When LSU and Auburn meet for the 48th time in the rivalry between the two SEC programs it will mark the 25th anniversary of the “Earthquake Game” from October 8, 1988 that LSU won in dramatic fashion generating an earthquake at Tiger Stadium.
With LSU trailing 6-0 to the No. 4 ranked Tigers in the final minutes in front of a reported crowd of 79,431 fans the game came down to a 4th-and-10 from the 11-yard line with a little more than 100 seconds on the clock.
Three plays after Eddie Fuller was ruled out of the end zone on what would have been the go-ahead score for LSU, quarterback Tommy Hodson would find Fuller for an 11-yard touchdown which send the Tiger Stadium crowd into a mass of jubilant humanity that would make history.
As legend would have it a seismograph located about three football fields away at LSU’s Howe-Russell Geoscience Complex registered the resulting celebration of the game-winning touchdown with 1:41 as an earthquake.
“Initially, I didn’t believe it,” Fuller recalled of first hearing that the crowd noise registered on the seismograph. “I think it took a couple of years for it to sink in. It never dawned on me how big that play was here until years later, when I came back to LSU.”
Jim Kleinpeter has a wonderful in-depth column on NOLA.com and The Times Picayune on the history, legacy and “aftershocks” of the game that lives on forever at LSU with a replay of the catch at the beginning of every fourth quarter.
This was a moment captured in the minds of the 79,000-plus in attendance and the millions who would later claim they were present for the geological event as well as the Louisiana Geological Survey.
“I guess I’m thankful the guy running the geology department left the seismograph on because it was able to register the earthquake,” Hodson tells Brent St. Germain of The Advocate. “It’s just adds to the great folklore of LSU football.”
The duo will be on hand for the 25th anniversary of the game and to celebrate the 1988 team and will serve as guest captains for LSU vs. Auburn.
For those too young to remember the Earthquake game will get a chance Saturday night to experience one of the best parts of the long and storied history of LSU athletics. If you’re lucky enough to watch the game with your parents or grandparents who watched the game or were even part of the 79,431 in attendance ask them about the night the LSU fans made history.
This video shows the final approximate 7:00 minutes of the fourth quarter. You’ll have goosebumps reliving history.