Sports column: Not every LSU-Alabama game was memorable

Published 7:55 am Thursday, November 7, 2019

With No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama set to duke it out this Saturday in the biggest college football game of the season, I thought it might be fun to reminisce about my first LSU-Alabama game.

Unfortunately, I can’t remember a single play of it.

I know I was there in Tiger Stadium on Nov. 5, 1994. I didn’t miss a game in the four years I attended LSU. I don’t drink, so I wasn’t passed out in the student section.
A quick internet search tells me Alabama won 35-17, Jay Barker set the school’s career passing yardage record, and it was the 700th victory in the program’s history.

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Sounds like a memorable night for the Crimson Tide, but not for me.

I do remember a lot of LSU-Alabama games from the past 25 years. There was the epic showdown and then the frustrating beatdown in 2011. The satisfying run in the 2000s when LSU won seven out of eight. Rohan Davey and Josh Reed lighting up the scoreboard in 2001.

There was also the 1999 game in Tuscaloosa, when two Alabama players blew out their knees on the same play at the goal line in the final seconds. Instead of stopping the clock for an injury timeout, officials let the last six seconds bleed off and Alabama won 23-17. That one still angers the blood.

1994 you say? Alabama returned a fumble and a blocked punt for a touchdown in the first half?

Still not ringing any bells.

The 1994 season was my introduction to LSU football. It was not a fun one. The Tigers finished 4-7 and among the losses was the infamous “Interception Game” at Auburn, one in the rain at home against South Carolina, and another to Southern Miss. Head coach Curley Hallman was fired not long after the USM game. Lots of bad memories from that season.

Alabama was 8-0? Night game on ESPN, back when that was a huge deal? Nothing? Really?

I can vividly recall Shaun Alexander running wild two years later in Tiger Stadium. He had 291 rushing yards, an Alabama single-game record that still stands.

That 1994 game, though? Total blank. Maybe I was abducted by aliens and mind-wiped on the walk home. Maybe I left with friends when it was 28-3 at halftime.

Or maybe it really was that forgettable. After all, it wasn’t exactly “Game of the Century” material like this weekend’s matchup in Tuscaloosa is.

They say you never forget your first time — unless, apparently, it’s when your team gets the snot kicked out of it.

Ernest Bowker is the sports editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at ernest.bowker@vicksburgpost.com

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 139-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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