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Earthquake Game

Earthquake Game
1 2 3 4 Total
Auburn 0 3 0 3 6
LSU 0 0 0 7 7
Date October 8, 1988
Season 1988
Stadium Tiger Stadium
Location Baton Rouge, Louisiana
United States TV coverage
Network ESPN
Announcers Mike Patrick and Kevin Kiley

The Earthquake Game is the name given to a college football game where the crowd reaction after an important play registered on a seismograph. Played in front of a crowd of 79,431 at Louisiana State University's Tiger Stadium on October 8, 1988, the LSU Tigers upset #4 Auburn 7–6.[1][2]


The game pitted Southeastern Conference rivals Auburn and LSU and was one of the more notable games in the Auburn–LSU football rivalry.[3] Along with national rankings, the game also proved to be of great significance to that season's eventual SEC title. The stadium was filled to capacity and the game was being broadcast on ESPN.

Auburn led 6–0 with less than two minutes left in the 4th quarter. LSU's quarterback Tommy Hodson drove the team down the field before finally throwing an 11-yard 4th down touchdown pass to Eddie Fuller.

The game's name resulted from the reaction of the crowd after the final pass. It registered as an earthquake by a seismograph located in LSU’s Howe-Russell Geoscience Complex around 1,000 feet (305 m) from the stadium. The seismograph reading was discovered the morning after the game by LSU seismologist Don Stevenson and student worker Riley Milner. Word of the seismograph reading reached The Daily Reveille and spread to the local media.[4] Stevenson submitted the reading to the Louisiana Geological Survey to have it preserved. Stevenson displayed a copy of the reading on his office window on the LSU campus that was later observed by an ESPN news crew, who were on campus doing a story sometime prior to when Stevenson left LSU in the summer of 1991. The news crew decided to do a piece on what they dubbed "The Earthquake Game". This news story helped to add more attention to the event.[5]

In games played by LSU at Tiger Stadium, the winning touchdown is included in a montage that is shown at the start of the 4th quarter.[4]

Similar seismic activity has been registered during other football games,

Quotes From The Play

"Fourth Down. Ten yards to go. One forty-seven to go in the game. LSU wins or loses on this play it would appear. Touchdown Fuller! Holy Cow!"

-ESPN's Mike Patrick's call of the play

"And it comes to this. Moss and Williams go to the near side; Fuller is in the slot. Moss in motion and Hodson drops to throw. Steps up and looks. He's gotta hurry. He fires it and it is... caught! Touchdown!"

-LSU Sports Radio Network's Jim Hawthorne call of the play


  1. ^ "LSU-Auburn Game Still An Earthshaking Experience". Retrieved 2014-05-15. 
  2. ^ """25 years later, former Tigers relive "Earthquake Game. Retrieved 2014-05-15. 
  3. ^ "The day the Earth trembled in Tiger Stadium's temblor". Retrieved 2014-05-15. 
  4. ^ a b There's more to LSU's Earthquake Game than Hodson-to-Fuller. The Times-Picayune.
  5. ^ "Footneauxts of ’88". The War Eagle Reader. Retrieved 2014-05-15. 
  6. ^ Reed, Christina (January 14, 2011), "Seahawks' Seismic 12th Man", 
  7. ^ Iron Bowl Earthquake? ‘Suspicious’ seismic activity registered Saturday as far away as Huntsville correlates to Auburn’s last second touchdown to beat Alabama. The War Eagle Reader.
  8. ^ "VT vs. Miami football game registers as earthquake". 
  9. ^ "Game continues to register on the nearby USGS US.BLA seismograph". USGS. 

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