‘Who’s MJ?’: Tigers’ star freshman has his own ‘Jordan flu game’

Freshman linebacker Harold Perkins Jr. had himself a historic day in the No. 7 LSU Tigers13-10 win over the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Perkins, a former five-star recruit, had 8 tackles, 4 sacks and 2 forced fumbles Saturday. He sealed the win when he stripped Arkansas quarterback Cade Fortin and the fumble was recovered by LSU’s Mekhi Wingo.

What made the performance more impressive was that Perkins did it all while sick with the flu.

“He got sick before the game,” LSU coach Brian Kelly said afterward. “He threw up as we were going into our team meeting.”

Kelly invoked the “Jordan Flu Game” when he spoke to Perkins on Saturday morning. In Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, Michael Jordan, while sick and dehydrated, scored 38 points in 44 minutes to give the Chicago Bulls a 3-2 series lead against the Utah Jazz en route to Chicago’s fifth NBA title.

“I said, ‘Hey, you know, MJ threw up when he had his greatest game,'” Kelly said.

“[Perkins] said, ‘Who’s MJ?'”

While he might not know of His Airness, Perkins put himself in elite company with his game against the Razorbacks.

He tied LSU’s record for sacks in a game with Chuck Wiley, who had four in a 1995 matchup. No LSU player had three sacks and a forced fumble in a game since at least 2004, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

With four sacks and two forced fumbles, Perkins is just the fourth FBS player ever to have that stat line and the first to do it in a Power 5 game since Chase Young with the Ohio State Buckeyes in 2019. Young’s performance came in his All-American junior season before becoming the No. 2 overall draft pick in the 2020 NFL draft.

Another reminder that Perkins is just a freshman.

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