MILES: Malone's "earned the right" to play

During his weekly Wednesday appearance on the SEC Coaches Teleconference, Les Miles gave a vote of confidence to K.J. Malone, saluted Dak Prescott and more.

Les Miles addressed reporters on the SEC Coaches Teleconference this morning, as he does every Wednesday during football season, and this time around the LSU head coach touched on the growth of K.J. Malone, the type of player Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott is and much more.

But the nugget on Malone, a redshirt freshman offensive tackle and the son of NBA Hall-of-Famer Karl, is perhaps the most interesting.

Amid rumors that Malone could enter the starting lineup this weekend, here's what Miles had to say on the player.

"K.J. continues to improve, a very athletic guy and physical," explained Miles. "We have him working at some left tackle, but he’s going to be one of those guys that gets better and better. He’s a redshirt freshman, so he’s young, but we would not hesitate to play him in games. He’s really earned the right.”

Here is a transcript of the rest of Miles' most relevant comments.

Opening Statement

"Our football team seems to have the right attitude and they're doing the right things. On the practice field they've shown a pretty solid level of improvement from the beginning weeks. We're healthy. This is certainly the best opponent we've faced so far, a very talented Mississippi State team.

"We recognize the challenge of Dak Prescott, we recognize a defense that's only allowing about 80 (rushing) yards a game ... It's a very important game. We're going to have to play well."

On State's defense ...

"They mobile, big. They're scheme is very quality, and they look like a very quality defensive unit. You get in conference and you see these types of defenses."

More on Prescott ...

"I think he's a quality competitor, and he's obviously embodied all the things that Mississippi State, Dan [Mullen] and that defense needs him to do. He manages the game well, makes quality decisions, throws it well and gets done what they need done. He does what they need him to do."

On LSU's leadership ...

"We like the position our leadership is in. La'el Collins on offense and a number of veteran guys have insisted that 'This is how we practice. This is how we've done it in the past, and this is how we're going to do it.' On defense there's Danielle Hunter, D.J. Welter and really a number of guys have taken responsibility of the team."

On lopsided fourth quarter in last year's State game ...

"We look at it more that that was last year and this is another opportunity for different matchups, different teams. We need to continue to do the things that give us opportunity at victory - play great defense, move the ball through the ground and through the air is something we'll have to continue to do, and then special teams play elite.

"I think there's really not a describable difference on that fourth quarter. It just happened, I guess."

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