As we enter the 2012 football season, it's a perfect time to reflect on some of LSU's greatest touchdowns. Game-winners. Trick plays. Momentum changers. Miraculous catches. They're all here to remind us of recent successes, as well as some legendary moments from LSU's more distant past.
This list of great LSU touchdowns is presented in no particular order, but merely provides a way to look back on, and celebrate, some of our most memorable football highlights as we prepare for the 2012 season.
1: Ole Miss, 1959. LSU was trailing 3-0, when Billy Cannon broke loose on an 89-yard punt return, giving LSU the touchdown it needed to take the lead over Ole Miss. A last-second goal-line stand by LSU's defense sealed our 7-3 victory.
2: Auburn, 1988. Auburn was leading 6-0 with 1:47 on the game clock. A 4th-down pass from Tommy Hodson to Eddie Fuller put the LSU Tigers on top 7-6, and the crowd's raucous celebration registered on the campus' seismograph .
3: Ole Miss, 1972. The Tigers trailed 16-10 with :04 left on the game clock, and after a long incompletion it seemed like the game was over. But somehow a single second remained, allowing for one final play, a play which gave Bert Jones the chance to connect with Brad Davis. Final score: 17-16, in favor of LSU. The Rebels were left singing the "One Second Blues."
4: Florida, 2007. Down by 10 points in the 4th quarter, LSU needed a comeback and quickly. Facing 4th and goal, Matt Flynn connected with Demetrius Byrd for the touchdown and the comeback was on.
5: Florida, 2007. LSU was now trailing 24-21 with just over a minute left in the game, when Jacob Hester trucked his way into the end zone, winning the game for the Tigers.
6: South Carolina, 2007. During the 2nd quarter, LSU executed a textbook fake field goal when holder, Matt Flynn, tossed the ball over his shoulder to Colt David who easily took it to the end zone. This trickery gave us a 21-7 halftime lead and deflated the morale of the Ol' Ball Coach's squad.
7: 2003 BCS National Championship. Marcus Spears' 20-yard pick-6 gave us a 21-7 lead at the start of the 3rd quarter, helping seal our national championship victory over Oklahoma.
8: Alabama, 2005. In overtime, JaMarcus Russell connected with Dwayne Bowe on an 11-yard touchdown pass, giving LSU a 16-13 victory over the Tide.
9: 1959 Sugar Bowl. Billy Cannon's 9-yard touchdown pass to Mickey Mangham was the only score in this defensive battle between LSU and Clemson.
11: 2007 SEC Championship. Jonathon Zenon's 18-yard interception return gave LSU the points needed to secure the 21-14 victory over Tennessee.
12: Tennessee, 2000. Unranked LSU upset #11 Tennessee in overtime in Baton Rouge courtesy of a 25-yard touchdown pass from Rohan Davey to Robert Royal.
13: Auburn, 2007. With literally just a second to spare, Matt Flynn connected with Demetrius Byrd on a 22-yard passing route, giving LSU the 30-24 victory over the other Tigers. We only needed a field goal for the win, but Les Miles went all in.
14: Florida, 2010. LSU was down 29-26 when Terrence Toliver caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from Jarrett Lee with just :06 left on the game clock, securing the LSU win.
15: Georgia, 2003. Only 1:22 remained in a tied ballgame when Matt Mauck connected with Skyler Green on a 34-yard touchdown pass. LSU emerged victorious 17-10.
16: Arkansas, 2011. Tyrann Mathieu's 92-yard punt return near the end of the 2nd quarter not only tied the game at 14 but changed the tide of the game, a game that LSU would go on to win 41-17.
17: Auburn, 2008. With just over a minute left and trailing 21-20, Jarrett Lee threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Brandon LaFell, lifting us over Auburn 26-21.
18: 2003 SEC Championship. Just 10 minutes into the game, Justin Vincent ran the ball for an 87-yard touchdown, posting the first points of the game and foreshadowing the tone of the whole matchup. LSU ended up defeating Georgia 34-13. What's better than beating Georgia? Beating Georgia twice in the same season.
19: Kentucky, 2002. Trailing 30-27 with only seconds remaining, Marcus Randall launched the ball as far as he could into a gaggle of LSU and Kentucky players. Devery Henderson got his hands on the ball and ran it in for the game-winning touchdown.
20: 1966 Cotton Bowl. A 1-yard run from Joe LaBruzzo gave LSU a 14-7 halftime lead. A scoreless second half ensured the LSU victory and an end to Arkansas' 22-game win streak.
21: Tennessee, 2006. JaMarcus Russell found Early Doucet on a 4-yard touchdown pass with 9 seconds left in the game, giving LSU a 28-24 win over the Vols.
22: Georgia, 2009. With less than a minute remaining, Charles Scott ran the ball 33 yards giving LSU the go-ahead touchdown in a game we won 20-13.
23: Kentucky, 2001. In the game's final seconds, Rohan Davey connected with Michael Clayton for the game-winning touchdown, giving LSU a 29-25 victory.
24: Georgia, 1987. Tommy Hodson connected with Brian Kinchen in the game's final minutes to give LSU the go-ahead touchdown in a brutal road game that we won 26-23.
25: Tennessee, 2010. The last few seconds of this game went on even longer than the legendary 1972 Ole Miss game. After a botched LSU snap, it appeared that time had expired and Tennessee had won 14-10 but the Vols had too many men on the field, giving LSU one last chance to win the game. Stevan Ridley received the toss and took the ball into the end zone for the 16-14 LSU win. It was sloppy. It was chaotic. It nearly gave heart attacks to all involved. It sure was memorable.
The author is a Baton Rouge-native whose childhood Halloweens were marked by viewing Billy Cannon's 1959 Halloween night run against Ole Miss. He even owns replicas of the 2003 and 2007 BCS National Championship crystal footballs made by Waterford.