WORD FOR WORD: Miles talks Alabama

Les Miles discussed a number of topics at his weekly press luncheon on Monday. Here are the highlights.

Opening statement…

"I would first like to make a brief statement about an incident that was reported to me about several of our players on Thursday night. I don't know the specifics. All I know is that both players that were named, Ryan Perrilloux and Derek Odom, will not practice today. We will prepare to play without them. I want to get all the information before I do anything further. I do not want to take anymore questions about this incident because I think it is unfair to my team and our preparation. I can tell you that there will be no distraction for preparing for this football game. If there is anything forthcoming or new information I will make it available immediately. From this point forward I would like to talk about Alabama."

"We had a great off week. We got some work done for Alabama and some other opponents. Our football team is much healthier then it has been. It was right on time."

On the status of Glenn Dorsey

"I think Glenn Dorsey's injury is one that will mend and heal. We are very optimistic about him but we don't know if he will play or not yet. I was with him on Saturday at a youth football game. My sons play for the Prairie View Broncos and Glenn use to play for the St. Amant Wildcats. He was on the opposing sideline rooting for St. Amant and of course I was rooting for Prairie View. The Prairie View Broncos won. I didn't want to lord that over Glenn, but heck he was there. He looked like he was moving around pretty good on that Saturday. As an indication, I think he is coming to health."

"I enjoy the position our football team is in. We control our own destiny. We just have to take care of our business. Focus on one game at a time and get to the back end of this thing and see where we stand. We will certainly be ready for today's practice and be ahead with the game plan. We will practice a little longer today and get after the things that we intend to attack our opponent with."

On Alabama

"Understand that Alabama is a very talented football team. It was two years ago that we were over there when they were an undefeated football team ranked No. 3 in the country. We understand that there is great talent there and that they are a very capable football. As it was recalled to me before I went there, this would be a great environment to play in. Some of the best fans in the SEC. It is just a great place to enjoy a college football game. I expect it to be the same this time. I can tell that you that this game is about two quality football teams and the players on those teams. It's about two wonderful venues, two great states, communities and schools. This will be a great game. It is not about the head coaches. I appreciate coach (Nick) Saban's past and his passing through Louisiana. Certainly I respect what he was able to accomplish here. We look to go forward from there."

"On offense they are much improved. John Parker Wilson is a very talented quarterback. He is a strong-armed guy. He has mobility. He makes good decisions. He is passing for close to 1,800 yards and 11 touchdowns. Running back Terry Grant, in my opinion, is a tremendously gifted freshman. He is a very capable running back. He has around 700 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns. Their best receiver is D.J. Hall with 50 receptions, just under 800 yards and 5 touchdowns. He had a tremendous game against Tennessee in their last contest."

"Defensively, we are very familiar with their defense. They like to come and blitz. They have a great turnover ratio. They have got a number of turnovers for their offense. Wallace Gilbery, No. 92, will certainly get a vote from me for being an all-conference player. Their safety Rashad Johnson is another quality player. They have fast linebackers, a quality front seven and a secondary that knows how to play."

"They have good special teams and are a quality-coached team. We look forward to the match up. We look forward to games that have significance and this is certainly one. We can't wait to play it."

On the large amount of hype surrounding this game…

"I certainly understand the interest of the game with a former coach. I think that is natural."

On how the dramatic endings of the last three games have changed the team…

"I think they are healthier at this point. After the experiences that they have had, they understand the game is a four-quarter game. You have to play with the same intensity from start to finish. When the game is on the line, this team knows how to compete. I think that there are some positives to derive from that."

On who is expected to be the backup quarterback for the Alabama game…

"Andrew Hatch and Jarrett Lee will both be in a position, if things continue to go the way they are, to take snaps on Saturday."

On how Alabama is different under the new coaching staff…

"Certainly the players have improved. Wallace Gilbery looks like a really good player and a guy that has improved during his career. The offense is diverse and less predictable. Defensively they are more willing to take risks and blitz, from what was more of a zone defense in the past."

On how the bye week helped players who were injured…

"I think with Early (Doucet), and our quarterback (Matt Flynn) who had a hurt ankle, there were a number of guys who were hurt that picked up some speed. I think Early is probably about as good as he has felt. He will improve as we get closer to game time. We are excited about his return."

"Any time you come off a bye week, you are healthier and faster. Your preparation is a little bit sounder. There won't be much visible difference. There is going to be some natural enthusiasm with an extra week between games."

On the rivalry between Alabama and LSU

"I think rivalries happen naturally and have to do with the conference standings. Key contests make for rivalry games. Certainly this is a key contest. I don't know if focusing hatred is good for anything. I enjoy playing in significant games and certainly this is one."

On how Glenn Dorsey will go through practice this week…

"Glenn Dorsey will be someone that we look at as we go to practice. We will watch him day-to-day and period-to-period. I think that each day we will look how to best use his practice time. It really depends on how he reacts. If there is little swelling, hopefully he will be ready to play and get more practice time. If there is more swelling and we need to back off, then whether he can get in the game comes in to question."

On the number of snaps Keiland Williams gets…

"Keiland's snaps are reflective of the needs during the game and how he has practiced. We would like to get Keiland more significant touches."

On if any players are more emotional about this game…

"I don't sense that. I don't feel like this would be a game with heightened emotion from our end. It is just a key contest and one that we have to have."

On Georgia head coach Mark Richt telling his team to celebrate their first touchdown in their game against Florida

"I kind of enjoyed that to be honest with you. I am for coach Richt. I watched Gary Barnett on television last night give Richt a poor grade for that but maybe that is what Georgia needed. If that is in fact what Georgia needed, then I am for Mark. I don't know because I am on the outside looking in."


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