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With the season down to one game, head coach Les Miles and his LSU Tigers look to salvage a piece of what was to be the season after their National Championship run last year.

With a 7-5 regular season behind them, the Tigers look to regroup before taking on Georgia Tech Jan. 31 in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. That process starts on Monday when Miles and the coaches put the Tigers through their first practice after a 16-day layoff.


"First and foremost, we want to get our health back," Miles said. "We are going to take our first practice on the upcoming Sunday. There will be a part of each practice donated to some of the young guys as they continue to get better, but our main focus will be on our opponent.”


The Tigers’ season came to a head on Nov. 8, marking both the arrival of then-No.1 Alabama and the return of head coach Nick Saban.


When senior John Parker Wilson took in the game's final score in overtime, giving the Tide the 27-21 victory, the Tigers shot at defending their conference championship had ended.


The Tigers would go on to lose two of their next three, the only win by way of a 40-31 victory over Troy, seeing the Tigers come from a 28-point deficit in the third quarter to complete the biggest comeback in school history.


"I think we lost our focus a little bit (in the Troy game)," said junior running back Charles Scott. "But once we realized that they were for real and that they came to beat us, we turned it on and won the game.  


"In the other games, we came out with a lack of focus, and we tried to turn it on, but it was too late. The main thing we have to worry about for the bowl game is focus."


Scott said that the key to regaining the focus will be instilling a sense of ownership over the performance that they put out.


"We're really challenging our pride," he said. "We have a lot of pride around here, so we would love to go out with a win. We want this last game to be a win.


“I think this team was great at times, and I think we can be great all of the time. We've just got to improve our consistency. I think that's the biggest improvement we're trying to make right now."


Junior tight end Richard Dickson chalks the season up to the Southeastern Conference's high level of competition, but hopes that the bowl game will give the Tigers a chance to correct the mistakes made this past season.


"Everybody wants to go undefeated, but our conference is as good as any in the country," he said. "We played some great teams. It's hard to go undefeated, and it's hard to only lose one or two games.


"We're a good team. Georgia Tech is a great team. They've proven themselves. They are running the ball great. Their defense is good, and we really want to go out there, give them our best and come out with a win."


Under first year head coach Paul Johnson, the Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year, the Yellow Jackets are averaging 377.3 yards of total offense per game, good for best in the ACC. The team's 282.3 yards of rushing offense per game is also tops in the conference and third in the nation.


"I ran Georgia Tech's type of offense in high school, and it's a tough offense," Dickson said. "We've got great guys on defense. We've got great speed and some of the greatest defensive linemen in college football. I think they're going to do great. We've got three weeks to prepare for it, and it should be fun for us."


"They have a great rushing attack, but I think our seven guys upfront are pretty good too," added Scott. "As long as we prepare, keep our minds right, come into the game focused on our assignments and be disciplined, I think we'll have a pretty good battle."


With the battle taking place within a stone's throw from the Yellow Jackets’ campus, the neutral site might not be as forgiving as Tiger fans would hope.


"It's a great opportunity," Dickson said. "They (Georgia Tech) get to play at home. We know what that's like. We've played two times in New Orleans (Sugar Bowl and BCS National Championship game). It's something that we're kind of used to."


Dickson hopes to turn that familiarity into something positive for the New Year's Eve match up.


"We play in big-time environments just about every Saturday," he said. "We go up against Florida, Alabama, Auburn and all sorts of hostile environments. It's something we really thrive on."


While pressure remains high around the Tigers’ camp, Miles is keeping things simple in terms of what needs to happen against the Yellow Jackets.


"The best thing we can do for this football team is have a great experience in Atlanta and play well," he said.

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