It was 1988. Death Valley was packed with the LSU faithful, the Tigers needed a win over SEC rival Auburn and a national audience was watching on ESPN. It was the perfect setup for what was about to take place.
The game had been mostly a defensive affair with the score at 6-0 with Auburn leading late in the fourth quarter, until LSU quarterback Tommy Hodson threw a touchdown pass to tailback Eddie Fuller with 1:47 remaining on the game clock.
Complete chaos ensued and the roars of over 70,000 Purple and Gold faithful shook Tigers Stadium, LSU then went on to win the game 7-6.
Donald Stevenson, who worked for the Louisiana Geological Survey in 1988, discovered the seismograph reading after he went to the Howe-Russell Geoscience Complex the day after the game to change the recording charts in the seismic lab.
He noticed the large signal from Saturday night, when he realized that the signal coincided with the touchdown, he labeled the seismogram and posted it in the building for all to see. "I knew it would be of interest to LSU fans after the game. What really amazes me is the interest that seismogram continues to generate so many years later."
"Initially, I didn’t believe it,” Fuller recalled of first hearing that the crowd noise registered on the seismograph. “I think it took a couple of years for it to sink in. It never dawned on me how big that play was here until years later, when I came back to LSU, I guess the football gods were with us that night.”
As for the memory of the game, those who were there will never forget the experience. "I didn't feel the ground moving, but sometimes I imagine that I did," David Russell said, who was at the game. "It's forever burned into my memory."
See the play here.
Joshua Joffrion writes Tigers Town, a blog dedicated to the LSU Fightin' Tigers and also hosts "The Talk In Tigers Town", a podcast on that site. It can be found at http://www.tigerstown.com