1965 Sugar Bowl – LSU vs. Syracuse

In addition to being an all-time classic on the gridiron, the 1965 Sugar Bowl was a memorable game for off-the-field reasons. It was the first Sugar Bowl to include African-American players since Bobby Grier and Pittsburgh played in 1955. Syracuse featured running backs Floyd Little and Jim Nance, two stars who had scored 25 touchdowns between them, 14 more than LSU scored as a team in that era when defenses dominated the sport.

But it was LSU’s Doug Moreau who turned out to be the central figure of the game.

There were field goals, a safety, touchdowns on a blocked punt and a long pass and a two-point conversion. The favored Tigers, down 10-2 in this topsy-turvy game at intermission, knew they were in for a battle to the wire.

On the first possession of the second half, LSU quarterback Billy Ezell pumped once and lofted the ball to a wide-open Moreau at the 25 from where he trotted into the end zone. A two-point conversion pulled LSU even at 10.

That’s where things stood until the game moved into the latter stages of the fourth quarter the Tigers drove to the 8. Coach Charlie McClendon called on Moreau to try to nail his 14th field goal of the season (he had an NCAA record 13 field goals during the season and combined with his pass-receiving duties, scored 73 of the Bengals’ 115 total points).

All season, LSU had looked to the junior in crunch time, bringing him to this point, in a socially-significant Sugar Bowl and his 28-yard attempt with 3:48 to play secured victory for the Tigers.

While LSU won on the field, the city of New Orleans was also a big winner. Syracuse was happy with its treatment. Nance exuded without solicitation, “I’m going to tell everyone about the splendid treatment we received down there.”

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One thought on “1965 Sugar Bowl – LSU vs. Syracuse

  1. *WOW! Have waited 55YRS to see this iconic game AGAIN!
    *As LSU-Alum'79, watched this game as 8yr-old with my dad & grandfather!
    *Was LSU's VERY FIRST game against INTEGRATED team!
    *Was speculation about whether LSU would actually PLAY the game! 
    *But LSU players & NOLA were very hospitable toward Syracuse black players!
    *Tiger TE Billy MASTERS extended cordial hand of friendship to Syracuse RB Floyd LITTLE that day – forging a friendship that became life-long as teammates in AFL with Denver BRONCOS! 

    *LSU QB Pat SCREEN [fellow JESUIT-Alum] had bad day, but for one run/pass.
    *But 2nd-string Billy "Easy" EZELL came in to bail LSU out!
    *Threw KEY TD pass to my favorite LSU WR Doug MOREAU!
    *Not ONLY a great ALL-AMERICAN receiver, but kicked WINNING FG!
    *THANK YOU to whoever POSTED this VIDEO!

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