Miles talks Fresno State on Monday

LSU coach Les Miles met with the media on Monday to discuss the Tigers upcoming game against Fresno State.

Opening Statement


"I thought we played smart against Kentucky. We were aggressive on offense, defense and special teams. We improved in a couple of key areas. It's nice not to turn the ball over. It's nice not to give your opponents short fields. We played smart. You have to play tough. You have to be aggressive. You have to play confident. You have to have swagger, but you also have to be smart. Our football team did that in several snaps last week. Offensively, we scored the first four times we had the ball. We put in excess of 500 yards on our opponent. We scored 49 points. Defensively, we held them to no points. Special teams really contributed significantly in a number of ways. When you play that kind of football -- well in all three phases -- you can count on having a dominant Saturday."



On the LSU players of the game vs. Kentucky


"Our players of the game were (Craig) Buster Davis for 27 yards on punt returns and being able to handle those punts very confidently and comfortably. LaRon Landry, who had three tackles, a tackle for a loss and an assist, caused a fumble and a quarterback hit is giving us great leadership in the secondary was our MVP on defense. Dwayne Bowe had three touchdowns and probably blocked as well as I have seen a receiver block in a long time. It was just a dominant performance when he had the ball in his sights and when he didn't. It was a nice victory to come off of and understand that we just played like we should played."


"Looking at Fresno (State), they had a difficult go against Hawaii. It was the only game that they were out of this season. They are coached by Pat Hill. Pat Hill is an acquaintance of mine who is a tremendous coach. I have great respect for how he approaches playing teams that may have some advantages. Anytime, anywhere and place, he wants to play. That aggressive approach has really benefited him. For his tenure there, they have beaten 10 BCS teams. They are really known for their ability to reach up and strike great, talented opponents. One, we probably all remember, was a last minute see-saw battle where USC got victory late in the game. It had a lot of scoring, a lot of excitement, one which should well have been an undermanned Bulldog team. They played one of the best teams in the nation off of their feet."


"They are a veteran team. They have lost a number of ballgames by one point, a seven-point loss to an Oregon team that is currently ranked 15th in the nation. Their record does not really depict their strength. The Hawaii game several years ago, Fresno put 70 on Hawaii. A couple of turnovers and things start going bad, it was Hawaii's turn to put a large number on Fresno. I see that as a grudge match. I know this is a talented team. They have two quarterbacks who can throw it. (Sean) Norton comes in after (Tom) Brandstater. Brandstater is a tall, very capable quarterback. Both guys are very capable. Bear Pascoe is a big tight end. They have a big, strong receiving core. They have a running back (Dwayne Wright) who averages about 120 yards a game, so they have balance in their offense. They are more traditional than some of the attacks that we have seen. They will be physical."


"On defense, they have talent upfront with big, strong and physical guys. They can play. We are not going to take this team lightly. We're looking forward to playing our style of football, improving in a number of areas that we want to improve. That needs to take place every week, certainly this week so we can beat, in my opinion, a very capable Fresno football team."



On playing well after a loss …


"The thing that I am brought back on is my old coach, Coach (Bo) Schembechler. He used to say in quiet moments away 'teams with character respond to adversity.' To me this football team has that. I think they understand that it is our tradition and our right. It is what we are expected to do -- to show our strength and win. There is a piece of the puzzle that says if you gave everything you got and that opponent was a little better, then you understand. You can rationalize it. It is not any fun, but they were deserving. When you have a loss, you know that you contributed more to your opponent's victory than maybe even your opponent. What you have to do is respond. I think our football team responds. Our football team has character. Our staff, support staff, coaches and players understand." 



On RB Jacob Hester


"I don't know if the separation is as significant. He just keeps going in there and gaining yards. He did a really excellent job in the bowl game against Miami. He came in and carried the ball extremely well and ran hard. He has ball security, great vision on his cuts. I think Jacob Hester is a great football player. What he's done, just about everything he has done on special teams, he is able to do on offense."



On Craig Davis at punt returner …


"It is interesting how a guy who never returned a punt in his high school career comes to college and really learns that ability while catching balls thrown by the quarterback. Most of his time has been spent receiving. When Buster catches a ball in the open field, he can run with it. He has that knack. To me, he has all the ball skills that you need to have a good return man. We like to see Buster back there, but I am not saying that at some point in time there might not be some other guys back there. We, as a team, when we call on you, you have to go in there and perform. It is that simple. Buster has given us a nice lift there."



On who carries the football at running back …


"That is a decision we make as a staff. Who has the best week at practice? Who has done those things on and off the field that we enjoy? We are playing the guys that we feel like give us the best opportunity at victory on that specific snap. I am not saying that Alley Broussard is not capable, and certainly I am not saying he won't get some carries as we move forward. We are going to approach it to win the game that we are playing. We felt like we made the right decisions last week."


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