Joe LaBruzzo, who scored both touchdowns in the Tigers' towering 14-7 upset of
Maybe Marcus Spears, the defensive end who returned an interception 20 yards for the deciding points in LSU's 21-14 defeat of Oklahoma – for the national championship – in the 2004 Sugar?
Those are all golden names in the lore of Bayou Bengal football, but it would be hard to not to vote for . . . Glenn Smith.
Smith is kind of a forgotten name at LSU. Heck, he was kind of forgotten while he was playing for the Tigers. Smith, then third-string tailback, never started a game in college.
But 40 seasons ago, he turned in perhaps the most memorable individual performance any Tiger ever did. In a game of many heroes, Smith stood tall.
That season a hard-luck LSU finished the regular season 6-3-1, but just 10 points in the right places from finishing unbeaten. Erratic place-kicking cost the Tigers mightily. Still, because of
The Tigers' opponent was seventh-ranked
And the Cowboys had a strong ally in the muddy, choppy Tulane Stadium field.
LSU, which hadn't played particularly well in any of its previous seven Sugar Bowl appearances, and this looked like the same old story.
"We were very worried by the half,'' said Barry Wilson, then the Tiger center and now the head coach at New Orleans' Holy Cross High School, where he and Smith had been teammates. "The field turned up a little sloppy, and it upset our plans to block
Also, after DePoyster barely missed a 46-yard field goal, Smith was inserted into the lineup.
Immediately, flying out of the backfield, Smith took a pass over his shoulder and sloshed his way down the middle to the 26 for a 39-yard gain – LSU's first real sign of life in the game. Smith went in from the 1, and Roy Hurd's PAT cut the margin to 13-7.
With Stokley throwing medium passes and running the option, and Smith constantly picking his holes and cutting back, the Tigers threatened again. "Glenn was great at (running to daylight),''
With 1:37 left,
"When I saw
He caught and brought down
Then it happened again. With one second left, receiver Gene Huey cut across the secondary from left to right and Toscano went to him at the 5. He was immediately nailed by defensive back Gerry
LSU needed play above and beyond the usual requirements from several Tigers to secure the victory, but Smith, with little more than a quarter's playing time, finished with 74 yards rushing and caught one pass for 39 yards to be named the game's MVP.
It was the biggest Sugar Bowl comeback since Tulane fell behind
When he was informed of that, Smith sighed.
Marty Mule' can be reached at MJM981@bellsouth.net.