Sunday briefing

LSU Head Coach Les Miles and the rest of his staff was back at work on Sunday, reviewing the film from the Tigers' win over South Carolina and looking ahead to next week's showdown with Georgia. Miles took a little time from his busy day to attend a Sunday meeting with the media and here is the transcript from that briefing.

Opening statement…

 

“I think it looked like I thought it would look. Certainly, it was a great effort. I saw defensive improvement, offensive improvement. Sloppy, not quite exactly what we wanted but a step in the right direction. We get a win on the road in this conference. It’s nice to be looking forward to five games at home. It really makes, obviously, the next game have a little bit more importance to it. I think T-Bob (Hebert) is gone for the season. We have a chance to get Ricky Jean-Francois back.”

 

On what the coaching staff will do in terms of replacing Hebert as a backup center…

 

“We were really reviewing that option on the sideline pretty seriously. We’ll probably get P.J. Lonergan up and get him some snaps and kind of get him going too. Hopefully, Brett Helms and Ryan Miller will handle their business.”

 

On if he is happy with his team to this point…

 

“I think we’re further along at quarterback in the progression there. I think we need to take steps again this week, but I like the way we are using our quarterbacks in and out. I think the defense hopefully has caught themselves a good gear and play like that the remainder of the way. I think special teams is about where I expected us to have been. Minus being undefeated, I think we’re on point. Again, improvement has to be made this week. We’re playing a pretty good football team, and ultimately, handling the challenges right before tell you where you’re at.”

 

On Curtis Taylor’s big game…

 

“Curtis (Taylor) made a mistake (against Florida) but really played a sound football game and made a big play late in the game obviously and really was one of the guys that was all over the field. He played very well. I think the other veterans that didn’t play like they would have liked to have against Florida really came to play in this game.”

 

On if the Florida game was a turning point in the season…

 

“I suspect that in many instances the game before the one we just played was a turning point and will call to life some dormant aggression and want to fight. I think that’s probably something unforeseen but a positive from that game.”

 

On the offensive line stepping up in the third quarter…

 

“I think we kind of turned to the big guys up front and said, ‘OK, it’s time for you guys to take this game over,’ and they did. I’m talking about the tight ends and receivers as well. The receivers blocked unbelievably well in that game. Brandon LaFell was a force on the perimeter. He really was. Their safeties were good, very tough, physical tacklers, and to have a receiver on them and then, to be able to put a fullback on a linebacker really gave us some advantages. That definitely happened late in the game. You want to get to a point when you close the game out, and if you can take a piece of your football and do that, whether it’s defense or offense or special teams or for that matter, the running game, that’s just how you want to do it.”

 

On the defensive effort…

 

“I thought they played awfully hard in that game. I think they looked to reestablish themselves in that game. If you watched Tyson Jackson play or Kirston Pittman or for that matter, Rahim Alem, they were around.”

 

On too many open spaces on defense…

 

“Our rush lanes have got to be handled better, and that’s something that needs to be focused on and worked on this week. The great thing is we are getting great pressure. Now, we have to make sure we keep the quarterback in the pocket so we can get him sacked.”

 

On using as many as four defensive ends on one play…

 

“I think with the idea that you put Tremaine Johnson, Kirston Pittman, Tyson Jackson and Rahim Alem in the game, it creates a faster front group. Any of the other guys that you can put in the game just aren’t as fast. When it’s an obvious passing situation and you can increase your athleticism, it benefits you.”

 

On using more of a running back by committee against South Carolina…

 

“We went to Charles Scott early and pretty often, but we just felt like we could get fresher legs in maybe. He has been carrying the load for a couple of weeks now, and we just felt like we might not necessarily have to rely on him every snap. He still carried the ball in key situations all throughout the game. He’s still very much our back, but we just felt like the other backs gave us different styles of running.”

 

On Keiland Williams playing well…

 

“He was running better early, and he was fresher late in the game and pounded it up in there with some speed. We just felt that was good. We just felt like at that point in time, with fresher legs the better we could be.”

 

On using Charles Scott at fullback…

 

“There are a number of things we can do with him. We can run it. We can have him block. We can throw it, and to me, it’s a definite personnel group that they need to be wary of. We can run any number of guys at them.”

 

On the offense…

 

“At times, we try to take steps and grow and advance our offense, advance our players and rely on the skill we’re going to need to win the big game. To me, that’s always what you ask when you’re in those games where you just salt it away and play good, solid football for four quarters. The thing we want to try to do here is to prepare an offense that will allow us to compete against the best opponents and for championship games.”

 

On playing three cornerbacks at the same time against South Carolina…

 

“It was more of getting the right personnel onto the field. (CB) Patrick Peterson is going to be a heck of a player for a long time. I have to speak well for (CB) Chris Hawkins. I think Hawkins is having a spectacular year. Did you see the play he made when he stripped the ball? He outran the LSU guys to get to that ball player. His speed in that game was noticeable and on that play, unbelievable.”


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