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LSU's Devery Henderson heads for the end zone on the 'Bluegrass Miracle' touchdown catch as Kentucky's Derek Tatum tries vainly to bring him down in the Tigers' 33-30 win on Nov. 9, 2002 in Lexington, Ky.

The Tigers and Wildcats were annual rivals from 1952-2002, but the current inequitable SEC football scheduling format has made LSU and Kentucky virtual strangers. They’ve only played four times since 2002 and are meeting Saturday (6:30 p.m. SEC Network) in Lexington for the first time in 14 years. Hopefully, that will change with a new schedule format when Texas and Oklahoma join the conference sometime between 2022-25. Though Kentucky has given LSU some tough tussles over the years, the Tigers have always dominated this series leading 40-16-1. LSU has won six of the past seven meetings since 2000 and lead 16-11 in Lexington. The Tiges rolled in their last meeting in 2014 by a 41-3 count in Tiger Stadium.

Oct. 18, 1986 – LSU 25, Kentucky 16: Redshirt freshman quarterback Tommy Hodson got hit so hard early in this game he bit through his tongue and suffered a mild concussion. Today he might have been done for the game, but after five stitches Hodson came back to direct a typically gritty LSU victory in Lexington against a UK team that like this year was 5-0 and ranked No. 16 in the AP poll. The win kept the Tigers on track for their first Southeastern Conference championship since 1970.

Oct. 13, 2001 – LSU 29, Kentucky 25: In a precursor of the dramatics to come a year later, Rohan Davey found freshman receiver Michael Clayton on a third-and-goal touchdown pass from the 6 with 13 seconds left to help the Tigers escape Lexington with another hard-fought win. The victory paved the way for LSU’s first appearance in the SEC Championship Game and another conference title after an upset win over No. 2 Tennessee in Atlanta.

Nov. 9, 2002 – LSU 33, Kentucky 30: The play was called Dash Right 93 Berlin, a Hail Mary pass the Tigers drilled every week in practice. The play never worked on the practice field, but today, everyone knows it as The Bluegrass Miracle. Taking its place in LSU lore alongside Billy Cannon’s punt return and Warren Morris’ home run, Marcus Randall let the pass fly on a play that started at the Tigers’ 25-yard line and found Devery Henderson in a crowd of players near the UK 19. The ball bounced off two defenders and onto Henderson’s right hand as he hugged and headed to glory. “All I remember was bobbling the ball and pulling it in,” Henderson said, “then running like hell.”

Oct. 13, 2007 – Kentucky 43, LSU 37 (3 OTs): In the last meeting between the schools in Lexington, LSU carried its No. 1 ranking to the Blue Grass and came up short in triple overtime against the No. 17 Wildcats. LSU led 27-14 late in the third quarter, but UK rallied to force overtime tied 27-27. After a 7-yard TD pass from Andre Woodson to Steve Johnson in the third extra period, LSU running back Charles Scott gets stopped for a yard at the UK 15 on fourth-and-2. LSU goes on to lose in triple OT to Arkansas as well, but in a wild season of upsets the two-loss Tigers still qualified for the BCS National Championship game in New Orleans, where they defeated Ohio State.

Oct. 1, 2011 – LSU 35, Kentucky 7: It was a game that typified how the Tigers won games that season, with a relentless offense and suffocating defense, led by an electrifying cornerback named Tyrann Mathieu. Though just a freshman, Mathieu set an LSU career record for forced fumbles with two strips in this game, one resulting in his own 23-yard scoop-and-score to give the Tigers a 28-0 third-quarter lead. The game was also notable for quarterback Jordan Jefferson’s return from a preseason suspension. He scored on his first play, a 1-yard keeper, and would eventually regain his starting position from Jarrett Lee as LSU marched to the SEC title and another BCS championship game appearance.

Email Scott Rabalais at srabalais@theadvocate.com