Dallas --- At his first press conference during the Cotton Bowl gameweek, LSU head coach Les Miles was hit with the expected.
No, the sixth-year headman wasn’t badgered with talks of Michigan.
The wonder of this bowl season is whether starting running back Stevan Ridley would be cleared (academics) by the NCAA in time for Friday’s game, and naturally it was the first question from the floor when Miles sat down in front of the media.
Still in line with the original schedule, Miles confirmed that action would not be taken until Tuesday, when a hearing is scheduled between Ridley and the NCAA.
“There’s no information at this time,” Miles said.
As for Ridley’s replacement, the owner of the second spot remains a guessing game. Richard Murphy, Michael Ford, Alfred Blue and Spencer Ware were all mentioned over the past few weeks as candidates, though Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman pointed to Ford and Blue as the two backs outside of Ridley that he has his eye on.
Regardless of the result of the hearing Miles won’t change the philosophy of the ground attack, a facet of the game that LSU relied heavily on in a season where the team’s two scholarship quarterbacks combined for six touchdown passes.
“Our guys are going to run our plays,” he said. “If Stevan is here, that’s one. But our guys understand, and I don’t think we’ve changed our call sheet.”
Backup quarterback Jarrett Lee will have his piece in the team’s offensive gameplan, despite the fact the junior has only completed a combined two passes over the team’s past two Southeastern Conference games.
“In the past, we’ve used him about every third series,” Miles said. “There’s reason to consider that exact substitution.”
On Sunday LSU practiced in Cowboys Stadium for the first time, which will be followed up with an afternoon practice on Monday. After closing out the bowl practices in Baton Rouge with some of the most intense workouts of the year, Miles will tone back practice each day moving forward.
“We’ll have a good practice (Sunday),” he said. “We’ve taken some time off. We’ll have a good go and then taper as we go through the week. Thursday will be an off day, Wednesday will be light and Tuesday will be lighter than normal.”
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