Moving at a good pace, but no QB news
Coming off a momentum builder as big as Saturday’s 9-6 win over Alabama, there is always the worry that a team could come out flat – even with an opponent like Western Kentucky next up on the schedule.
“I looked for that, but I didn’t see it,” Miles said. “I felt like the pace of the practices has been good. The uptake was what it needed to be. I liked it.”
When asked if a starting quarterback would be named before the game, Miles said no timeframe was in mind.
“I haven’t given a lot of thought to it, to be honest with you,” Miles said.
Lee has started every game this season, while Jefferson returned from suspension in week five and has played in a secondary role in every game since.
Same old Sam
Sophomore defensive end Sam Montgomery is having a breakout season for the Tigers, recording a team-high six sacks and nine tackles for a loss.
In the win over Alabama, Montgomery recorded six tackles with two for a loss – which earned him SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors.
Of course, the consistency doesn’t come as a big surprise given Montgomery’s redshirt freshman season, which he ended with 18 tackles, six for a loss, and two sacks. Despite playing in only five games before being injured for the season, Montgomery earned Freshman All-SEC honors.
“I think he was having a very strong year (in 2010), and had he not been hurt I think he would be in the same spot as he is right now,” Miles said. “Sam really kind of picked up where he left off.”
Chatting with Nick
Miles and Alabama coach Nick Saban spent some time talking on the field before Saturday night’s big game.
The likely question from the Saban vs. Miles crowd: What was the topic of discussion?
“It was no more than a respectful visit before the game,” Miles said. “I think there was a number of things that was said. I wished him luck and that we both stay healthy.”
What was said during the handshake after Miles got the win?
“Same,” Miles said. “He was gracious in defeat. (I am) Certain that he was looking forward to his future opponents.”
Matador, no more
Miles has entertained fans with his daredevil approach to holding his team back before the players run out of the tunnel and take the field.
Often, Miles attempts to stay out in front of the bunch.
Such was the case on Saturday night in Tuscaloosa, when Miles got caught in the pack and stumbled to the ground. He quickly regained his footing and kept running towards the sideline.
CBS cameras didn’t catch the fall, and it went largely unnoticed because of it.
When asked about the tumble, Miles gave his long-winded explanation:
“We have contact at any point in time in this program. You best be ready. You better have your land legs ready to roll, because you are going to get it right, left or straight ahead; some way, some how.
“I brought the team to the field, and it appeared to me that the field was strewn with excess band members, and people with flags, and maybe a mascot or two. As I made my way through what, again, appeared to be a mind field of people, from the side, unbeknown to me, there was contact between one of our players and a cheerleader, a male, I might add.
“That male cheerleader kind of clipped me from the side as I was running at full speed, or slower than full speed, but generally in the upper-quadrant of speed, and I ate the ground pretty good. But, I was masked by the flag. There was a flag-waver there that hid my embarrassing tumble.
“I was not nicked. I came up gingerly, but walked it off and avoided a baton twirler as I got to the bench.”
It’s an odd week in the world of college football.
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.
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:
“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.”