Tigers have normal week of practice

LSU's 11th-ranked football team continued to enjoy its first normal week of practice in preparation for a game as the Tigers worked out for just over two hours here Wednesday.

Since Hurricane Katrina hit the Louisiana coast over a month ago, the Tigers have had every week of their season interrupted or altered due to a storm. Three weeks after Hurricane Katrina affected LSU's first two games, Hurricane Rita forced the Tigers to play two games in a calendar week for the first time in school history.

Now, as the Tigers get ready for Saturday's contest against Vanderbilt in Nashville, LSU finally has a full week of practice to prepare for a game. Wednesday's schedule had the Tigers working out in full pads for the final time this week as LSU continues to get ready for a Commodore team that is off to its best start in decades with a 4-1 mark.

"It was a good Wednesday practice," LSU coach Les Miles said. "We worked hard, and it's nice to have a full week. I feel like we're ahead in preparation. I'm looking forward to getting on the road and playing a game on a regular Saturday."

The Tigers and Vanderbilt square off on Saturday in Nashville at 6 p.m. CST in a game televised to a national audience by ESPN2.

Miles said that's it's been good for the team to finally have a normal week to prepare in hopes of finally getting into a rhythm.

"I don't know that the rhythm will take place until they've had it twice in a row," Miles said. "We've talked rhythm, and we've talked normal. We said that today is Wednesday and we've defined it for them, and I think they understand. After a short week it seems like this is forever to prepare and it's the right amount of time."

The Tigers have spent a great deal of time this week working on how slow down Vanderbilt quarterback Jay Cutler. Cutler goes into Saturday's contest ranked first in the Southeastern Conference in both total yards (311.4 yards per game) and passing yards (275.2 yards per game).

"We have to control him," Miles said of Cutler. "He is their big play-maker. He's the player-maker of their offense and certainly he's one of the reasons why they win."

LSU will practice again on Thursday followed by a walk-thru on Friday morning in Baton Rouge. LSU will depart for Nashville at 1 p.m. on Friday.

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