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1935 LSU @ Arkansas
Eight-Play Goal Line Stand Saves the Game
The Tigers and Razorbacks played every year from 1906 through 1936 at Shreveport with the exception of the World War I year of 1918.

The 1935 season started with a new coach at LSU.

  • Third-year coach Biff Jones had abruptly resigned at halftime of the 1934 finale against Oregon because of the meddling of Senator (and former governor) Huey Long.
  • Huey, who still ran LSU even though he had a full-time job in Washington, had his eyes set on Alabama coach Frank Thomas as Jones' replacement, offering the staggering sum of $15,000 a year, $6,000 more than Thomas was making in Tuscaloosa. But after talking to Jones, Frank declined the offer.
  • So LSU promoted six-year assistant Bernie Moore. With many seniors returning for what Jones had expected to be his best team, Moore was seen as someone who would keep Biff's systems in place. The players heartily approved the choice as did Jones.
  • Moore has been described as "an easy-going, friendly man, with a sharp mind which sometimes fooled those who judged him by his drawl and his slow movements."

As the Tigers prepared for their September 28 opener against Rice, the entire nation was shocked by an event in Baton Rouge.

  • Long spent September 8 at the legislative session at the State Capitol.
  • As Huey walked down the corridor surrounded by body guards, Dr. Carl Weiss shot the senator at close range in the abdomen. The body guards immediately shot and killed Weiss.
  • Long died two days later.

So Moore's first squad started the season September 28 in mourning for their biggest fan.

  • Rice came to Tiger Stadium and left with a 10-7 upset win.
  • The Tigers rebounded the next week to beat Texas 18-6.
  • Then they traveled to New York where they defeated Manhattan College at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn 32-0. Read about that game ...

That set the stage for the 30th game between the Hogs of the Southwest Conference and the Tigers of the Southeastern Conference, which had gained a reputation as the pass-happiest league in the country.

  • LSU led the series 17-13, including the last six five in a row.
  • Arkansas sported the opposite record from the Tigers, winning their opener 12-0 over Pittsburgh State, then losing Southwest Conference games to TCU 13-7 and Baylor 13-6.
  • Moore dismissed the fact that the Tigers were favorites. "The Razorbacks are always dangerous and play their best against the Tigers when doped to lose by many points."
  • LSU was considered the more powerful rushing team while Arkansas's best hope of moving the ball came from its air attack, led by triple-threat sophomore TB Jack Robbins.
  • Coach Fred Thomsen, in his seventh season as Razorback head man, ran a deceptive "spread formation."

The annual game marked the opening of the Louisiana State Fair.

  • The Razorbacks came down to Shreveport Friday and worked out at the State Fair field.
  • LSU's 41-man squad arrived late Friday night for the 2:30 PM contest.
  • Approximately 1000 fans traveled from the Baton Rouge area in two special trains and by automobile.
  • The "big" LSU band, under the direction of Castro Carazo, Huey Long's personal choice as director, made the trip and would participate in a parade through Shreveport to the LSU headquarters hotel as well as a pep meeting at noon Saturday.

10,000 fans saw an exciting game in which the outcome was in doubt literally to the last play.

1st Quarter

  • The opening coin toss shows how different 1935 football was from today. Arkansas won the toss and chose to defend the north end zone with the wind at their backs. Yet LSU elected to kickoff.
  • An innocuous 2y run around LE on 2nd down for Arkansas made a difference in the game because LSU's junior E Gaynell Tinsley was hit in the face on the play and left the game with a broken nose. As was common in those days, the Hogs punted on 3rd down, Rock Reed returning 5y to the LSU 30.
    Tinsley was an outstanding pass rusher as well as a run defender. He would be sorely missed against Arkansas's aerial attack.
  • The Tigers gained only 1y on two running plays. So Bill Crass tried to punt, but the kick hit one of his own linemen, Arkansas recovering on the 39. On 2nd down, TB Jack Robbins passed to Allen Keen, "a lightweight speed demon," for the initial first down of the game at the LSU 28. On 3rd-and-8, Robbins took to the air again, but Joe Lawrie intercepted and returned 5y to the LSU 22.
  • The game descended into a punting duel, with most of the kicks on 3rd down. Late in the period, the Tigers found themselves on their own 12. Aided by an offside penalty, LSU finally gained a 1st down.
  • As the quarter came to a close, Moore sent in his "touchdown team" led by TB Abe Mickal. The rest of the background consisted of Ernest Seago, sophomore Pinky Rohm, and Slick Morton.
    End Q1: LSU 0 Arkansas 0

2nd Quarter

  • Mickal showed his own kicking ability. On 2nd down at the LSU 30, Abe boomed a kick that came within a whisker of stopping on the Arkansas 1' line before becoming a touchback.
  • A few minutes later, Morton fielded a punt on the LSU 35 and returned it to the Arkansas 27 where he fumbled the ball back to the Razorbacks. Three plays later, Morton chased a punt that sailed over his head, picked it up on the 6, and returned only 4y.
  • LSU got out of the hole on the very first play. Mickal faked a punt and flipped a short pass over the middle to Rohm, who weaved 45y to the AU 45. But the drive bogged down and Abe punted out of bounds on the 1. Robbins took his turn in the punting duel, kicking the hot potato back to the Tiger 49.
  • A few minutes later, LSU finally made another first down on a Mickal-to-Jeff Barrett connection to the LSU 46. Abe then zipped 13y to move the chains again. However, a holding penalty soon stopped the momentum.
  • After another exchange of punts, LSU made the deepest penetration of either team when Pat Coffee, the pride of Minden LA, threw a long pass to Jesse Fatherree to the UA 12. But the Hogs rose up and forced a FG attempt that Seago missed in the last minute of the half.
    LSU held Arkansas without a first down in Q2.
    End Q2: LSU 0 Arkansas 0

J. T. "Rock" Reed

Joe Lawrie

Abe Mickal

Charles "Pinky" Rohm

3rd Quarter
  • Moore, who had played a large number of players in the first half, started his first string as LSU had to kickoff again. After stopping UA, the Tigers made a first down on their first play when Reed raced around LE to the UA 47. But a fumble turned the ball over.
  • When the Tigers got the ball back on a punt, they marched 55y to pay dirt. Runs by Fatherree (for 8) and Crass (for 2) got a first down. Then on 3rd down Crass threw to Fatherree, who held onto the ball as two defenders hit him, for another 1st down. On 3rd down, Fatherree's pass to sophomore E Bernie Dumas at the 4 fell incomplete, but the umpire ruled interference, giving LSU a 1st down on the 2. Crass rammed over C into the EZ, then kicked the PAT. LSU 7 Arkansas 0
  • LSU didn't enjoy the lead for long. In the last minutes of the period, the Razorbacks mounted a lightning-strike three-play tying drive from their 32. After a 4y run, a 23y pass from Robbins to lanky J. L. Howell to the LSU 41. Then lightning struck the Tigers as Robbins connected with H. L. Poole, who lateralled to Keen who scampered untouched the final 20y to the EZ. G Savoy Seamster kicked the tying point. LSU 7 Arkansas 7

Ernest Seago

Pat Coffee

Arthur "Slick" Morton

Bernie Dumas

4th Quarter

  • The "second stringers" started for LSU with Coffee in place of Mickal and Bill May (from El Dorado AK) for Seago to team with Morton and Rohm.
  • LSU got a break in the first minutes when Robbins fumbled the snap on a punt and was tackled on the 30. Facing 4th-and-1 a minute later, Coffee hit the center of the line for 2y and a 1st down on the 19. Three plays later, Rohm took the handoff on a reverse around RE but, seeing too many red jerseys, turned around, shook off three would-be tacklers on the 10, and continued standing up into the EZ. Seago's PAT try sailed wide. LSU 13 Arkansas 7

Rohm scores go-ahead TD.
  • It took the Hogs only three plays to reach LSU territory. After Robbins returned the short kick to the 41, Arkansas gained a 1st down on three runs to the Tiger 47. Robbins then fired to Howell to the 30. But on the next play, Seago leapt high into the air intercept a pass on the 23.
  • But the Razorbacks were soon back in business again after a pass from Robbins to Keen, who reversed his field to the 14 where Morton brought him down. Robbins gained 2, then threw to Billy Hunter for a 1st down on the 4.
  • Now came an eight-play sequence that preserved the lead for LSU. After an incompletion in the EZ and two runs that netted -3y, the Tigers seemed to have stopped the advance on an incompletion in the EZ. But the officials ruled pass interference on the 3. After an LSU timeout, two runs netted a loss of 6y. Then T Marvin Stewart batted down a pass intended for Keen, followed by Morton doing the same on the 4th-down throw.
  • The Tigers were not out of the woods yet. They needed to get the ball out of their territory. After three runs, Mickal punted to Keen, who returned 19y to the 44. To make matters worse, a roughness penalty from the spot of the foul put the ball on the 17 with less than a minute left. But on the next play, Fatherree intercepted Robbins and returned 10y before lateralling to Mickal, who ran 5y more as the game ended.


  • The opening loss to Rice would be LSU's only blemish in the regular season.
  • Their 5-0 conference record would give them the SEC championship.
  • The rock-ribbed defense pitched five shutouts, including the final three regular season games.
  • Gaynell Tinsley made All-America.
  • The season ended with LSU's first bowl appearance, a 3-2 loss to TCU in the Sugar Bowl.

Biff Jones

Huey Long

Bernie Moore

Jack Robbins

Fred Thomsen

Gaynell Tinsley

Bill Crass

Jesse Fatherree

Bill May

Marvin Stewart


Return to Football Magazine

Tiger Den Archives – I

First LSU Football Game
One-Game Sensation
Tigers Invade Ebbets Field
Dazzling Debut: Tommy Hodson
Streak Buster: LSU vs Alabama 1993
Dazzling Debut: Cecil Collins
Tiger First: Notre Dame Game
Memorable Game: Alabama 1945
Tiger First: UAB Game

Tiger Den Archives – II

Origin of the Chinese Bandits
Leave Coach Dietzel Alone!
Six Straight TD Catches
How Addai Ended Up at LSU
LSU AD on His Coaches
Pro Football Hall of Famers
Streak Buster: UNC 1949
Streak Buster: Alabama 1982

Tiger Den Archives – III

First College Replay
Memorable Game: Tulane 1949
Profile: Robert Dugas
First Big Ten Opponent
Profile: Michael Mahtook
Memorable Game: Tulane 1965
Profile: Alvin Roy
Memorable Game: Ole Miss 1959
Interesting Story: Andre Lafleur

Tiger Den Archives – IV

Firsts: Victory, Home Victory, Winning Season
You Can't Keep a Good Man Down
First NFL Draftee
It's a Miracle!
Dazzling Debut: Alvin Dark
Dazzling Debut: Charlie McClendon
Memorable Game: Tulane 1972
Memorable Game: Tennessee 2000
Dynamic Duo

Tiger Den Archives – V

LSU Lost a Game and a Coach
The Night Big Ben Came to Tiger Stadium
Profile: Tommy Casanova
Profile: Richard Dickson
Memorable Game: Oregon 1932
Buckeyes First LA Invasion
From Braces to All-America
Memorable Game: Georgia 1935
"The Year of the Extra Point"
Brodhead Takes Over

Tiger Den Archives – VI

First Southern Team to Fly to a Game
Memorable Game: Florida State 1991
7-0 in 1973
Profile: John Ed Bradley
Super Bowl Bengals
Recruiting Tales
Memorable Game: Tulane 1937
Scoreless String
Profile: Dub Jones

Tiger Den Archives – VII

Dietzel Returns
Profile: Bert Jones
Largest Crowd in SEC History
Win One for the Bear
Profile: Ken Kavanaugh
Why Didn't He Go to Florida?
No Married Players

Tiger Den Archives – VIII

First Appearance of Mascot Mike
Faust Fever
Profile: Alvin Dark
"LSU is not a class team"
Saban's First Rematch
But Did He Beat Tulane?

Tiger Den Archives – IX

"Give Them My Regards in Baton Rouge"
"Football Is Strictly an Afternoon Game"
When Washington Came to Baton Rouge
Tigers vs Badgers I & II | Profile: Y.A. Tittle

Tiger Den Archives – X

Streak Buster: LSU @ Auburn 1970
Dazzling Debut: Coach Jerry Stovall
Profile: Leonard Fournette
Terry Bradshaw: "I know how it all got started."
Profile: Young Bussey I-VI

Tiger Den Archives – XI

Commodore Surprise
Incredible Five Quarters
Dietzel and McClendon
First Bluegrass Miracle

LSU Bowl Games

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