The home schedule of the 2019 national championship season was capped by the Senior Tribute prior to the Texas A&M game, when quarterback Joe Burrow entered Tiger Stadium wearing a “Burreaux” nameplate on the back of his jersey. “Burreaux” was an homage by the eventual Heisman Trophy winner to LSU and to the people of Louisiana.
The 2007 national championship season featured some of Tiger Stadium’s most exciting moments, including a 28-24 win over Florida on Oct. 6. Top-ranked LSU overcame a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the ninth-ranked Gators in front of 92,910 fans — then the largest crowd in stadium history — and a primetime CBS national television audience.
Just two weeks later, Matt Flynn connected with Demetrius Byrd on a 22-yard TD pass with one second remaining to give LSU a 30-24 victory over Auburn in a game televised by ESPN. LSU rallied from deficits of 17-7 at halftime and 24-23 with three minutes left in the contest to capture the electrifying win.
Though already considered one of the most raucous stadiums in all of college football, the 2003 season saw Tiger Stadium take it to another level during LSU’s national title run, as the team, along with the fans, captivated the national media almost on a weekly basis. CBS televised Matt Mauck’s last-minute game-winning pass to Skyler Green against Georgia before a crowd of 92,251, while ESPN was on hand for a dominating 31-7 victory over Auburn. The Tigers closed out the 2003 home slate with a 55-24 win over Arkansas before what was then the second-largest crowd in school history (92,213). The contest was televised to a national audience by CBS and the win propelled LSU to the SEC Championship Game.
In 2001, the Tigers clinched a berth in their first SEC Championship Game with a 27-14 victory over Auburn in the season finale in Tiger Stadium. After the contest, thousands of Tiger fans spilled onto the stadium floor to celebrate the victory. The Auburn game was traditionally played earlier in the season, but the attacks of September 11 postponed the contest until the final week of the regular season.
In 2000, the goal posts came down twice. Immediately after the Tigers upset then-No. 11 ranked Tennessee 38-31 in overtime, the capacity crowd of 91,682 flowed onto the field of Tiger Stadium to celebrate the victory. Hundreds of students lined the sidelines and the back of the north end zone as the Tigers held the Vols scoreless in overtime for the victory.
The goal posts came down again in the final home game of the 2000 season as the Tigers posted a 30-28 win over Alabama, their first victory over the Crimson Tide in Tiger Stadium since 1969.
The goal posts fell for the first time in 1997 as all of America witnessed one of the most explosive nights in the history of the grand stadium when the Tigers upended No. 1-ranked Florida before a national television audience. A sea of Tiger fans swamped the floor of Tiger Stadium as both goal posts came crashing down — a scene that was replayed countless times on college football highlight shows.
One of the most famous moments in Death Valley history took place on “The Night The Tigers Moved the Earth,” Oct. 8, 1988. When Tiger quarterback Tommy Hodson threw to Eddie Fuller for a winning touchdown against Auburn, the explosion of the crowd was so thunderous that it caused an earth tremor that registered on a seismograph meter in LSU’s Geology Department across campus.
Then there was the night the Tigers nearly upset No. 1-ranked Southern California before a sellout crowd on September 28, 1979. The Tigers came up short, but the crowd roared from kickoff to final gun in a game many ardent LSU followers rank as the loudest in stadium history.
And, of course, there was Halloween night 1959, when Billy Cannon made his famous 89-yard punt return to lead No. 1 LSU past No. 3 Ole Miss. Legend has it that families living near the campus lakes came running out of their homes in fear of the noise erupting around them.
Those are the highlights, some of which have shaped the character of this great stadium. But week in and week out each fall, a new chapter unfolds in the history of Death Valley.
Aside from football, Tiger Stadium served as a concert venue from 2010-16. Death Valley played host to “Bayou Country Superfest,” a three-day country music festival that featured the likes of Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Zac Brown Band, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan.