NFL veteran and 2009 Heisman winner Mark Ingram made his return to the New Orleans Saints last weekend, traded back to the Big Easy from Houston.
New Orleans fans welcomed him with open arms. But 12 years ago this week, Ingram, ruined the weekend of most Louisiana natives with a huge game against LSU that helped propel him to the 2009 Heisman Trophy.
On Nov. 7 of that year, Ingram was just three weeks removed from a three-game streak in which he ran for 140 yards, 172 yards and 246 yards, the last one coming against South Carolina on Oct. 17. He followed it with 99 yards against Tennessee.
Following a bye on Halloween, Ingram kept the pedal down against LSU the next week with 144 yards on 22 carries — 106 yards after halftime —averaging 6.5 yards per attempt to go with a season-high five receptions for 30 yards.
Ingram didn’t score in the game, but his reliable yards helped the Crimson Tide score the game’s final 14 points in a 24-15 win in a rare close call during a 14-0 season.
Another huge game this week in Heisman history came on Nov. 2, 1963, when 1963 winner Roger Staubach’s Navy squad defeated Notre Dame, 35-14. It was the last game the Midshipmen would with over the Fighting Irish until 2007 and came just three weeks’ before the assassination of President John Kennedy.
A year later, Staubach and Navy fell 40-0 to Notre Dame in Ara Parseghian’s first year in South Bend, 1964 Heisman winner John Huarte guiding the victory.
On the flip side, Bo Jackson’s 1985 Heisman run took what appeared to be a significant hit when he ran for just 48 yards on 16 carries in a 14-10 loss to No. 5 Florida on Nov. 2, the Auburn back suffering a second second-quarter injury in the process.
He gained a mortal-like 73 yards the following week but then closed the season with 121 yards at Georgia and 142 yards at No. 13 Alabama, securing the Heisman.