Chuck Long's Opening Statement
"We're excited to be here, we've had a really good week of practice in preparation for the game. We have good health right now; all of our guys are healthy. The layoff does help and the later game does help. We've had some good time off and some good practices so far. That's about it."
LSU has seemed to have trouble with the release of the running back down the middle of the field. Is this something you think you can take advantage of offensively?
"You want secrets already huh? We did see that and we have had that play in our playbook at various times but I'm sure that they are going to be preparing hard for that. We have a certain package in our offense that we like. We feel like we are pretty good offensively and done well. We always start when we game plan with what we can do best, then we go from there. We obviously look for plays that can hurt the opponent. That was one of the them, there is a few others. They have a unique style of blitzing. A lot of teams are doing it but they seem to do it every play, it seems like someone is always coming at you about every play. That's where they separate themselves from a lot of teams. When we play teams that do a certain amount of blitzing they will stay with it to a certain degree and then they will get out of it, but this team seems to stay with it. That's a big challenge for us."
What does your offense do best?
"If you watch tape on us, we use a lot of our personnel. We feel as a staff we want to get as many guys involved as possible. They (players) are hungry when they come to practice; they're excited when they get on the field. We mix our personnel groups, we do it pretty well. We do some shifting; we try to mix it up that way. If you ask me what our offense is, it is a multiple type offense. There is a little West Coast in there; it is just a good mix of things.
"Then we start with certain plays that our guys do best. There are certain plays and part of the offensive playbook that players do best. Even though the opponent may know that to some degree it is still hard to stop because our players have a lot of confidence in the plays that they do best. Then you go from there to what can hurt that defense. We want to stay within our system. It is more of a we want to attack them. We want to work our plays and make them defend us."
Run Coordinator Kevin Wilson on importance of protecting Jason White and does he expect LSU to come after him throughout the game?
"Oh yeah, they are going to blitz in warm-ups. They are going to come and come and keep on coming. We've put a great deal of emphasis this week on getting hats on hats. I think their defense is a lot like our offense, they're a multiple attack. It looks like a lot when your first look at it, but when you break it down they have a handful of blitzes that they do. There is 11 of them and 11 of us; there are only so many guys that can come. It's not the Chinese fire drill figuring out what is going on out there.
"The key thing against a blitzing attack like LSU is that you keep attack them. You have to pick the spots to do that. I think that is one of the best thing our offense has done all year. We attack whether it be run or pass. We've not went into a shell, we've not crawled up like a turtle. We keep coming and coming and we're going to do it this game."
Offensive Coordinator Chuck Long on his offenses' passing attack and the success of wide receiver Mark Clayton this season
"A common goal for us every year if you want to break it down we try to get anywhere from 7-8 yards per attempt. We like 12-13 yards per completion. Those are offensive goals that we set before every year. I think we are well above that this year. Yardage per attempt is a really big stat. I think at one time we were close to 10. If you think about that it is pretty good. We are getting a lot of big plays. We didn't get those types of big plays against Kansas State.
"I think with Mark Clayton is a guy that we try to move around in our offense. We've done a pretty good job of doing that. We just don't line him up in one spot where we know opposing teams can double-team him. We've had in the backfield, in what we call our single receiver which we call our X receiver, we've had him at our Z receiver, we've had him at our slot receiver. When he catches the ball he is one of those guys that has great vision. Some guys have that great vision. When he has the ball in his hands he can see the next defender. He'll have a defender in front of him and he'll see the next defender in back of him. That's why he's so good after the catch."