Huey Long (copy)

Huey P. Long

LSU and Vanderbilt have been infrequent SEC rivals. They have met just 30 times since 1902, with the Tigers leading the series 22-7-1, including wins in 11 of their 12 games since 1957. But it has been a highly colorful series at times, as shown by these five memorable games:

Sept. 11, 2010 — LSU 27, Vanderbilt 3: The Commodores trail only 10-3 in the third quarter before the Tigers pull away. Stevan Ridley rushes for a career high 159 yards and a touchdown as LSU grinds out the win with 280 yards rushing (and 112 yards passing). LSU’s defense is stifling, allowing Vandy only 135 total yards and forcing punts on 10 of the Commodores’ 12 possessions.

Oct. 4, 1997 — LSU 7, Vanderbilt 6: A return to Nashville for LSU and former Vandy coach Gerry DiNardo is a win both shaky and costly. Cecil Collins, the nation’s leading rusher, suffers season-ending leg and ankle injuries. A 13-yard Herb Tyler to Larry Foster touchdown pass breaks a scoreless third-quarter tie, but the Commodores mount a late drive. Tavarus Hogans catches a 12-yard TD pass from Damian Allen with :12 left. Vandy goes for two, but two straight delay of game penalties push the ball back to the 13. Coach Woody Widenhofer decides to kick to force overtime, but Kenny Mixon blocks the extra point try.

Sept. 21, 1991 — LSU 16, Vanderbilt 14: Outscored 76-17 by Georgia and Texas A&M, the Tigers return home to face Vandy desperate for their first win under Curley Hallman. The Commodores are at the LSU 2 trailing 16-14 when Ricardo Washington puts his helmet right on the ball carried by Vandy’s Corey Harris. The ball lands in the hands of LSU’s Wayne Williams, who returns it 76 yards to preserve the win. Hallman is eventually fired in 1994, finishing his tenure with a 16-28 record, and is replace by DiNardo, then coaching his first game at Vandy.

Oct. 23, 1937 — Vanderbilt 7, LSU 6: Coach Bernie Moore of No. 6 LSU says he’s expecting the unexpected from No. 20 Vandy and coach Ray Morrison. He can’t imagine how unexpected. Three minutes into the game, Vandy pulls its famous hidden ball trick. Quarterback Dutch Reinschmidt takes the snap and moves left, putting the ball between guard Bill Hays’ legs while he continues left chased by LSU defenders. The right guard, Greer Ricketson, pretends to fall down behind Hays, counts to three then takes off untouched on a 50-yard touchdown run. Newsreel footage appears to show Ricketson’s knee is down as he picks up the ball, which should have ruled the play dead, but the referees are also chasing the fake. The loss stands, ending LSU’s 23-game regular-season unbeaten streak.

Oct. 27, 1934 — LSU 29, Vanderbilt 0: It isn’t the game, an LSU rout, but the journey. Senator Huey Long announces no LSU student should not make the trip to Nashville for “lack of funds.” He coerces the Illinois Central railroad into dropping fares from $19 to $6 after Long threatens to raise the tax assessment of its railroad bridges in Louisiana from $100,000 to $4 million. Thousands of students make the trip, many of them borrowing $7 from Huey (the extra dollar for meals), then march through the streets of Nashville with the senator leading the parade. A newspaper headline reads: “Nashville Surrenders to Huey Long.”

Email Scott Rabalais at srabalais@theadvocate.com