As the stories go, it’s just better under the lights at Tiger Stadium. The LSU Tigers will kick off this Saturday against the West Virginia Mountaineers at 8 pm CST. Both teams come into the game with 3-0 records and Top 25 recognition with the hope of continuing their winning streak and reaching their ultimate team goals. It will be West Virginia’s first trip to Tiger Stadium and the first game played between the two universities.
When it was announced early last week that the kickoff was slated for 8 pm and a national broadcast on ESPN2, it provided the fans with an extra two hour advantage to cook, tailgate, and of course, fill themselves with a little more liquid loud mouth. The announcement also gave an advantage to the LSU Football Tigers, who are 25-1 in night games under Coach Les Miles beneath the lights of Death Valley.
There have been some memorable games that come to mind with late start times recently in Baton Rouge. You have to go back to the 2007-08 championship season to find a home game that started after 7:00 pm CST. In fact, there were three games that year that should be etched in the minds of every Tiger fan. It started with the first home game of the season against #9 Virginia Tech.
The 8:15 pm start time was all that was needed for Tiger Stadium to be absolutely electric on that night in early September. The home team rang up 48 points on the visiting Hokies and catapulted their season right from the get go.
A month later the #9 Florida Gators rolled into town for a 7:30 pm kickoff with their soon to be Heisman trophy winning quarterback, Tim Tebow. In what turned out to be a back and forth slugfest from the start, this game will forever be remembered for the 4th down conversions and Jacob Hester mauling the Gators’ safeties on his way to a career performance in the purple and gold. Coach Les Miles would soon after be recognized as ‘Lesticles’ after his gutsy coaching performance.
Just two weeks later after a letdown in Lexington, the Tigers 8 pm kickoff with Auburn turned out to be one of the most fantastic finishes in LSU history. With seconds remaining and LSU driving for the winning field goal, Matt Flynn unexpectedly dropped back to pass and found Demetrius Byrd in the corner of the endzone as the seconds ticked off the clock. Tiger Stadium erupted in pandemonium and LSU’s dream season continued toward their second national championship in the decade.
So, will this showdown between undefeated teams produce another page in Tiger Stadium history? Who knows, but its chances sure got better with that 8 pm kickoff time.