LSU’s 126th season opens Saturday where it usually does: at home in Tiger Stadium. This time, the opponent is Georgia Southern, marking the first time the Tigers and Eagles have ever met in football. Here’s a look back through the past century-plus at some of LSU’s most memorable season openers:
Sept. 2, 2018 — LSU 33, Miami 17: Plenty of questions swirl around the Tigers entering last season’s opener in Arlington, Texas, but No. 25 LSU answers them all with authority in a rout of the No. 8 Hurricanes. The Tigers bolt to a 27-3 halftime lead on the strength of a 50-yard touchdown run by Nick Brossette and a 45-yard pick six return by Jacob Phillips. The win sets LSU on track for its first 10-win season since 2013 and its first New Year’s Six bowl appearance in the Fiesta Bowl.
Sept. 7, 2007 — LSU 48, Virginia Tech 7: It may be LSU’s best performance ever against a highly ranked opponent. The Tigers dismantle the No. 9 Hokies, outgaining them 598-149 and possessing the ball for 34½ minutes. “I’m not sure if this isn’t the No. 1 football team in the country,” Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer says. By season’s end, after a win over Ohio State in the BCS National Championship Game, it is.
Sept. 10, 2005 — LSU 35, Arizona State 31: With LSU’s campus serving as medical shelter for thousands of Hurricane Katrina victims, the game is hastily moved to Tempe, Arizona. Sun Devils quarterback Sam Keller riddles LSU for 461 yards passing and four touchdowns, but the biggest throw belongs to JaMarcus Russell. On fourth-and-10 he finds Early Doucet on a 39-yard TD pass with 1:13 left to cap a wild 42-point fourth quarter, making then LSU coach Les Miles a winner in his debut.
Sept. 24, 1977 — LSU 77, Rice 0: “In all the years since then,” Carlos Carson told the late Marty Mule’ for his book “Game of My Life,” “that game has really never left my mind.” With good reason. Carson catches four consecutive touchdown passes from Steve Ensminger (now LSU’s offensive coordinator) and one from the late David Woodley covering 22, 29, 63, 20 and 67 yards, setting an NCAA record.
Sept. 17, 1966 — LSU 28, South Carolina 12: In a non-conference game he helped schedule while still LSU’s coach, Paul Dietzel returns to Tiger Stadium in his first game at South Carolina. Dietzel just left Army, which he left LSU for in 1962. The victory is a huge one for Charles McClendon, Dietzel’s former assistant, who goes on to become LSU’s winningest coach.