Les Miles addressed reporters on the SEC Teleconference this morning, as he does every Wednesday in the fall, and this time around the LSU sideline boss focused on a pair of his running backs (Leonard Fournette and Kenny Hilliard) and linebackers (Kwon Alexander and Lamar Louis) as well as the Tigers' early-season schedule.
Here is a transcript of the most relevant Miles' comments from the teleconference.
"We enjoyed being back in Tiger Stadium. The renovation has made the whole venue even grander. There's no question that it's one of the finest venues in all of sport. We're excited to take the field this week against ULM in that same venue.
"We're a team that's improving and a team that's working hard at practice to do so. We'll be challenged by a very quality ULM team. Todd Berry has done a great job. He's played and won against nationally ranked teams before. They're currently 2-0. It'll be a challenge to us and we're looking forward to playing them."
On Hilliard's impact ...
"He is a very solid, solid personality, a guy who continues to work hard and improve. He's lighter than he's been and he seems faster than he's been. His ball skills and abilities have improved. He's a guy who's given us great leadership. We would expect that he would be one of the main guys as we go down the stretch here."
On the health of Alexander and Louis ...
"First of all Kwon is going to be in position to play in this game. He's practiced and will probably go two practices this week. Same with Lamar, who will probably go the entire number of practices this week. It really depends on who it is. In my career, not even here, we've had guys who were tremendously veteran and knew the style of offense, defense of special teams we were playing, so they were very comfortable coming in in a less-than-full practice week and play very well.
"If it's a young guy, and there's no way without a full week of practice he could play, you would probably withhold him ... The experience level (matters)."
On four straight home games for a young team ...
"Any time you start a new season it's important you continue to build on the successes you've had. Wisconsin was a very stiff test. Then Sam Houston State was a completely different change of attack. Our team has to have the flexibility to play both the traditional ground assault and a spread passing attack, the different varieties of offense, defense and special teams you'll see. So when you start a season you need to link different styles of play you'll see so when you get to your best opponents you can improve to the point where you can match up and compete with advantage. So it is important that you have success and can build on success as you go forward."
On Fournette's Heisman pose ...
"One thing you'd rather have - a guys whose ambitious and sees an opportunity to win a national award. That being said, you also want to curb that enthusiasm and say 'There will be plenty of time for that as we go forward.' No matter who steps forward and shows that Heisman trophy pose at this point in time ... I've been around three of them. Desmond Howard won the Heisman. Patrick Peterson certainly was in running and now Leonard Fournette.
"I can only tell you that there's a more appropriate time for that. I think that is always and will always be about the interest of the team. Leonard certainly understands that. He kinda addressed the team and described that that's something he wishes he had not done. I think he's right on pace. One thing about him: He's truly a humble guy. There's nobody that works harder, nobody that learns as fast. We would expect that he would have a really great campaign in his true freshman year."