LSU Pivotal Football Moments
pivotal college football moment: A decision by a coach or athletic director that changes the momentum of a program or an action by a player that changes the momentum of a game.
1922 Tulane: "Biggest Surprise in History of Football "
Irving R. Pray's Tigers limped into their annual Thanksgiving clash with archrival Tu­lane with a 2-7 record. That was already the most losses LSU had incurred in any of its pre­vious 28 seasons of football. Included were back-to-back humiliating defeats in Texas to SMU (51-0) and A&M (47-0). The Tigers had been attacked from all sides and even threatened with hav­ing the name "Tigers" replaced by "Lambs."
With the record 1-4 at the beginning of November, Pray asked "Doc" Fenton, star of LSU's undefeated 1908 team, to help "bolster up the bruised and tattered Tiger for the re­mainder of the schedule." Reporters wondered why Fenton's services hadn't been enlisted sooner since he had been living in Baton Rouge for some time. At the very least, he was expected to improve the backfield play on both offense and defense. Pray also brought in Tom Dutton, a three-year letterman at tackle for LSU, to help coach the linemen.
The Tigers' problems reportedly dated back to the election of a captain the previous spring. A person with inside dope told a reporter: "Inter-fraternity politics caused the trouble. (Reg­gie) McFarland and (Bewrt) Busse, from rival fraternities and candidates for the captaincy, were unable to get a majority when the election was held. McFarland's crowd threw their support to (Earl) Ewen, who was a non-frat, and he was elected. ... Ewen ... is a fine fellow but lacking real leadership. He has been unable to patch up things and the play­ers have drifted from bad to worse. The players are working against each other instead of together. Desperate, Pray has taken one after another off the squad but even he can't settle the internal dissension."
LSU won their first game after the coaching additions, defeating Spring Hill 25-7. But they lost their next three to Rutgers, Alabama, and Mississippi State.
The Tigers approached the finale with two straight 21-0 defeats at the hands of Clark Shaughnessy's Green Wave stuck in their craw. LSU could end their season on an up­swing with a victory and perhaps save Pray's job.
The visitors from New Orleans wanted to reverse their late season swoon that saw them lose three straight after winning their first four contests by a combined score of 114-10. Neverthe­less, Tulane was a heavy favorite over the troubled Tigers.

1922 LSU-Tulane Action
The sub-headline on Harry Martinez's article on the game in the New Orleans States the next day proclaimed, "Louisiana State Pulls Biggest Surprise In History Of Football."
Greenies Start Strong
However, the beginning of the contest before 10,000 at State Field brought more of the same TU domination as the previous two seasons. After the Greenies stopped the Tigers' first possession after one first down, the Brown brothers, halfbacks Alfred and Benny, along with QB Lester Lautenschlaeger led a march that covered 75y to the game's first touchdown, which Benny scored from the 12 "behind beautiful interference." LSU fans must have thought, "Here we go again." 7-0 Tulane
LSU Answers Back
But Alfred Brown's kickoff carried only 16y to start the Tigers with good field position. Newton "Dirty" Helm, Reggie McFarland, and Gus Jackson pounded the Green Wave line to set up Roland Kizer's 6y scoring romp off left guard. The missed PAT kept the score at 7-6.
The Tigers held TU to just 6y on three runs to force a punt. But Benny Brown shanked the kick, which traveled only 6y. LSU took advantage of the break to take a lead that they would never relinquish. Helm, "LSU's speed marvel," found an opening on the right side of the line and raced 20y to the TU 25. Kizer added 10 more on the next snap. A 5y penalty merely slowed the advance momentarily until McFarland went over from the three. Once again, the try for point failed. LSU 12 Tulane 7
The Green Wave came right back, racking up five first downs to the LSU 20. But just when it looked like the Greenies might take the lead, Eddie Reed threw an errant lateral pass to Alfred Brown that lost 25y. Neither team scored the rest of the half.
Tigers Pull Away
LSU dashed Tulane's hope of a second half comeback within the first five minutes. Ta­king the kickoff, the determined Tigers made five first downs "on straight football," that is, on the ground. McFarland did the honors over left guard from the three. LSU 18 Tulane 7
An 11-point deficit was not insurmountable for a team with Tulane's prowess. But you can't turn the ball over. Frank Phillips took the kickoff but fumbled when hit, and "Tubbo" Matthews recovered for LSU on the TU 25. On the very next play, Kiser faked an end run and sped through left tackle to the end zone. A conversion pass made it LSU 25 Tulane 7.
The Greenies filled the air with passes in the final period with only moderate success. McFarland did a great job of breaking up and intercepting aerials. Tulane lost a touch­down when Phillips' 50y run with a fumble was cancelled by an offside penalty.
Tulane made the final score more respectable when Alfred Brown returned a punt 40y to set up a short touchdown drive. The final statistics showed the teams tied in first downs with 18 each. But the scoreboard read LSU 25 Tulane 14.
The win wasn't enough to save Pray's job. Mike Donahue came from Auburn to take the helm for the 1923 season.