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The 1997 LSU Tigers football team represented Louisiana State University in the 1997 NCAA Division I-A football season. Coached by Gerry DiNardo in his third season at LSU, the Tigers played their home games at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.[1]

1997 LSU Tigers football
SEC Western Division co-champion
Independence Bowl champion
ConferenceSoutheastern Conference
DivisionWestern Division
Ranking
CoachesNo. 13
APNo. 13
1997 record9–3 (6–2 SEC)
Head coachGerry DiNardo (3rd season)
Offensive coordinatorMorris Watts (3rd season)
Offensive schemeMultiple
Defensive coordinatorCarl Reese (relieved of coordinator duties after 7 games) (3rd season)
Base defense4–2–5
Home stadiumTiger Stadium
(Capacity: 79,940)
Seasons
← 1996
1998 →
1997 SEC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
Eastern Division
No. 7 Tennessee x$   7 1         11 2  
No. 10 Georgia   6 2         10 2  
No. 4 Florida   6 2         10 2  
South Carolina   3 5         5 6  
Kentucky   2 6         5 6  
Vanderbilt   0 8         3 8  
Western Division
No. 11 Auburn xy   6 2         10 3  
No. 13 LSU x   6 2         9 3  
No. 22 Ole Miss   4 4         8 4  
Mississippi State   4 4         7 4  
Alabama   2 6         4 7  
Arkansas   2 6         4 7  
Championship: Tennessee 30, Auburn 29
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
  • y – Championship game participant
Rankings from AP Poll

The Tigers began the season with high expectations following their first 10-win season since 1987. LSU's season was highlighted by a stunning 28–21 home upset of the top ranked Florida Gators (ending Florida's 25-game winning streak in SEC play) and an Independence Bowl victory over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who had defeated the Tigers in Baton Rouge during the regular season.

LSU also shut out Alabama 27–0 at Tuscaloosa, paying back the Crimson Tide for a 26–0 loss the previous season in Baton Rouge.

Despite the highs, LSU also experienced two embarrassing home losses. The first was to Ole Miss one week after the Tigers' conquest of then-No. 1 Florida. The second was to Notre Dame, which came to Baton Rouge at 4–5, needing three consecutive victories just to qualify for a bowl. In a stunning 24–6 triumph, the Irish rushed for 232 yards and played their first penalty-free and turnover-free game in program history.

LSU was also quite fortunate to escape with a 7–6 victory at Vanderbilt, DiNardo's former employer. The Commodores scored a late touchdown and were lined up to go for a two-point conversion and a potential 8–7 win, but two delay of game penalties convinced Vanderbilt coach Woody Widenhofer to instead play for overtime. LSU's Arnold Miller preserved the win by blocking the kick.

The Tigers tied for the SEC West title for the second straight year, but Auburn had won a dramatic game in Baton Rouge earlier in the season and therefore represented the West in the SEC Championship.[2]

ScheduleEdit

DateTimeOpponentRankSiteTVResultAttendance
September 67:00 p.m.UTEP*No. 10W 55–380,015
September 138:00 p.m.at Mississippi StateNo. 10ESPNW 24–940,030
September 206:30 p.m.No. 12 AuburnNo. 10
ESPNL 28–3180,538
September 277:00 p.m.Akron* No. 13
  • Tiger Stadium
  • Baton Rouge, LA
W 56-079,772
October 42:30 p.m.at VanderbiltNo. 13PPVW 7–637,045
October 116:00 p.m.No. 1 FloridaNo. 14
ESPNW 28–2180,677
October 1811:30 a.m.Ole MissNo. 8
JPSL 21–3680,442
November 15:30 p.m.at KentuckyNo. 16ESPN2W 63–2858,450
November 82:30 p.m.at AlabamaNo. 14CBSW 27–070,123
November 152:30 p.m.Notre Dame*No. 11
  • Tiger Stadium
  • Baton Rouge, LA
CBSL 6–2480,566
November 281:30 p.m.ArkansasNo. 17
CBSW 31–2179,619
December 287:00 p.m.vs. Notre Dame*No. 15ESPNW 27–950,459
  • *Non-conference game
  •  Homecoming
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game
  • All times are in Central time

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Rabalais, Scott. The Fighting Tigers 1993-2008 [Into a New Century of LSU Football]. Baton Rouge: LSU University Press. ISBN 0807133701. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
  2. ^ "LSU Football Guide". lsusports.net. Retrieved 2013-07-28.