By Hannah Stoutmire
It might have seemed like a regular weekend across the state, but for those in Baton Rouge, it was a Saturday that went down in the history books. The Jaguars of Southern University and the Tigers of Louisiana State University went head to head for the first time. With Southern being a Historically Black University in the Southwestern Athletic Conference and LSU being a power-five Southeastern Conference school, the match was a highly anticipated by fans. It was not only a football game that made this such a big day for Louisiana, but it was the whole ordeal of the two teams being in Tiger Stadium together, officials said.
“This will be a great experience. We’re bringing together the culture of the SWAC and the SEC to celebrate our community. We bring together two amazing football teams and bands in one place,” said William Tate, LSU’s president.
Between fans traveling across the state, across town, and for some even across the country, the event set a record for game crowd. Before the game, it was announced that over 200,000 people were expected to be on LSU’s campus for the game.
“Playing an HBCU school is great thing for this university and certainly for Baton Rouge,” said Brian Kelly, the LSU Tigers head coach. “Historic in nature, to have two schools from the same city uniting and celebrating this community. The accomplishments. The program.” Kelly said in a press conference on Sept. 6.
The energy was high all day on LSU’s campus. At the tailgate there was music, trailers and tents, and food. People from all walks of life came to be a part of this historical day including alumni from both schools, family members, current students, and even Louisiana natives.
“It was such a fun experience being able to witness the cultures of both schools, the energy was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced,” said Karden Way, a freshman Public Health major from Tallahassee, Fla, who attends Xavier University of Louisiana.
LSU shut Southern down with a score of 65-17. But Southern fans said they enjoyed the halftime entertainment and seeing the Jaguars perform. The nationally known “Human Jukebox” put on a show in Death Valley that started off with drum major Natoj Johnson stepping out into the middle of the field, much to the delight of the crowd.
“It was so fun being able to watch our amazing band play in Tiger Stadium, it gave me a sense of pride knowing that is my school,” said Nadia Thomas, a freshman social work major from Dallas, Texas.
One of the most impressive things the band did was displaying the halftime score of 51-0. At the end of the halftime performance the Human Jukebox teamed up with the LSU marching band: “The Golden Band,” and displayed their love for the city of Baton Rouge by unveiling a “225” formation – the area code of the two colleges.
“Gamedays at LSU are so much fun, and the atmosphere on Saturday was unreal and I loved being able to see our city come together,” said Reagan Basye, a sophomore from Dallas, Texas.