Miles talks Miss. State, return to SEC play

After taking a week off from SEC play, the LSU Tigers return to conference play this week by hosting the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Coach Les Miles met with the media Monday as the Tigers get ready for Saturday morning's kickoff.

Opening Statement


"I was very pleased with the fast start that our football team got off to against Tulane on Saturday. I felt like that it the way we have taken the field and played each week. I don't think we have done anything except come out swinging.


"Offensively, we scored four of our first five possessions, all touchdowns. It was really a nice way to start. Jacob Hester is having great year. Some of the times it doesn't reflect in his statistical carries. Charles Scott had 100 yards really right behind the blocking of Jacob Hester. Just recognize that he is very important to our offense. We had a big receiving day by (Craig) Buster Davis, six receptions for about 86 yards. He really played one of his stronger games with the opportunity to catch the ball and without that opportunity -- blocking. He was really strong and played with a high degree of intensity from start to finish. He's also one of our MVPs on offense. He shares that award with Early Doucet, who had two touchdowns receiving and a touchdown on an end (around) run. He really had a great game. 


"Defensively, we again had a strong start. They were three-and-out on three of their first four possessions. The defense really put the pressure on a very good Tulane offense from the start. Chase Pittman is our MVP on defense with a sack, five tackles, a tackle for a loss, a caused fumble. He played an all-around strong game. He was also named the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week, which is the third award shared by LSU defensive linemen in consecutive weeks.


"On (special) teams, it was really overall a pretty solid performance. I felt like our punter (Chris Jackson), averaging 48 yards a punt, had a great day. He gives us leadership there and is our MVP. We also enjoyed the play of Ricky Jean-Francois, who blocked a field goal. He has played not only really strong on defense but really wherever, he is making his presence felt. We need to improve in the (special) teams' return game. We give up a couple of returns late in the game. It is something that is a very serious nature. It's attention to detail and finishing the game. If the guys went out on the field as they did early in the game, we would have good coverage. That is worrisome because we play a team this week that has a really good return game. This (Derek) Pegues has real ability, and if we don't contain him, certainly that can create a problem for us."


"This Mississippi State game, coming off a win over UAB, makes this team much more dangerous. They get into an overtime game on third (down) and six. Their quarterback disconnects a read and takes it 21 yards for a touchdown. That kind of performance can be something that gives them a little offensive momentum. Defensively, they are mounting one of the stronger teams we will face with a big strong defensive line. They are very capable in the secondary. It is certainly going to be a real challenge for us. The strength of our conference is really shown in a team that has not had a lot of victories. You can see when you watch the film that they are very talented. They have the opportunity when they put it together to be very dangerous. Our football team will not take a lot of convincing to get ready for this Mississippi State team because they will see that film and understand that to be the case."


"I am somewhat concerned about an early start. We are kind of used to playing a game that starts at seven o'clock. I want to make sure that our guys are up and running to start that morning. I enjoy these fast starts. That is how our team is meant to play. I want to make sure that the cobwebs are out early in the morning and that they are ready to go."


"If you look at Mississippi State on offense, they have kind of sputtered some. They have a good offensive line that can block well. They have talent at receivers. The quarterback is really just coming of age. Omarr Conner is a very mobile guy that can throw the ball well. He just needs reps. You can see that he has great potential. It is going to be a great challenge for us. I am looking forward to playing at home, looking forward to getting into the conference and looking forward to playing a game that gets done at 3 p.m. in the afternoon so we can go home and spend some time with our kids."



On having a morning kickoff … 


"The regiment is kind of set in stone. We'll get them up and eat pregame (meal) four hours before. Our guys are used to getting up early in the morning to go to class. We get them up early on Monday mornings to review the game film. This won't be foreign. They will get out of their beds and look forward to playing. I have always enjoyed evening games. I have always enjoyed the lights and feel of a night ballgame, but there is something to be said about kicking it off during the middle of the day, going out playing well and getting a victory and have the evening to get a bite to eat and maybe watch a little SportsCenter."



On Craig Steltz


"He is just a great player. He understands how to play the game. He has great savvy. He gets to the ball as a physical player. He will make contact, and he has the attention to get his hands on balls. I think that was his third interception of the year with a 76-yard return."



On bouncing back from a loss the past two seasons …


"Our team has a real strong identity. They know who they are. They understand that they were prepared to play after the fact that they didn't quite get what they wanted. They understand the process of preparing each week for an opponent. I don't think anything special had to be done. We all had a level edge to us. We needed a victory, and they played with that intent."



On Glenn Dorsey


"Glenn is a perfectly built interior defensive lineman. He has great speed and strength. He is low to the ground. He plays pad under pad and plays with a fire that just makes his tough to block. A piece of Glenn Dorsey that you don't get to see is that everyone recognizes his great play, but he also gives us great leadership. He's truly a leader on our football team by his actions and at times by his words."


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