Tigers continue to prep for Vols

A day after having its home and Southeastern Conference opener pushed back two days because of Hurricane Rita, third-ranked LSU was back on the practice field on Friday as the Tigers continue to prepare for 10th-ranked Tennessee.

LSU and Tennessee will meet on Monday night in Tiger Stadium at 6:30 in a game televised to a national audience by ESPN2. Monday's date of Sept. 26 will mark the latest LSU has played a home opener since 1961 when the Tigers beat Texas A&M, 16-7, on Sept. 30 in what was their first home game that year.

Miles said the Tigers will hold a light workout on Saturday morning followed by a walk-thru in Sunday afternoon.

"The schedule throws you a curve every now and then, life does as well," Miles said. "It's not a big deal. This is a real mature team, and I think they're handling it very well and looking forward to Monday night football."

Miles said the Tigers will be a better team for having gone through the adversity and distractions over the past month, a span that has seen one LSU game postponed, another moved from Tiger Stadium to Tempe, Ariz., and another one delayed two days.

"It's interesting. Those teams that have to handle adversity and have to handle bumps in the road at times, they learn some great lessons that will help them not only in football but in the rest of their life," Miles said.

Miles said the Friday's workout was one that was typical of a Wednesday practice during a normal work week, something that LSU has experienced this season.

"It was good (workout) for having a Wednesday practice after a Thursday practice," Miles said. "We'll have a Thursday practice again tomorrow (Friday), so it will be kind of like Groundhog Day. Our guys like football, and frankly, we've been used to practicing. We've practicing without games (for a while). We're ready."

While he would have preferred to play on Saturday night, Miles said the Tigers will benefit from the two additional days of practice heading into the Tennessee contest.

"The time benefits us in certain regards. Having two more days to prepare for some aspects of our program will be welcomed," Miles said.

With Monday's forecast calling for rain, Miles had the Tiger skill players working with a wet football during Friday's practice.

There are obviously some things that you do for nasty weather," Miles said. "We're operating with a wet ball. Some of the things in our calls we might not use."

"On defense, certainly you talk about takeaways, and of offense you talk about ball security. On that kind of day, it's a mental note every time you touch it."

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