I honestly had no idea LSU folks saw the 2003 game against Georgia as such an iconic moment for their program.
“There was something about that day,” Bonnette says. “It will forever be remembered as the day that got us where we are.”
Interestingly enough, some are hoping Saturday is that kind of day for Coach Orgeron.
And now, maybe, it has come full circle. A program that has regressed to its historic mean—eight to nine wins, a nice bowl game and mid-tier SEC finish—is in position to storm back into the championship spotlight with three Top 25 home games in the next month that could make the Florida loss feel like years ago: No. 2 Georgia, No. 25 Mississippi State and No. 1 Alabama. “Every LSU coach has had his game,” Bertman says. “Nick had Georgia in 2003. Les had Florida in 2007. This Georgia game could be it for Ed.”
The first step in a return to glory, the chance to spoil UGA’s banner season, a potential table-setter for another gigantic party—it all arrives Saturday in Tiger Stadium, under the sun.
Or moon, as the case may be.
Former Georgia offensive coordinator Neil Callaway had experienced LSU night games in the past, with a rowdy crowd creating a venue so loud at field level that Bryant once described the experience as “being inside of a drum.” He had always been told that day games were different, more subdued and tame. So, as Georgia’s team buses arrived at Tiger Stadium around 12:30 in the afternoon, he did not expect to see a man’s bare ass. He was wrong. “People were mooning,” says Callaway, now the offensive line coach at USC. “They were lined up out there from the bus to the locker room, hollering and acting like fools.”
I’m sure it will be much calmer this time.