Playing on a Holiday

If you’re not planning on taking your Thanksgiving meal on the road to College Station this fall, don’t worry. You’ll be able to catch the possibly newly annual Turkey Day clash between LSU and Texas A&M on basic cable.

The game will kick off at 6:30 p.m. CST on ESPN, so make sure to take your tryptophan-induced nap during the Cowboys game because you won’t want to miss what will surely be a thrilling regular season finale for the Tigers.

This season’s matchup with the Aggies will mark the 13th time the Tigers have played on Thanksgiving Day but the first since 1973. LSU is 5-4-3 all-time in games played on Thanksgiving.

The Tigers have faced the Aggies once before on Thanksgiving, a 7-7 tie in 1913 in a game played in Houston.

Of course, Thanksgiving isn’t the only major holiday on which LSU has played. Here are some other notable ones:




The Tigers played in their very first bowl game in Cuba at the Bacardi Bowl all the way back in 1907 in a one-sided contest that took place on Christmas.

Bacardi Bowl hosts Havana University had a spectacular 1907 season, so the university reached out to LSU in order to book a high-profile, high-powered opponent from the United States.

Havana’s football team must’ve been extra-naughty that year because LSU filled their stockings with eight touchdowns, including a 67-yard punt return from John Seip, en route to a 56-0 victory.

Photos from the 1907 Bacardi Bowl.

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52 years later, on Halloween night, LSU took on Ole Miss in Tiger Stadium in what became a game for the ages.

#1 LSU and #3 Ole Miss both entered the late-season contest undefeated, and both sported extremely stingy defenses.

The Rebels held a slim 3-0 lead for much of the game until Tigers’ All-American and eventual Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon returned an Ole Miss punt 89 yards for the winning touchdown early in the 4th quarter.

New Year’s Day

LSU has played 21 times in New Year’s Day bowl games between 1936 and 2014, including nine of their record 13 trips to the Sugar Bowl.

LSU’s most recent appearance on New Year’s Day was just a few months ago when the Tigers’ defense smothered Iowa 21-14, but the previous meeting with Iowa is likely more memorable for college football fans outside of Louisiana.

On January 1, 2005 on the final play of Nick Saban’s final game as LSU head coach (He announced he was leaving for the Miami Dolphins just a week prior, on Christmas.), Iowa quarterback Drew Tate found wide-open receiver Warren Holloway for a 56-yard touchdown to give the Hawkeyes a 30-25 victory over the defending national champion Tigers.

It was a truly iconic moment in college football history, but it still stings for many LSU fans (myself included), and it has helped contribute to LSU’s mediocre 8-12-1 all-time New Year’s record.

Mardi Gras

Heartbreak for LSU fans is not limited to just football or New Year’s Day.

It seems like nearly every year, LSU’s men’s basketball team has a big game against perennial power Kentucky right around Carnival time, and in 1994 LSU fans packed the PMAC for a Mardi Gras night showdown with the Wildcats.

The Tigers led by 16 points at halftime and stretched the lead to 31 early in the second half, but then Rick Pitino’s Wildcats scratched their way back over the last 15 minutes of the game for a 99-95 victory.

Known by Kentucky fans as the “Mardi Gras Miracle”, the 31-point comeback remains the largest deficit overcome in college basketball history.

About Jacob Mayer

Jacob is an LSU alum and a former member of the Golden Band from Tigerland.