LSU white helmet

LSU plans to wear this white helmet against Mississippi State.

LSU fans won't be the only ones wearing gold Saturday.

The Tigers will wear gold jerseys for the annual "gold" football game against Mississippi State. Even more unique: The Tigers will don white helmets with their jersey number in gold — and no logo. 

This is believed to be the first time since 1971 that LSU will wear a helmet with a numeral and the first time since 1998 that the Tigers will don gold tops. 

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LSU gold jerseys

LSU is set to wear these gold jerseys against Mississippi State.

The Tigers (1-1), ranked No. 20 in the Associated Press poll, meet the Bulldogs (1-1) at 6 p.m. Saturday on ESPN2. For the school's annual gold game, the team asks fans to wear gold, bathing Tiger Stadium in the color. The players will wear it, too, along with those rare helmets.

LSU has undergone two helmet changes in the modern era. It moved away from gold helmets with numerals starting in 1972, switching to an all-in-one Tigers/LSU logo for five seasons. The program used the current helmet logo beginning in 1977.

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LSU old helmets

LSU plays Notre Dame in 1971, the last year the Tigers wore helmets with numerals. 

It appears the last time LSU players wore gold jerseys was in a loss at Florida in 1998. LSU is calling Saturday's jerseys "Gridiron Gold," a throwback uniform to different points in LSU football history.

Saturday's jerseys have a vintage purple block "L" logo on the right pant leg and purple and white stripes on the shoulders. The jersey number is purple, and the program's old cartoon Tiger logo, "Sailor Mike," is at the center of the collar.

The block "L" is the same style of letter worn by LSU teams in the early 20th century, and the "Sailor Mike” logo was popular in the 1940s and '50s.

"We're very excited to wear the old LSU colors and honor the past with this new uniform," running back Leonard Fournette said in a statement. "It's a special moment for us to be able to wear it and represent Louisiana on the field. The uniform is a throwback; it's a classy look."

The "Gridiron Gold" design and numeral font are reminiscent of the style worn by the Tigers during the career of Y.A. Tittle, who played at LSU from 1944-47. The idea to create the throwback design was triggered by Tittle's visit to campus a few years ago, the school said in a statement. The old gold color of the throwback jersey mimics the color worn by Tittle and his teammates.

The helmet numbers are a tribute to LSU's helmet design from 1957-71, when the players' jersey numbers were displayed on each side of the headgear. Coach Paul Dietzel introduced the helmet design in 1957, his second season at LSU, when the Tigers wore black, 2-inch "NCAA-style” numerals on the headgear.

LSU doesn't often stray from its traditional uniforms: white tops at home and on the road and a gold helmet with the Tiger logo. Coach Les Miles' crew did it twice last season, though.

They were forced to wear purple tops at home during the game against South Carolina because it was the Gamecocks' home game. The game was relocated from Columbia to Baton Rouge after flooding in the Palmetto State. LSU also wore white helmets in that game, a 45-24 win in what was coach Steve Spurrier's final game with South Carolina.

The Tigers wore all white in a game at Ole Miss last season, a 38-17 loss. It was the first time LSU had worn all white since 2011 against Auburn.

Saturday will be just the sixth time in the modern era that LSU has worn while helmets. They're 4-1 in the first five games.

Scott Rabalais contributed to this report.

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter, @RossDellenger.