Jacksonville Sports Day

WEEKEND FEATURE: LSU Has Fond Memories of Georgia Dome

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BATON ROUGE – The Georgia Dome, a venue that saw LSU win four Southeastern Conference titles in football over a 20-year span, will host its final football game on Sunday when the Atlanta Falcons welcome the Green Bay Packers to Atlanta for the NFC Championship Game.

It’s fitting that three former LSU players will be in action on Sunday for the Falcons in what will be the final sporting event in the venue before being demolished later this summer. Former Tigers Tyson Jackson, Deion Jones and Jalen Collins will all be in the starting lineup when the Falcons host the Packers with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.

Jackson was part of the LSU team that won 2007 SEC Championships in the Georgia Dome. A year later, Jackson played his final collegiate game in the Georgia Dome when the Tigers beat Georgia Tech, 38-3, in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. He was also part of LSU’s 40-3 dismantling of ninth-ranked Miami in the 2005 Peach Bowl.

“When I think back to the games that we played in the Georgia Dome while at LSU, it’s brings back some great memories and puts a smile on my face,” Jackson said on Friday afternoon following Atlanta’s final practice before Sunday’s NFC Championship Game. “From the Miami game in 2005 where we dominated in all three phases of the game, to beating Georgia Tech my final collegiate in 2008 and then the win over Tennessee in the SEC Championship Game in 2007, those are all great Georgia Dome moments and memories for me that will last a lifetime. This building is a special place.”

Next year, the SEC Championship Game, along with all Falcons homes contests, will be played in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which is nearing completion right across the street from the current location of the Georgia Dome. The Mercedes-Benz Stadium will also host the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

LSU posted a 9-2 overall mark in the Georgia Dome with its first game in the facility being a 10-7 win over Clemson in the Peach Bowl in 1996. LSU also appeared in the 2000 Peach Bowl, beating 15th-ranked Georgia Tech, 28-14, starting a streak of what now stands as 17 consecutive bowl appearances for the Tigers.

The win over Georgia Tech in 2000 was also LSU’s eighth victory of the season, starting a streak of consecutive seasons with at least eight wins that has currently reached 17 straight years, which stands as the longest of its kind among all Power 5 schools.

A year later in December of 2001, LSU claimed its first outright SEC title since 1986 with a 31-20 upset of No. 2 Tennessee, which signaled the start of the most successful run in school history. Beginning with the 2001 SEC title, LSU claimed four league crowns and a pair of national championships over a 20 year span, easily the most accomplished period of time in school history.

LSU’s last win in the Georgia Dome came on Dec. 3, 2011 with a 42-10 victory over 12th-ranked Georgia, capping a perfect 13-0 regular season for the Tigers. The 13 wins that year tied the previous school record set in 2003 when the Tigers also beat Georgia in the Georgia Dome for the league crown, a victory that propelled LSU into the BCS National Championship Game against Oklahoma.

LSU’s Georgia Dome History (9-2 overall)
Date Opponent Results Game
Dec. 28, 1996 Clemson W, 10-7 Peach Bowl
Dec. 29, 2000 #15 Georgia Tech W, 28-14 Peach Bowl
Dec. 8, 2001 #2 Tennessee W, 31-20 SEC Championship Game
Dec. 6, 2003 #5 Georgia W, 34-13 SEC Championship Game
Dec. 3, 2005 #13 Georgia L, 34-14 SEC Championship Game
Dec. 30, 2005 #9 Miami (Fla.) W, 40-3 Peach Bowl
Dec. 1, 2007 #14 Tennessee W, 21-14 SEC Championship Game
Dec. 31, 2008 #14 Georgia Tech W, 38-3 Chick-fil-A Bowl
Sept. 4, 2010 #18 North Carolina W, 30-24 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic
Dec. 3, 2011 #12 Georgia W, 42-10 SEC Championship Game
Dec. 31, 2012 #14 Clemson L, 25-24 Chick-fil-A Bowl

LSU’s Georgia Dome Highlights
· In 1996, Aaron Adams blocked a 52-yard field goal attempt by Clemson with just over a minute left as LSU held on for a 10-7 win in the Peach Bowl.
In 2000 Peach Bowl, Rohan Davey came off the bench to throw three second-half TD’s to beat Georgia Tech.
In 2001 SEC Championship Game, Matt Mauck ran for two TD’s and led the Tigers to the school’s first SEC title since 1988, while denying Tennessee a shot at the National Championship.
In 2003 SEC Championship Game, Justin Vincent ran for 201 yards and scored twice, vaulting the Tigers into the BCS Championship Game and the school’s first national title since 1958.
In 2005, LSU outgained Miami 468-153 en route to its largest margin of victory in a bowl game, 40-3, in the Peach Bowl
In 2007, Jonathan Zenon returned an interception for a go-ahead touchdown, as LSU defeated Tennessee, 21-14, and returned to the BCS National Championship.
In 2008, LSU scored five first-half touchdowns including three by Charles Scott in a 38-3 victory over No. 14 Georgia Tech in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
In 2010, Russell Shepard scored twice as the Tigers scored all 30 of its points in the first half and held off No. 18 North Carolina in the season opener, 30-24.
In 2011 SEC Championship game, Tyrann Mathieu and the Tigers defense sparked LSU to a convincing 42-10 victory over Georgia, as LSU improved to 13-0.

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