The Unexpected | Auburn and LSU
Last season, Auburn and Bryan Harsin travelled to Baton Rouge to play LSU and completed a comeback, after being down 13-0, to win 24-19 snapping a 10-game losing steak in Tiger Stadium and securing Auburn’s first win in Baton Rouge since Tommy Tuberville’s first season as head coach in 1999. That feels like a lifetime ago. While Auburn is 3-1 heading into Saturday’s contest against LSU and first year Head Coach Brian Kelly, a blowout loss to Penn State, disappointing performances against inferior opponents, and injuries at key positions has left little optimism for the upcoming matchup or the future of the program. With all the doubt about what’s to come for Auburn, when these two schools line up against one another the only thing you should expect is the unexpected. That is certainly what’s happened when the two sets of Tigers have clashed in the past.
In their 56 game history, Auburn and LSU have been prone to many bizarre finishes. Maybe the most popular, from the LSU prospective, is the famed 1988 “Earthquake Game”. #4 Auburn led 6–0 with less than two minutes left in the 4th quarter. LSU's quarterback Tommy Hodson drove the Tigers down the field before throwing an 11-yard touchdown pass to Eddie Fuller on 4th down. The crowd's eruption was so loud that it actually registered as an earthquake on the seismograph at the Howe-Russell Geoscience Complex on LSU’s campus.
In 1994, #11 Auburn entered the game riding a 14 game winning streak under Terry Bowden. LSU jumped out to a 23-9 lead going into the fourth quarter and it seemed as though the electric start to Bowden’s coaching career at Auburn was all but over. LSU quarterback, Jamie Howard threw five fourth quarter interceptions, three were returned for touchdowns, and Auburn was able to pull off a 30-26 comeback win in the “Interception Game”.
Just two seasons later in 1996, LSU defeated Auburn 19–15 while the old Auburn Sports Arena, "the Barn", burned to the ground across the street from Jordan-Hare Stadium. The cause of the fire is still undetermined but, according to investigators the most likely cause was a grill placed too close to the building by tailgaters. The fire was shown during ESPN's national broadcast with the flames being seen as high as the east upper-deck. The game was never delayed, and the game became known as the "Barn Burner”.
In 1999, Auburn blew out LSU 41–7 during a day game in Baton Rouge. In celebration, Auburn players and coaches smoked cigars on the field at Tiger Stadium, much to the dislike of LSU players and fans. It was used as motivation in 2001 when LSU beat Auburn 27–14 on the way to their first SEC title since splitting it in 1988. This would also be the last victory for Auburn in Tiger Stadium until the 2021 victory in Bryan Harsin’s first season at Auburn.
The 2004 Auburn, LSU game was a war. LSU was defending national champions and both teams were undefeated for the matchup in Jordan-Hare Stadium. Pat Dye Field was filled with future NFL talent; Marcus Spears, Corey Webster, Joseph Addai, Jason Campbell, Ronnie Brown, Carnell Williams, Carlos Rogers. LSU’s staff included Nick Saban, Jimbo Fisher, Will Muschamp, Kirby Smart, and Derek Dooley. Future Auburn head coach, Gene Chizik, was Auburn’s defensive coordinator at the time. Auburn's final drive, in which the Tigers trailed LSU 9-3 with 6:38 left on the clock, led by Jason Campbell was a 12-play, 59-yard march down the field that ended with a touchdown on third-and-12, with Campbell finding Taylor in the back of the end zone for his first career touchdown catch.
In another undefeated season for Auburn, 2010, the LSU game was a pivotal point in the season. Both teams entered the top ten showdown undefeated and with stars all over the field. It was a showdown between the league’s best offense, led by Cam Newton, and the leagues best defense, led by Patrick Peterson. Newton’s 49 yard rushing touchdown in which he ran through the famed Peterson not only gave Auburn the lead but, has become Cam Newton’s “Heisman Moment”. Onterio McCalebb’s 70 yard rushing touchdown in the final quarter would cap off the win for Auburn and propel the Tigers to the number one ranking in the country.
The two schools had an early matchup in just the fourth week of the season in 2016 and both head coaches were in tough spots with rough starts to the season. Auburn would only score 18 points, six field goals by Daniel Carlson, and would be able to hold off LSU 18-13. LSU came close to a victory with a touchdown to take the lead on the final play but, the Tigers failed to get the snap off in time. After the review, the points were taken off the board and Auburn won the ball game. Les Miles would be dismissed from the program following the loss bringing in interim head coach, Ed Oregon.
And of course last season’s thrilling come from behind win in Baton Rouge further validates the aspect of pure chaos that this football matchup always seems to provide. As we embark on another edition of Auburn and LSU there is no reason that this theme can’t make yet another appearance in Jordan-Hare Stadium come Saturday night. A win for Auburn, in any fashion, could be the start of bringing some stability to this season and program. A loss, and the talk only gets louder, the rumors only get bigger, and the drama only gets more out of control.
Gameday Information - Auburn versus LSU | Game Five
Timeline: 3:00pm - Tiger Tailgate Show - Auburn Network
4:00pm - Tiger Walk 4:00pm - Jordan-Hare Stadium Gates Open
4:40pm - Four Corners Pep Rally 5:40pm - Pre-Game Festivities Begin 6:00pm - Kickoff
Listen: Auburn Sports Network https://auburntigers.com/sports/2018/6/15/aubur n-sports-network-listen.aspx
Patrick Party Information - Coverage of Week Five Patrick Party Pregame: Patrick Party Pregame, live from Auburn, AL, will air from 8:00am - 9:00am on Saturday Morning. Pregame will take an inside look into the Auburn Football Tiger's week five matchup against the LSU Tigers and all of the other games across the College Football landscape.
Patrick Party Picks: Our weekly minute long picks of the best college football games of the weekend will debut on Pregame on Saturday morning and will then be made available on all of our Social Media platforms.
Patrick Party Podcast: The Patrick Party Podcast provides listeners with a weekly update and analysis of the Auburn Football program. This week's Patrick Party Podcast debuted Wednesday morning. Episodes are made available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and www.patrickparty.com