jarrett Lee that the Rayville native took and commenced to churn four yards before dust-rolling safety Stefoin Francois on his way into the end zone.
His second touchdown came late in the second quarter when he found opening and trucked it 70 yards up the field for the longest score of the day.
“Richard Murphy is elusive, has great vision, there’s some things he needs to get squared away but I think he’s going to be a nice back,” Miles said. “It’s really interesting to see, I think the one place where we had really good numbers today was in Murph’s category.”
Murphy’s last score game on a beautiful screen play where Lee found the nimble Murphy streaking out of the backfield. Murphy read his blocks perfectly and instead of taking the sideline route, he cut it to the middle and then turned on the jets, scatting 53-yards for the score.
“That’s my favorite play,” Murphy said after the game. “That’s my play. The offensive line did a great job and I just found the holes and took it from there.”
It’s likely that LSU offensive coordinator Gary Crowton will use his backs much like last season this year – spreading the love and giving each one of them carries.
But with the departure of legendary bruiser Jacob Hester and his great performance in the spring game, Murphy and his unique running style will surely by used much more in the Tigers title defense campaign coming up.