For only the third time its storied football history and for the first time on Sooner soil, Oklahoma will square off with LSU at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in 2018. The Sooners will return the favor in 2019 and will travel to Baton Rouge for a game at Tiger Stadium, aka "Death Valley."
Entering the 2013 campaign, these two storied programs have combined for 10 national championships and 58 conference titles. No doubt, much more than bragging rights will be on the line when these squads meet again in Norman and Baton Rouge later this decade.
The previous two highly-anticipated showdowns between the Sooners and the Tigers both occurred in the Sugar Bowl. Bud Wilkinson led his 1949 Sooners to New Orleans as the second-ranked team in the nation with a pristine 10-0 record, a first in school history. Meanwhile, LSU entered the 1950 Sugar Bowl with an 8-2 record and ranked ninth in the country.
In an overwhelming victory, the Sooners handed LSU a 35-0 loss in front of a crowd of 82,000. The OU defense held the Tigers to only 38 rushing yards, while the game's highlight came on Leon Heath's 86-yard touchdown run, which still stands as the longest rushing play in Oklahoma's bowl history.
The Sooners would finish the season unbeaten and untied, but Notre Dame would wear college football's national crown. The perfect 11-0 season for OU in 1949 was the first of four undefeated campaigns for Bud Wilkinson and came in the middle of a 31-game win streak for the Sooners.
The 1950 Sugar Bowl was the fifth shutout of that storied season for the Sooners, and the fourth away from Norman. The Sooners earned road shutouts at Boston College (46-0), Nebraska (48-0), and Kansas State (39-0), and closed out the regular season with a 41-0 victory over Oklahoma State. With the 35-0 blanking of LSU in the Sugar Bowl, the Sooners outscored these five opponents by a combined margin of 209-0.
The momentum of that Sugar Bowl win on Jan. 2 would carry over to the 1950 campaign as the Sooners posted a 10-1 mark as the Sooners captured the first of Wilkinson's three national championships during the 1950 campaign.
It would be 54 years before the Tigers and Sooners would meet on the gridiron again, in another battle dictated by defense.
The 2004 Sugar Bowl pitted the nation's top two teams in a battle for the BCS title. This time it was the Tigers who prevailed before a crowd of 79,342 at the Louisiana Superdome. In a defensive grudge match, the two teams combined for a mere 25 first downs with LSU holding a slim 13-12 edge. The Tigers outgained OU by a 159-to-52 margin on the ground, but the bulk of those rushing yards came on a 64-yard run on LSU's opening snap.
The game's decisive play came on the first play of the second half. The Tigers were holding on to a 14-7 lead when LSU defensive end Marcus Spears returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown to give the Tigers a two-score lead at 21-7.
After a penalty wiped out an LSU field goal that would have given the Tigers a 24-7 lead, the Sooners turned the defensive tables. Oklahoma safety Brodney Pool returned an interception 49 yards to the LSU 31-yard line, setting up a one-yard TD run by Kejuan Jones to close the gap to 21-14 with 11:01 left to play.
Oklahoma got the ball back with 5:45 remaining and quarterback Jason White quickly moved Oklahoma from its 39 to the LSU 12 in eight plays. After three straight incompletions, OU took a shot to the end zone on fourth down, but the game-tying touchdown pass was tipped by safety Jack Hunt and trickled off the fingers of Mark Clayton, effectively sealing the LSU victory.
Oklahoma and LSU are currently two of the top programs in college football. Here's a look at how the Sooners and Tigers stack up all-time: SERIES RESULTS
Oklahoma and LSU have met just twice, splitting a pair of Sugar Bowl encounters. The two powers have never played on the other's turf.
Oklahoma 35, LSU 0
LSU 21, Oklahoma 14
THE STOOPS ERA
Recently we've looked in-depth at the 2013 schedule, the Stoops era so far, and the marquee opponents OU has scheduled to play in the future:
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