LSU hosts McNeese State on Saturday to open its 98th home schedule in Tiger Stadium. The first game there was way back on Nov. 27, 1924, when the Tigers lost 13-0 to Tulane in a stadium that was one of the first structures completed on LSU’s new campus. Here’s a look at five memorable home openers:
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 (LSU’s former offensive coordinator and now an analyst) and one from the late David Woodley covering 22, 29, 63, 20 and 67 yards, setting an NCAA record.
Sept. 13, 1986 — LSU 35, Texas A&M 17: The Tigers lose their senior backfield trio from 1985 in Jeff Wickersham, Dalton Hilliard and Garry James, but LSU reloads with Tommy Hodson at quarterback and Harvey Williams at tailback. Hodson throws for 193 yards and a touchdown in his first career start against the Aggies, then goes on to lead LSU to its first SEC title since 1970. Before he leaves in 1989, Hodson becomes LSU’s all-time passing yardage leader with 9,115 yards, a distinction he still holds.
Sept. 26, 2005 — Tennessee 30, LSU 27 (OT): After their season opener with Arizona State is moved to Tempe by Hurricane Katrina, the Tigers' next game is postponed two days to Monday night because of Hurricane Rita. The Tigers build a 21-0 lead, but Volunteers backup quarterback Rick Clausen, an LSU transfer, engineers a stunning comeback capped by Gerald Riggs’ 1-yard TD blast in overtime.
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 holding onto 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, despite two triple overtime losses to Kentucky and Arkansas, it is.
Aug. 31, 2019 — LSU 55, Georgia Southern 3: This game isn’t memorable because it was dramatic. The Tigers lead 21-0 after the first quarter and 42-3 at halftime. It is memorable because it confirmed what LSU said it would do and achieved on offense in 2019 with the combination of Ensminger and Joe Brady calling plays and Joe Burrow executing them. Burrow, who vowed that summer the Tigers would score “40-50-60” points per game, throws a school-record tying five touchdown passes. He would break that single-game record twice as LSU rolls to the greatest season in school history: 15-0, national championship and a Heisman Trophy for Burrow.
Once they returned from Los Angeles last weekend, LSU’s football coaches reviewed the tape, a weekly task the day after a game. As they watche…