Aug. 30 marks the 114th
anniversary of the birth of the Kingfish in Winnfield. It also marks the date
for LSU's kickoff of the 2007 season against
The first game of the Tiger Rag Era produced a stirring 24-17 victory over Lee Corso's Indiana Hoosiers before a then record crowd of 78,534 fans at Tiger Stadium. The first contest of the 2007 season should produce a light workout against the Bulldogs of Sylvester Croom.
The main man in '78 was Alexander
the Great. Others called him "Sweets."
On the 28th day of July,
The 20-year old Alexander galloped
for 237 yards against
Alexander's NFL career was dashed by the assignments he received from Cincinnati Bengals Coach Forrest Gregg. After drafting the LSU product in the first round, Gregg converted the gifted one into a blocking back to clear the way for the massive Pete Johnson. Most of Alexander's professional rushes were in short yardage situations. Thus, he never gained more than 702 yards in seven NFL seasons.
Alexander does hold one NFL record
for fewest fumbles per carry in a career. In addition to his natural talents as
a runner, he rarely coughed up the football. His LSU years began with a
disappointing 10-7 loss to
Alexander never played on a team to win more than eight games in a season and never tasted victory in a bowl game, but he is the choice in this corner as the best rusher in LSU history. With world-class speed, he was also durable enough to carry the ball more than 40 times in a game on four occasions as a Tiger.
Defenses were stacked to stop the Tiger tailback, but Alexander made his mark despite a late start to the intricacies of football training. It was assistant coach Jerry Stovall, who taught Charlie how to skip rope as a freshman. He came into his own as a sophomore when he shared time with Terry Robiskie. Together, they rushed for 1,993 yards and in 1976 and 1977 became the first two runners in LSU history to surpass 1,000 yards in a season.
Thirty years ago, Elvis Presley
died on Aug. 16th in
Charles Alexander was the headliner in TigerTown in the fall of '77. He helped his mates
pulverize Rice 77-0 and was in the backfield as LSU staged a furious rally to overcome a
21-0 deficit to beat Ole Miss, 28-21 at
offensive line known as the "Root Hogs," set records that continue to stand for most
yards rushing in a season (3,353) and most touchdowns on the ground (35).
Hail to No. 4 for making my first semester at LSU a time to savor. Alexander ruled the college world in 1977 and in the twilight of the coaching tenure of another man named Charles, he made Cholly Mac a happy man.
Jim Engster is the general manager