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.
1926 Tulane: Green Wave Strategy Backfires;
Tinsley Preserves Victory
The 5-3 Tigers traveled to New Orleans on a sunny, windy Thanksgiving Day for the annual finale with Tulane (3-4-1). Coach Mike Donahue's fourth LSU contingent sported a stout defense which had shut out five of its eight opponents, including the last two, Arkansas and Ole Miss. The Tigers planned to end a three-game losing streak to the Green Wave before "a yelling, excited crowd of nearly 25,000 fans" - the largest crowd to attend a sporting event in New Orleans history.

Capacity crowd at Tulane Stadium (Tulane Jambalaya Yearbook Class of 1927)
"A general murmur went over the Tulane section" when Green Wave coach Clark Shaughnessy, employing a strategy frequently used by the great Knute Rockne at Notre Dame, sent his second string onto the field for the kickoff. The strategy would boomerang and ultimately cost Tulane the victory.

L-R: Mike Donahue, Clark Shaughnessy, Allen Connell, Charlie Mason
After an exchange of punts, LSU marched 66y to a touchdown, starting with FB Allen Connell's 26y plunge through right tackle. Three plays later, the Tigers employed a strategy of their own. They lined up for a field goal attempt, but sophomore HB Charlie Mason shot a pass to Everette "Hinckley" Haynes for 7y and a first down on TU's 29. Then Connell crashed through left tackle for a 19y gain. Three snaps later, Haynes plunged over center for the final yard. With the ball on the five, Guy Nesom kicked the point through the goalposts on the goal line. 7-0 LSU

LSU on Tulane's goal line
The Tulane regulars entered the fray to start the second quarter. At first, the Tigers found it almost as easy to move through the first stringers as the reserves. Haynes, captain Babe Godfrey, and Connell carried the ball to the TU 14. But Haynes decided to go to the air with dire results, Lee O'Pry intercepting on the 11.

L-R: Everette Haynes, Guy Nesom, Babe Godfrey, Jess Tinsley
The Green Wave finally sustained a long drive after taking the second half kickoff. On 4th down from the one, Ike Armstrong took a handoff but was stopped cold by Tiger RT Jess Tinsley.
Many teams with the ball on their one and leading 7-0 would have punted. Instead, the Tigers gave the ball to Haynes who tore through right guard out to the 22. LSU ran the ball three more times before having to punt.

Ford Seeuws carries for Tulane. Notice the helmetless LSU pursuer.
(Tulane Jambalaya Yearbook Class of 1927)
With Tinsley in on almost every play, the Tigers continued to repel every Green Wave thrust. Finally, in the fourth quarter, LSU mounted another drive that carried to the Tulane one. The last yards came on two neat passes from Godfrey to Mason and Haynes. Facing 4th down, the Tigers lined up to kick a field goal that would clinch the victory. But a bad pass from center resulted in a wild chase that ended with Tulane recovering on their 30.
The desperate Greenies tried to pass without success and, after an exchange of punts, the game ended.
Though only a sophomore, Jess Tinsley was an almost unanimous selection on the All-Southern team.