LT’s Greatest On Field Performance – 11.20.1999
Accolades for LT’s career are too many to list, 31 touchdowns in an NFL season, 8 straight seasons of 1000yds rushing or more, etc. But what seemed to be lost in all of the talk of L.T.’s retirement from the game of football was a special performance that put him in the NCAA record books.
It’s was November 20, 1999, on an unseasonably hot Saturday at Amon G. Carter field on the campus of TCU, in Fort Worth, Texas. The opponent was UTEP, so LT was sure to get his yards that day, but nobody would no how many. LT would line up in the backfield, chopping off one big gain after another (TD’s of 63, and 70yds) and before anyone knew it he was walking off the field in the 3rd quarter, helmet in hand ready to hang it up for the day with a for sure victory in the Frogs corner. Before he could get back to the sideline, then TCU head coach Dennis Franchione barked at him “don’t come off the field until I tell you too.” Everyone on the sideline mumbled under their breath (as not to incur the wrath of Fran), soemthing along the lines of “why the f&ck is he making him stay in, doesn’t he know we need this guy next year.” But Fran, as he was so lovingly called; knew a lot more than all of us who were standing on the sideline that day. He knew that Ladainian Tomlinson was standing on the doorstep of history, only a few yards away from breaking the all time D1 single game rushing record set by Kansas RB Tony Sands in 1991.
Tomlinson trotted back on the field and broke off a 7yd carry, that put him at 406 yards on the day. A ridiculous feat, that some critics tried to pass off as not worthy because of the competition. But LT ended up leaving all of those small minded critics in the dust, just like he did the Miners defense that day.
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