On Saturday night against out-gunned UAB, LSU receiver/returner Odell Beckham went off. He was a one-man arsenal dressed in purple and gold. His list of accomplishments:
* One rush for 15 yards
* Five catches for 136 yards and three touchdowns (a 27.2-yard average)
* One kick return for 21 yards
* Three punt returns for 59 yards (a 19.7-yard average)
* And the uber-rare 100-yard return of a missed UAB field goal (technically it was 109 yards)
All told that’s 331 yards and four touchdowns in one game. A record right?
Not quite. It turns out that the missed field goal Beckham returned with 2:11 left in the game is not covered in the NCAA’s official statistics. There is no category for missed field goal returns. Therefore, Beckham’s final 100 yards aren’t added on to his all-purpose yardage total, which pretty much stinks.
LSU’s sports information department found three instances of missed field goal attempts being returned for TDs — a Tennessee player did it in 1926, a California player did it in 1966, and a Clemson player did it in 1968 (against Georgia). While the play has occurred in the NFL a few times in recent years, there’s a good chance Beckham is the first man to score such a touchdown in the college game in half a 40+ years.
Had the play counted and had Beckham been credited with 331 all-purpose yards, his performance would rank 8th all-time in SEC history:
1. Moe Williams, Kentucky vs South Carolina in 1995 — 429 yards
2. Kevin Faulk, LSU vs Houston in 1996 — 376 yards
3. Rafael Little, Kentucky vs Vanderbilt in 2005 — 372 yards
4. Darren McFadden, Arkansas vs South Carolina in 2007 — 355 yards
5t. Kwame Doster, Vanderbilt vs Ole Miss in 2002 — 344 yards
5t. Nick Turner, Mississippi State vs Tennessee in 2003 — 344 yards
7. Josh Reed, LSU vs Alabama in 2001 — 338 yards
8t. Craig Yeast, Kentucky vs Florida in 1998 — 331 yards
8t. Odell Beckham, LSU vs UAB in 2013 — 331 yards
Again, that’s if that return had counted in the record books. While the NCAA won’t recognize those 100 yards, it was still one of top one-game performances in SEC history. We know it. LSU knows it. Beckham knows it. And you can be sure UAB knows it.