Get it started: Les Miles talks about Georgia

LSU coach takes a turn with the media for first time in advance of the SEC Championship Game

The first wave of media attention on top-ranked LSU and coach Les Miles arrived Sunday afternoon during the SEC teleconference featuring the two coaches who will lead their teams into the Georgia Dome at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Miles spent 30 minutes with on the phone, touching on a number of topics. Here are some of the highlights.

  • On bouncing back after a national championship and a down year or two:

    Les Miles
    "I don't think we've done anything differently. I think that there's an issue that takes place after you've won a national championship, and it's one of those things that, as a coach, I probably did a very poor job managing it. There's an entitlement and want and expected to and all those things that really take in some way away from your competitiveness."

  • On Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray and comparing him to Arkansas' Tyler Wilson:

    "I don't think there's any question a guy in this game should be considered for all conference honors, and certainly a guy that's meant as much to his team as Aaron Murray has to Georgia.

    "Tyler is a very talented thrower. I mean, he makes all the throws, very capable quarterback, and he's had a great year. I think Aaron Murray is like that in the ability to throw the ball, maybe a little bit more headsy, appearing a little bit older and more confident in the pocket."

  • On how his team has responded time after time in big-game atmospheres this season with six wins away from Baton Rouge and seven wins over ranked foes:

    "We're used to being on the big stage. I think our guys translate the glare of the lights to making plays in the game. I think that they did that against Oregon in Dallas, and they've really done it right on through, including Alabama at Alabama."

  • His assessment of the Georgia defense, which ranks behind Alabama and LSU in the SEC in most categories:

    "They deploy extremely well. You can seldom get an advantage in not having them in alignment that would benefit you. You're going to have to get what you earn."

  • On where he stacks up with LSU's most revered coaches:

    "To compare me with other great coaches that went before me here, I don't know that it's fair. I think that (Charlie) McClendon and the great names that have gone before me are in a class all themselves, and I'm very fortunate to be mentioned along with those guys."

  • On how well the Tigers' secondary fared against Arkansas with a new look featuring cornerback Tyrann Mathieu at safety in place of injured Eric Reid and on whether Reid will be back for the game:

    "I think the secondary played very well. I think there's a nice natural adjustment when Tyrann Mathieu steps back to the middle. I think you'll find that (Craig) Loston will be really more ready than he was last week, and Eric is expected to play. He went through warm ups and was really pretty good in warm ups this last Friday, but we decided not to use him. It proved to benefit us as we got through the game without it. I think that he'll be ready to play."

  • On LSU's success keeping instate players at home:

    "I think there's a great loyalty in the state to file into Tigers Stadium and root for the Tigers. I think LSU over years has developed a very, very loyal fan base. You use fan base because you really don't know really the words to describe it, but it's probably a historic family tie to the people of Louisiana that's a little bit more personal, a little bit more intimate than maybe some other places.

    "I think that, when a young man grows up in a community in Louisiana, that he rightfully looks to playing with the Tigers in Tiger Stadium as a natural place to go to college. So I think we've done a good job in evaluating. I think the guys that we go after here in this state are absolutely the best guys. And they know when they come here, they get to play. We expect them to go to the field.

  • On the value of having multiple threats at running back against the Georgia front seven:

    "Yeah, we're going to do the things that we do, and we're going to challenge that very capable Georgia defense. The need to have a variety of backs allows a fresh ball carrier. I think it's a mistake to fatigue your ball carrier.

    "So we're going to keep fresh legs in the game, and we're going to continue to do the things that we do, see how it plays out."

    Mark Richt's session with the media from DawgPost.com


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