By JIM ENGSTER | President, Tiger Rag Magazine
Michael Bonnette and staff at LSU’s Sports Information Department have produced a media guide with enough statistics to dizzy even the most fascinated fans of numbers.
Former University of Florida and New Orleans Jazz center Neal Walk once suggested that sport should be celebrated for its athletic beauty rather than choosing winners and losers by keeping score. The truth is there would be little interest in any game which fails to produce numbers that separate the special from the ordinary.
Through the years, LSU football has given us an array of numbers which make it one of the most intense experiences in a state which prides itself on passion.
LSU manufactured a pair of Pro Football Hall of Fame runners in Steve Van Buren and Jimmy Taylor and the lone Heisman Trophy winner from the Ole War Skule in Billy Cannon, so it’s no surprise that the focus in 2017 is on another standout ball carrier from Baton Rouge.
With 122 yards in LSU’s opening night 27-0 blanking of BYU, Derrius Guice has cruised past Cannon on the all-time LSU rushing list. Cannon completed his career with 1,867 yards rushing. Guice, the latest LSU Heisman hopeful, now has 1,945 yards in just over two seasons and stands to finish the season among the top five Tiger rushing leaders ever.
Here’s the list minus bowl games for Kevin Faulk, Dalton Hilliard and Charles Alexander.
Dalton Hilliard, 1982-85,”4,050″
Rondell Mealey, 1996-99, “2,238”
Garry James,1982-85, “2.217”
Derrius Guice,Active,”1,945″ [/table]
It is a testament to LSU that 14 of the 15 backs to gain more than 2,000 yards in a career at TigerTown are African-Americans, with Brad Davis the sole white back to eclipse the 2,000 yard barrier.
LSU’s media guide features 83 players of which 70 are African-American, 84.3 of the roster.
This is a remarkable evolution for a school that did not feature an African-American player on its varsity squad until 1972. The LSU football program, the most prestigious brand in Louisiana, is a model of integration that should be replicated in the Greek houses on campus and in country clubs throughout the state. Diversity is not only the backbone for LSU football, it is the strength of our state.
Hodson is pass master 29 years after leaving LSU
Danny Etling improved his record as a starting quarterback for LSU to 8-3 with the victory over BYU. The top five quarterbacks in school history for starting and leading the Tigers to wins are the following.
Jordan Jefferson,2008-11,24-8 [/table]
The best winning percentage belongs to Matt Mauck, who directed the Bengals to a record of 18-2 from 2001-03.
Tom Hodson has not played for LSU in nearly three decades, but he owns the career passing records at the Ole War Skule for most yards and most touchdowns.
Josh Booty,”3,951″,24 [/table]
Rohan Davey holds the LSU record with seven 300-yard passing performances in his career (1998-2001). Zach Mettenberger and Jamie Howard are tied for second place with three 300-yard passing games apiece.
Bowe over Beckham in touchdown catches
Odell Beckham Jr. is the most celebrated LSU player in the NFL, but he is not among the top ten LSU receivers in career touchdown receptions.
Ken Kavanaugh Jr.,1937-39,17
Tony Moss,1986-89,16 [/table]
Beckham Jr. had 12 career touchdown receptions at LSU while Carlos Carson, who holds the single game record with five touchdown catches, had 14 in his Tiger career.
Albert Richardson reigns as premier Tiger tackler
Linebacker Albert Richardson, who completed his LSU career 35 years ago, is the all-time leading tackler for the Tigers by a substantial margin. His fellow linebacker and four-year partner, Lawrence Williams, is No. 3 on the list of most prolific tacklers.
Lawrence Williams,1979-82,386 [/table]
Chris Williams, who began his career at LSU 40 years ago this month, is the leading interceptor for the Tigers. Williams, a member of the Soul Patrol from 1977-80, picked off 20 passes at LSU. Corey Webster, 2001-04, is second with 16 interceptions.
Were 1969 and 2011 teams best in LSU history?
The two best LSU teams from the modern era measured by point differential did not win national titles.
[table]Year,Avg. Points,Pts. Allowed,Differential,Coach
1958*,27.5 ,5.4,22.1 ,Dietzel
1977,24.1 ,7.8,16.3 ,McClendon [/table]
The 1908 Tigers posted at 10-0 record under Edgar Wingard and outscored opponents 442-11, an average margin of victory of 33.2 points per game.