At 6-1 overall and 4-1 in conference play, LSU has put themselves into position to make a move at the SEC title game and, with a victory in Atlanta, vault into the BCS National Championship.
With undefeated Alabama now on a bye week, the Tide’s preparations for LSU have begun.
For Miles, the film on their Western Division foe will sit another week before being dusted off.
“The best thing our players can do right now to prepare for the rest of the season is to take this practice today and improve,” he said. “They can’t fast forward on a calendar and get to any game.
“I like the position we are in, and I like the understanding that we take each opponent one at a time. All of our goals are there.”
After the LSU offense slumped to 112th in the country, Saturday’s performance silenced doubts that lingered – especially regarding quarterback Jordan Jefferson. By night’s end, the sophomore had completed 21-of-31 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns. He added 12 carries for a net gain of 26 yards and a touchdown.
“Our quarterback did a nice job of managing the game,” Miles said. “We are a team with great wide receivers, and if we can get the ball in their hands then we are going to have a pretty good day.
“Anytime you see a young player that is talented come of age, that is what you enjoy. [Jefferson] threw the ball extremely well. He improved and worked hard at it.”
With nine full games under his belt, Miles said that Jefferson’s maturation from his first start against Arkansas last November to present day is becoming more evident each week.
“It is more of a question of him having enough experiences to when he goes to the game and things change, he is comfortable with how it should work,” he said. “It is something that every player has to go through.
“There is no ability for a coach to take you beyond experience.”
On the offensive line, Will Blackwell saw snaps at left guard, while Ciron Black was sidelined to injury. This weekend, expect the unit to be back to full strength.
“I think our line moved around a little based on a knick or two, but not based on performance,” Miles said. “They played well with the change in the mix. Ciron sprained a ligament in his finger; it is not broken. He will put some ice on it, a band-aid, and knowing him, it won’t hurt much.”
Charles Scott, whose biggest game came against Georgia, was held in check to the tune of 22 yards on 10 carries. In the debate among the masses, the question often begged is whether the lack of production falls on the line or Scott.
“At times it is the offensive line,” Miles said. “But, I think they are improving. Am I still impatient about facets of our game? Absolutely.”
Defensively, LSU held a normally productive Auburn offensive attack to just 112 yards rushing and 81 yards passing.
“The defense is getting better each week,” Miles said. “That defense wants to keep improving and play better than the team they are up against. I enjoy the development, and they are certainly coming.”
The ubiquitous Harry Coleman, who finished with nine tackles, two sacks and two forced fumbles, earned SEC defensive player of the week honors for his effort.
“He is truly having a great senior campaign,” Miles said. “We enjoy his leadership, and certainly enjoy his play.”
With Tulane on tap before their date in Tuscaloosa, Miles said that the weekend win over Auburn has given his team a renewed sense of confidence in their abilities – especially offensively.
“They looked at that game and realized that we have the potential to be an explosive team,” he said. “It is still a long way, and improvement is the down payment on a great season. Our team understands that.”