LSU Tigers: Matt Mauck

Memorable SEC upsets

March, 29, 2013
In honor of Florida Gulf Coast's stunning run in the NCAA basketball tournament, I started thinking back to some of the biggest SEC football upsets of my lifetime.

The mid- to late-1970s is about as far back as I go, but I’ve gone back and picked out some of the more memorable ones over the past 30 or 35 years.

These are all SEC vs. SEC matchups, and I’ll rank the top 5 as well as five more that just missed the cut. I’ll come back later Thursday with a few more, including some upsets in non-conference and bowl games.

Here goes:

1. Mississippi State 6, Alabama 3 (1980): The No. 1-ranked Crimson Tide had won 28 straight (and an SEC-record 27 straight conference games) and were heavily favored against the unranked Bulldogs. But Mississippi State played suffocating defense that day in Jackson, Miss., and snuffed out a late Alabama drive. The Crimson Tide had moved to the Bulldogs’ 4, but were out of timeouts. Alabama quarterback Don Jacobs took the snap and started down the line of scrimmage to the right side. Mississippi State’s Tyrone Keys shot through and tackled Jacobs, forcing a fumble that Billy Jackson recovered to seal one of the greatest wins in Mississippi State history. Alabama’s wishbone attack, which had been averaging more than 300 yards per game, mustered just 116 rushing yards against the Mississippi State defense. The Crimson Tide lost four fumbles in the game. And in a classy gesture afterward, Alabama coach Paul “Bear” Bryant visited the Mississippi State locker room to congratulate the Bulldogs on the win.

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LSU's Bennie Logan wears No. 18 well

August, 16, 2012
For Bennie Logan, getting to wear the No. 18 for his junior season at LSU amounts to an affirmation.

[+] EnlargeBennie Logan
Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesBennie Logan will be wearing No. 18 this season, which is traditionally given to the player who best represents what it means to be a Tiger both on and off the field.
Not that he needed much more positive feedback for his play at defensive tackle. He is a pre-season All-SEC pick and many project him to be a first-round NFL draft pick after this season.

But getting to wear the No. 18 represents something more for Logan, a country kid from the small town of Coushatta, La., who was raised with a down-home work ethic.

"To me, it's the coaches, faculty, my teammates all recognizing the hard work I do," Logan said. "It feels good that the hard work pays off."

The No. 18 has become a quirky tradition at LSU. It started when quarterback Matt Mauck wore No. 18 in LSU's 2003 national championship season. After his departure, he passed it to fullback Jacob Hester. It then went to tight end Richard Dickson, running back Richard Murphy, then last year, to safety Brandon Taylor.

The symbolic passing down of the number to a player deemed "deserving" has turned into a tradition. Head coach Les Miles said the honoree is picked through a process with feedback from players, coaches and support staff.

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Top Position Battles Heading In To Spring
While a good portion of the country is buried in snow, spring football is underway. Adam Rittenberg looks at some of the top position battles heading in to spring practice.