This series has always been something of a monument to the history of the program. And turbulent that it may be, it's underrated by most. Largely because it's used to fuel the lazy message-board narrative of B.S. (before Saban).
And one of those pieces of history that's really been lost in the modern era, is the rivalry with Tulane.
- LSU entered Rivalry Weekend in 1986 8-2, SEC champions and ranked fifth in the country, with a pair of home losses to Ole Miss and Miami of Ohio (???!!!). The Tigers were headed to the Sugar Bowl, led by the Tommy-Hodson-to-Wendell-Davis passing combo, with a defense loaded with legends like Henry Thomas, Michael Brooks, Mark Jackson, Eric Hill, Ron Sancho and Toby Gaston. There was also Tommy Clapp, father of current LSU offensive lineman Will, and Oliver Lawrence, uncle of a certain 2016 recruit.
- The 1986 Green Wave entered this one 4-6, led by Mack Brown -- yes, that Mack Brown. Tulane played a pretty daunting schedule that season, with trips to Florida State and Ole Miss in addition to Baton Rouge, plus home games against TCU, Mississippi State (who was ranked No. 13 at the time) and Louisville.
- Once again, we're working with an actual scanned PDF of the original box score from this game courtesy of LSUsports.net. It's a little easier to read than some of the others I've perused looking through the 80s classics. Plus, you really can't beat this cover:
- How about that old-school Eye of the Tiger at midfield? I honestly thought that was only brought back in 2000. No memory of it being that old.
- How about that defense? Ron Sancho slices in and actually intercepts an option pitch from Tulane's quarterback with a nice return and LSU is in business at the Green Wave 30 in the first quarter. Honestly, that's practically a clinic on defending the option there. He sits down to force the pitch, the quarterback kind of hesitates a little bit and YOINK.
- And on the very next play, tricky Tigers with a flea-flicker. Hodson throws a perfect strike to Davis' outside shoulder for a 30-yard score. You know, for all the trick plays we've seen out of LSU in the Les Miles Era, I'm not sure we've ever seen a flea-flicker. Tulane corner even has decent coverage. Just a dime by Hodson.
- Tulane gets a three-pointer, but another big kick return from freshman tailback Harvey Williams sets LSU up for a nine-play touchdown drive. It would take the Tigers to fourth down, but Williams would get the six pretty easily on a fairly wide-open run. He finished with 197 all-purpose yards on the night.
- Tommy Hodson might be awesome, but there's no reason he can't rotate with Mickey Guidry, right?
- Nice interception there by Chris Carrier, who I believe is still coaching high school ball in the area. He was credited a lot with Eric Reid's development during their time at Dutchdown High School.
- Hodson would set a school record for touchdown passes this season, which I believe he broke the very next. Although 19 touchdown passes is barely a total we write home about today.
- Tu-lane foot-ball CLAP CLAP, CLAPCLAPCLAP
- And there's touchdown No. 3 for Davis. He caught five passes for 85 yards in this one, and finished with 80 catches, 1,244 yards and 11 scores on the season.
- Did LSU just run a reverse up 20 points in the fourth quarter? Yep. Because Tulane. Sadly a penalty would negate the score, and LSU would wind up turning it over on downs despite another great Hodson pass to put them back on the goal line.
- OOF shot by Carrier there. Chad Jones-like.
- Clint James with a big sack as the exclamation point and LSU would be Sugar Bowl bound, 37-17.