When you think of rivalries what do you think of? Alabama vs. Tennessee? LSU vs. Arkansas? Alabama vs. Auburn? Well the truth is the rivalry between Tennessee vs. LSU is the most underrated of them all. When these two teams matchup its always a dog fight between the two. It is one of the most important games of the season when these two have the chance to play each other. In 31 games between the two teams, 17 of them have been decide by eight points or less, including three ties. Tennessee leads the record by 20-8-3. Lets take a look at some of top games between LSU and Tennessee.
In 2007, LSU and Tennessee met up in the SEC Championship in Atlanta, GA. The Vols were determined to ruin LSU’s chance of playing in the BCS National Championship. Tennessee got off to early start by taking the lead with a touchdown pass from Erik Ainge to Chris Brown on their first possession. LSU followed up with a couple of field goals from Colt David. The Vols led the game until the third quarter when Ryan Perrilloux threw a 27-yard touchdown pass. Tennessee refused to lay down, they countered with another touchdown giving them the lead 14-13. With a little over nine minutes left in the game Erik Ainge threw a pass that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Jonathan Zenon, along with the two point conversion. Giving LSU the lead 21-14, and that was all she wrote as LSU defeated the Vols to go on and win the BCS National Championship.
This game was all about revenge for LSU. The year before the Vols came down to LSU, and overcome 21-point deficit. The comeback gave the Tigers a loss in their first home game since Hurricane Rita. This matchup was a battle that stayed close all the way through the game. Neither team got a big lead on each other. In the fourth quarter, Tennessee took the lead 24-21 with a 54 yard touchdown pass from Jonathan Crompton (who was filling in for injured starter Erik Ainge) to Robert Meachem.
The Tigers drove the ball back down the field as time was winding down. JaMarcus Russell threw a pass in the end zone that was intended for DeWayne Bowe, but was caught by Early Doucet for a touchdown with only nine seconds remaining in the game. LSU fans swarmed the field even though the game had not ended, finally the order was restored, and it was kicked off to the Vols. Despite the last chance effort there was just not enough time as the LSU Tigers came away with their second win at Neyland Stadium.
LSU 28- 24
Unranked LSU hosts No. 11 Tennessee in Baton Rouge, most people expected a blow out because of the way they were ranked, but as we all know rankings don’t mean anything. Nick Saban’s players battled hard for him all the way to the end. LSU scored a touchdown with a little over 13 minutes left in the game, giving them a 31-15 lead. Tennessee battled back midway through the fourth closing the gap on the lead 31-23. With 1:30 left in the game, Suggs threw a touchdown pass, and got the two point conversion to tie it, which sent the game into overtime. The Tigers scored with ease, but the Vols could not overcome it. On a 4th-and-3, the Vols last chance pass was broken up in the end zone, giving LSU the upset win over No.11 Tennessee.
This match up landed No. 2 on my list. This game looked horrible from the start as LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson took off for 83-yard touchdown run right off the bat. Tennessee’s offense struggled at first, but with 00:24 in the first quarter they scored their first touchdown. The second and third quarters were all about defense as no points was scored.
The Tigers took the lead in the fourth quarter from a 31-yard field goal from Josh Jasper. Tennessee retaliated with another touchdown taking the lead 14-10. After stopping the Vol’s on fourth down, the Tigers drove the ball down inside the Vols’ 10-yard line. As time was running out the ball was mishandled on the snap and was recovered by LSU. The LSU players were disgusted as they watched the Vols swarm the field, but then they realized there was a flag on the play.
In the commotion of trying put their goal line defense in, the Vols had to many players on the field which gave the Tigers another chance that they capitalized on. It was heartbreak for the Volunteer fans as they had thought they had won, and then it was all snatched away from them.
I believe this game deserves the No. 1 compared to any other game. Hurricane Rita caused a delay and pushed this game to be Tiger Stadium’s first Monday night game. The Vols started Erik Ainge in this game, and played absolutely horrible in the first half while the Tigers did nothing wrong. The Vols went into the locker room down 21-0. Tennessee came back out as a whole new team, as for LSU they looked like they had never played football before.
The transfer from LSU started the second half. Tiger fans were enjoying this as they could watch their former quarterback get tossed around in this blowout. They all claimed he transferred to Tennessee because he sucked at the position, but he proved them all wrong. Rick Clausen led the Vols down the field and scored the first touchdown midway of the third quarter. They scored again and all of a sudden this blowout had turned into a close game.
The Vols tied the game in the fourth quarter, and forced the game into overtime. LSU was stopped short and was forced to kick a field goal. Tennessee got the ball and drove down inside the 5-yard line, and Riggs took a hand off for a short scamper and pushed his way in for win.
Tennessee 30- 27 O.T.