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The 1959 Sugar Bowl featured the top-ranked LSU Tigers and the 12th-ranked Clemson Tigers. LSU had already secured the national title, as the final editions of both major polls were released a month earlier in early December. With Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon at halfback, LSU was favored to win by fifteen points.[1]

1959 Sugar Bowl
1234 Total
Clemson 0000 0
LSU 0070 7
DateJanuary 1, 1959
StadiumTulane Stadium
LocationNew Orleans, Louisiana
MVPBilly Cannon, LSU
FavoriteLSU by 15 points[1]
United States TV coverage
Sugar Bowl
 < 1958  1960

The game's only score came in the late in third quarter, when Cannon threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Mickey Mangham for a 7–0 lead. LSU had recovered a poor snap from punt formation deep in Clemson territory to set up the score. LSU quarterback Warren Rabb broke his hand on the third play of the game, but it was not discovered until late in the second quarter.[2]

Both defenses did not allow any additional points; LSU won and Cannon was named Sugar Bowl MVP.[2]

Later in the day, second-ranked Iowa easily defeated California 38–12 in the Rose Bowl.[3]


  1. ^ a b Sargis, Joe (January 1, 1959). "Iowa picked by 18 in Rose Bowl". Reading Eagle. (Pennsylvania). UPI. p. 19.
  2. ^ a b "Sugar Bowl won by LSU". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. January 2, 1959. p. 4B.
  3. ^ "Now who's really No. 1 in nation – LSU or Iowa?". Toledo Blade. (Ohio). Associated Press. January 2, 1959. p. 14.