Comments from Coach Miles

Coach Les Miles talks about his seniors, Arkansas and playing for the boot.

Opening Statement…

"Any time you graduate 21 seniors that have had the success that they've had here on the field, the kind of young men they are, how they represent LSU off the field, a lot of emotion will go into this week. We're going to want to send them off with a victory.

Recapping the Ole Miss game…

"To recap the Ole Miss game, I think our football team understood that they were going into a place where a team would play with heightened emotion, they called it their bowl game, and really tried to point at the end of their season as this being a really, really big game. Our football team went in there and played hard and did what they had to do. In my opinion they played better in all three phases than they have, offense, defense and special teams. And we came out with the victory.

On Arkansas

"The Arkansas football team is very good. They truly will motivate our team to prepare by looking at them. They're good on offense, they're good on defense, they're very, very fine on special teams. We've seen them in bits and pieces as we've prepared through the year for other teams, and we understand that this is a quality football team. Except for a break here or there, they could be 6-4 or 7-3 and be in good shape. I understand that they have two very fine running backs. The freshman Darren McFadden is very exciting and a very capable tailback. Felix Jones from Tulsa, who we knew back in our time in Oklahoma, again is a very talented tailback. They moved to a point in the season where they looked for a quarterback who could throw the football, and they went with Casey Dick, and it's made a difference to their team. They ask him to do some things they have not asked the other guy to do. He throws the football reasonably well. Our football team will take the opportunity to send our seniors off in their last home game with a win. We play for the West, and certainly our football team will come to play in this game."

On this year's senior class…

"Any time you have a coaching change and bring in a new staff, how the team adheres to the staff and how they take to the new schedule and any other changes, certainly is a key. Our football team has done so very well. They want to represent LSU, and there was never a question they were going to do what we asked. They was never a question they were going to pursue excellence. Having been through in a really short tenure for a head coach an awful lot with this football team with the change in schedule and what we went through early in the year, we're very respectful of what this team has done for us. As we go on to Thanksgiving, we have a lot to be thankful for. Being with this group of guys and this team with the opportunity to play for what we have the opportunity to play for, having seen the devastation of Katrina at the start of the season, I think our football team, coaches and players are a lot closer than a team that has really only been together one year."

On how Arkansas has rebounded from a tough loss to USC earlier in the year…

"I think Coach (Houston) Nutt rebounded off that game and realized that they have a quality football team. That's something he's held on to and done a great job with. They were a good football team when they played USC. It's very obvious that that was the same team, it was just a USC team that was on all cylinders and they could not get a grasp on (Reggie) Bush, (Matt) Leinart and a great USC team. I don't think that was a setback for them. I think they've continuously gotten better. They've taken some awfully good football teams to the wire."

On having the chance to win a third SEC title in five years…

"Our football team and the tradition of the program, having the ability to dominate really over five years in a very strong conference speaks for the longevity of LSU. This team certainly has been a part of that the entire time. It's something we'd like to recruit to and it's a tradition that we'd like to continue."

On playing Arkansas on Friday instead of a normal Saturday game…

"I would prefer to be playing on a Saturday and have my normal week, but as long as our opponent is in the same position we are, we're fine. I think as you go into Thanksgiving you have to realize that there's some guys on Wednesday evening who are looking for a Thanksgiving meal on our team. As the rest of the student population heads home for Thanksgiving, our guys don't necessarily have the opportunity. We're going to make sure our coaches make their homes available for a Thanksgiving meal on Wednesday, and as a team on Thursday afternoon we will have a Thanksgiving meal. You can't lose sight of how thankful we all are. Certainly this year has been an example to all of us, with Katrina's example and the great strength that LSU has exhibited and the leadership role in this state and how our football team has responded. We have a lot to be thankful for."

On playing for "The Boot"…

"It becomes awfully important at the end of the game when it's yours. There are a bunch of (similar awards) that are played for, but again, the key is that at the end of the game you take it home. If that trophy goes away from you, it means a lot more to you whether it be a boot, a shoe or a toothpick."

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