Miles on SEC teleconference

Miles on avoiding a letdown against Western Kentucky, his offensive line and the news out of Penn State.

It’s an odd week in the world of college football.

LSU held onto the No. 1 ranking with a 9-6 win over No. 2 Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

That was the good part, an old-fashioned SEC slugfest between arguably the nation’s top two defenses.

The rest, which dominated Wednesday’s SEC teleconference, was nothing to smile about.

After taking the Ole Miss head-coaching job in 2008, Houston Nutt resigned from his post in Oxford. After 9-4 finishes in 2008 and 2009, the Rebels are a combined 6-15 the past two seasons.

On the darker side, legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno announced Wednesday that he is also stepping down at the end of the season – but for a much different reason than Nutt.

Paterno and the Penn State football program threw the college football landscape upside down when allegations of years of child abuse – on and off campus – by former player and defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky occurred despite indirect knowledge of the allegations by Paterno and other members of the program.

With each SEC coach asked about the news out of State College, it was a somber teleconference on Wednesday morning.

Here are some notes from LSU coach Les Miles:


Opening statement

“Our guys apparently have transitioned very comfortably from last week’s game to this one. Our practices have been very good, very fast paced.”


On LSU’s center/guard combination

“We just liked the threesome to be honest with you. There’s a number of guys there – (T-Bob Hebert, Josh Williford, P.J. Lonergan) – and all, in my opinion, deserve to play a lot of football. (They have) really improved and help us when they’re in the game, so we want to make sure that those guys get to see enough action.”


On Lonergan’s injury, which kept him from starting last weekend

“Obviously it slowed him up some, but he’s completely healthy and we expect him to return to the lineup fully.”


When asked if senior quarterback Jarrett Lee is better suited to recover now than year’s past and if he feels the need to get him back on the horse

“I just think he’s more veteran. I think he understands the situation better, and I don’t know about the need in my opinion. I don’t really care about getting back on the horse or the philosophy of let’s make the (quarterback) comfortable.

“Hell, we need to execute the offense. We need you to play, and that’s the motivation that Jarrett really responds to and we’re not soothing or trying to comfort a young eagle. He understands football.”


Are you concerned about letdown against Western Kentucky?

“I have concern that way. I realize that Western Kentucky is a very capable team and if you don’t prepare and prepare well you’re going to have a problem. I want you to know I certainly made that point. I don’t know that I needed to. It appeared to me that this last practice on Monday was a very fast-paced, productive practice – one where guys got after it. Maybe it’s the position they’re in and they’re looking forward to finishing the season.”


On Penn State news

“I think everybody in America, football coach or not, is probably concerned first and foremost with the well-being of the young people that were involved. If there’s any way that that can be addressed first and foremost, that might well take precedence over any other piece.

“I think the great coach at Penn State certainly has a distinguished coaching career and the only thing I hope is that all is done right as best they can from this point forward. It’s a great school, a great tradition, and a great backdrop to Penn State, but the game is not necessarily as important as the things that went on there. I wish them well. I know they’ll do the right thing.”


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