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.
1930 Sewanee: Hard-fought Win
The University of the South, known as Sewanee after the town in Tennessee where it is located, had a very successful football program at the beginning of the 20th century. The Se­wanee Tigers went 59-12-4 from 1902-1910. Before that, the 1899 team embarked on the Road Trip from Hell: five games in six days, all on the road. They not only won all five games, they shut out every opponent! Their 12-0 season earned them the championship of the South­ern Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
Sewanee played LSU six times from 1899-1929 with the Bengal Tigers winning only the '29 game 27-14. The 1930 Sewanee team came to Baton Rouge with a 3-2 record, with the losses coming at Kentucky and Alabama by a combined score of 62-0.
Russ Cohen's third LSU team was also 3-2, having won three warmup games to start the season by a combined score of 232-0. The next two weeks brought road losses to Southern Conference foes South Carolina 7-6 (despite having a huge statistical advantage) and Missi­ssippi A&M 8-6.
"A gala homecoming crowd" gathered in Tiger Stadium on a beautiful fall day hoping to see their Tigers win their first Southern Conference game of the season. LSU won but not convin­cingly.
With the annual clash with Arkansas in Shreveport set for the following week, LSU had to be careful not to overlook Sewanee.

LSU runner stopped short of goal line.
(Louisiana State University Gumbo Yearbook, Class of 1931)
Tigers Score on Huey's Play
The LSU defense set the tone for the afternoon on the first play from scrimmage. Sewanee HB Wuescher returned the kickoff 10y to the 29. On the first snap, sophomore T "Big Ed" Khoury smashed Wuescher, causing a fumble that E T.D. Holden recovered for LSU on the 30. After three plays gained a net of just 1y, sophomore TB Joe Almokary dropped back and threw a pass to junior W. E. Butler, who snagged it on the 10 and ran into the end zone. The extra point kick sailed wide. LSU 6 Sewanee 0.
The touchdown pass came on a play that Governor Huey Long suggested to Cohen. To satisfy Huey, Cohen installed the play for the offense, calling it "1099." In the locker room before the Sewanee game, Cohen met with FB Tom Smith, who called the plays. "If I have my hat off," he told Smith, "call 1099."
Cohen was ready to call 1099, but Smith never looked to the sideline. Long, never known for his patience, walked over to Cohen and asked why his play hadn't been run. Russ told the governor that Smith hadn't looked for the signal. So Huey dashed down the sidelines yelling to Smith, "Call 1099! Call 1099!" Smith got the message, called Long's play, and LSU had its first touchdown.
Long's influence reached further than just devising a special play. He had recruited Joe Almokary to LSU. Dan Hardesty told the story in his book The Louisiana Tigers: LSU Football.
Lewis Gottlieb, a longtime prominent Baton Rouge banker ..., tells the fascinating story of how Huey recruited Almokary. Gottlieb at that time was a leader in alumni affairs and was a friend of Huey. He took Almokary to Long's office for a recruiting pitch by the governor, and this is how he recalls the conversation:
Huey: "Are you going to come to LSU?"
Almokary: "I don't know. I think maybe I'll go to Centenary (the small Methodist college in Shreveport ...)."
Huey: "What in the world would you want to go to Centenary for? They can't teach you anything but the Bible, and I know more about the Bible than they do. If you come to LSU you can get any kind of education you want. What do you want to be when you finish college?"
Almokary: "I would like to be a lawyer."
Huey: "You want to be a lawyer? I don't think you would be a good lawyer. You look to me like you would make a good engineer. They can't teach you engineering at Cen­tenary. You're good at mathematics, aren't you?"
Almokary: "Yes, sir."
Huey: "You're good at algebra?"
Almokary: "Yes, sir."
Huey: "Geometry?"
Almokary: "Yes, sir."
Huey: "Good in calculus?"
Almokary: "Yes, sir."
Huey: "You see. I told you that you would make a good engineer. You certainly should come to LSU."
When they left the governor's office, Gottlieb turned to the youngster and said, "Almokary, they didn't teach you all that stuff in high school, did they?"
Almokary replied, "No, sir, I didn't know what the governor was talking about, but I was afraid to say so."
He enrolled at LSU.
LSU Capitalizes on Another Turnover
Neither team threatened until the last minutes of the quarter. Sewanee TB Phillips fired a pass to Ezzell, but it bounced off his hands to Butler, who ran to midfield where he was forced out of bounds.
Two runs gained LSU a first down on the 40. Then on 3rd-and-8, LSU ran the old Statue of Liberty play. Butler circled right end for 10y and a first down on Sewanee's 23 as the quarter ended.
LSU dodged a bullet when Phillips' interception of Almokary's aerial was negated by an interference penalty that put the ball on the 15. The Bengals soon faced 4th-and-2 at the 7. Almokary crashed through right guard for 6y and a first down on the 1.
The visitors didn't make it easy. Junior FB Tom Smith gained 2' up the middle before Butler hit left tackle and wiggled his way over the goal line for the touchdown. Almokary's place kick again missed. LSU 12 Sewanee 0.

LSU-Sewanee action. Sewanee wears white helmets.
(Louisiana State University Gumbo Yearbook, Class of 1931)
The visitors scared Tiger fans when Gene McLure took a punt at the Sewanee 15 and made a beautiful weaving run through the entire LSU team for 66y until Jimmy Bowman tackled him from behind at the LSU 19.
The rules of the day aided LSU in withstanding the threat. On third down, Smith knocked down a pass. When the next play brought another incompletion, Sewanee was penalized 5y. When Almokary batted away another pass on the goal line, Sewanee was penalized 5y again for another incompletion to turn the ball over to LSU on the 26.
Another officiating decision aided LSU. HB Sidney "Stinky" Bowman drove off right tackle but fumbled. Sterling of Sewanee picked up the ball and darted 40y to the end zone. But the ball was brought back and placed where he recovered it.
Two runs gained 11 to move the chains to the 29. But two plays later, Holden intercepted a pass to stop the advance. 12-0 LSU at halftime.

Luker carries on an end around for a first down.
(Louisiana State University Gumbo Yearbook, Class of 1931)
LSU Can't Pull Away
The rules hindered LSU yet again in the third quarter. After Roy Wilson recovered a fumble on Sewanee's 13, Butler threw a pass intended for Holden in the end zone, but it fell incom­plete. So the ball was placed on the 20 and given to Sewanee.
The same rule came into play later when sophomore J. B. Luker's pass to Holden misfired, giving the ball again to Sewanee on the 20.
LSU got another great chance to add to their lead when Luker blocked a punt and recov­ered on Sewanee's 10. But the defense pushed the Bengals back and took over on downs at the 35.
In the final period, the Louisiana Tigers had to repel several threats. Sewanee reached LSU's 35 on a 15y penalty, but Hedrick intercepted a long pass. Then they recovered a fumble on the LSU 29. The visiting Tigers reached the 17 before a fourth-down interception gave the pigskin to LSU at the 20 and keep the shutout intact.
The Fighting Tigers II: LSU Football 1893-1980, Peter Finney (1980)