For LSU football fans, great SEC games are a staple of the program. The Tigers have a rich history within the conference and have some monumental wins. Throughout the Tigers’ conference tenure, LSU has earned eleven SEC Championships and eight division titles. That’s the fourth highest total of each in the league. The rivalry with Alabama has become a circled game on Tigers’ fans calendars every single season.
LSU Football Greatest SEC Games
However, the games against Alabama aren’t the only staple conference victories for the Tigers. Over the years, LSU has played in many great SEC match-ups. The multiple games against Florida during the Les Miles era come to mind first. The 1959 “Halloween Game” against Ole Miss and Billy Cannon’s historic punt return is also written in Tigers history. But which three LSU victories in the SEC are really the true monumental and historic games?
Game of the Century
The LSU-Alabama “Game of the Century” in 2011 was a hyped up showdown. The two teams entered the game as the two top ranked teams in the nation. LSU was ranked #1 and Alabama #2. An SEC West division title was on the line. With the programs being ranked first and second, this game had historic significance from the beginning. The game went back and forth the full sixty minutes, and then some. Both defenses were electric in this match-up. Eric Reid’s interception at the goal line saved LSU from suffering a loss and sent the game to overtime tied at 6-6. A win solidified Les Miles and the Tigers’ run back at dominance in the conference, at least for a short while.
The debate of whether Reid actually intercepted the ball still gets talked about to this day. As an exception, the game on the field actually lived up to the pre-game hype.
The importance of this game was more than a rivalry. It was for a shot at the SEC Championship in Atlanta, and potentially, a BCS National Championship berth. The Tigers took the 9-6 overtime win, won the SEC Championship over Georgia, and then advanced to the BCS title. These two teams met for the national championship, with Alabama getting revenge in a 21-0 shutout.
The Earthquake Game
On October 8, 1988, LSU met fourth-ranked Auburn in Death Valley. The Bayou Bengals were unranked at the time, with a record of 2-2. Auburn went into the game with a record of 4-0. Coach Mike Archer was in his second season as the head man for LSU. The Bayou Bengals had Tommy Hodson at quarterback for this game. His name would become one to remember for ages. Auburn led 6-0 with 10 minutes left in the game. Both defenses were the strengths of the match-up. LSU had a chance late in the third quarter to score as they got all the way to Auburn’s 23 yard-line, but stalled after a clipping penalty.
With less than two minutes left, Hodson drove the Tigers down into Auburn territory. On fourth down, Hodson found receiver Eddie Fuller for a touchdown that sealed the win for LSU. The Tiger Stadium crowd went into a frenzy with the reaction, and caused what is said to be an earthquake on the seismograph on campus at LSU. This win for LSU will forever go down in history as one of the greatest ever. Not only for the earthquake that the reaction registered, but also for an upset of the fourth-ranked team in the country. Also, this win helped the LSU-Auburn rivalry into what it has become today.
The Bluegrass Miracle
The “Bluegrass Miracle” between LSU and Kentucky on November 9, 2002, was a hectic, but monumental win for LSU as a program. The Tigers went to Lexington with a 5-2 record and ranked 16th in the country. Kentucky was unranked and held a record of 6-2. There wasn’t much hype around this game. However, the ending is one that will forever go in the record books. For LSU, it will be named one of the greatest Tigers victories in history. For Kentucky, it will be forever a heart-breaking loss.
The Tigers were the defending SEC Champions. Kentucky went into the game as an underdog, but fought hard and nearly won the game and pulled off the upset. The Tigers held a 24-14 lead in the third quarter until Kentucky went on a 13-3 run to make it a tie game at 27. The Wildcats took a 30-27 lead on a field goal. A timeout called by Kentucky left LSU with 11 seconds and 74 yards to score and get a win. Tigers quarterback Marcus Randall launched the Football from LSU’s own 18 yard-line, hoping that a Tigers receiver would catch the pass. The pass was tipped by Kentucky defenders and fell directly into the hands of Devery Henderson near the 15 yard-line. Henderson escaped the defense and ran into the end zone, sealing the win for the Tigers.
Just when the Wildcats thought they had the game locked up, LSU pulled a miraculous play from the bag and found a way to win. This game will forever go down in Tigers’ history as one of the greatest wins for the program.
LSU’s greatest SEC games have earned a place in history. Under Ed Orgeron, the Tigers hope to add many more victories to this great list.
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