Miles Speaks to Media Prior to Tulane Week

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Miles Speaks to Media Prior to Tulane Week

BATON ROUGE — LSU head coach Les Miles addressed the media on Monday at his weekly press luncheon, while also displaying the special uniforms his team will wear Saturday against Tulane. Watch the press confernece on-demand in the Geaux Zone.

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Opening statement…

“I know our guys are pretty excited about it (playing against Tulane in a different uniform) and know it represents a cause, a cause close to their hearts. It helps bring awareness to rebuilding New Orleans. We want to participate in every way. We look forward to this game.”

On the South Carolina game…
“I felt like we did the things we had to do to win the game. We ran the football well on an uneven and sloppy field. I think we would have thrown the football better if we had a little more solid footing. Our quarterback was a little uncomfortable on that turf. I enjoy the different styles of running we have. I enjoy the fact that we give the ball to a variety of ball carriers. It is a nice style of offense and that will continue.”

“Defensively, we had another strong outing. Our defense only gave up 17 rushing yards and 261 yards total. It was a very strong outing by them. If we didn’t turn the ball over and run it out better, then the defense would not have been on the field as long as they were. Certainly we would have liked to make another throw there (on the interception.) This defense is ranked No. 1 in the nation in four categories. Our scoring defense is at 5.8 points a game. Total defense is at 161.5 yards a game. Rushing defense is 26.8 yards a game. Passers that face us are only at 67 percent passer rating. It just tells you how strong our defense is playing.”

“On special teams, I felt like we could have done better at protecting our punter. Our return game on punts and kicks must improve. We spend a lot of time and on it and we have talented returners, but we need to handle the ball cleanly and start to have a much more aggressive return game. We practice it enough and put time on it but it just needs to start showing up on Saturdays. I am excited about the special teams touchdown. Anytime you get a chance to score a touchdown on special teams it is a real lift to your team. Our guys enjoy practicing that play and they have mastered it. I don’t think there is any question that when we called it, they would execute the play well. South Carolina cooperated and called the right defense and we go in the end zone. Our team enjoyed it. They enjoyed it for Flynn who threw it and Colt David who seemed to have fleeter feet then anybody in the country would have recognized from a kicker. It was a nice lift in the game.”

On the team MVP’s from the South Carolina game…
“On defense, Glenn Dorsey had eight tackles and three for loss. He batted down two balls, had a sack and continues to be a dominant force inside.”

“Offensively, Trindon Holliday had six touches for 73 yards. He is just an exciting guy with the ball in the hands. He is starting to get in the flow of things we ask him to do. Our team is also starting to execute those plays better.”

“On special teams, our field goal kicker and scorer on the fake field goal, Colt David, and Matt Flynn, who threw the ball on that play, were our M.V.P.s.”

On the Tulane game…
“We travel to Tulane this week and look forward to it. Our guys know them and they know us. There is going to be rivalry when there are two in-state programs. We look forward to going to New Orleans and seeing our friends and fans at the game. It is an ESPN 2 game and we kick it off at 11 a.m. and our guys enjoy playing on television. The opportunity to be in a pretty selective uniform will be fun for this football team. They understand the significance of this game and understand what it means to New Orleans. There are a lot of guys who want to personally participate in this game. Anything that we can do as Louisiana’s state school to help them and bring attention to what New Orleans is going through, we want to do it.”

“We understand that Tulane is a team with talent and ability. They have a running back, Matt Forte, who rushed for over 300 yards last week. He is big, strong and fast. Bob Toledo has had a lot of success, certainly at UCLA. We understand that they will give us their best effort and we look forward to it. It will be fun for us to go down to the Superdome where we spent some time in January.”

On his first impression of Glenn Dorsey and his progress…
“I had no real impression of him when I first got here. He was in a position where he was playing a lot football behind some talented defensive linemen. It seems like when we put him in the game he was playing as well as any of the starters. He pursues the field aggressively and has always been a team player. He always has a big smile on his face. He is one of those young men that you coach who enjoys working hard. Those type of guys come to practice and understand that they are going to spend some time on things that are not easy to do, but he enjoys doing that. He is a great leader for our football team. I really enjoy Glenn Dorsey. He will certainly play a lot of football after this season and we look forward to not blocking him on Saturdays.”

On the fake-field goal…
“Every team has that style of play and practices them and prepares them for games. It has to be the right hash, time and call for it to all come together. The game and the situation we were in, including the weather, it just seemed like the right call. Style points had nothing to do with it. It was just the need and want to get 7 points right there.”

“It was something that we had active in the game. We talked about the opportunity to make that call. It was exactly the right position on the field and time in the game. It was an easy call. Coach Peveto brought it to my attention and there wasn’t any question that the call was going to be made.”

On if they will limit Matt Flynn against Tulane…
“We are not going to anticipate any of those things at this point. At this point we are playing for victory. We understand that some people would say we have more talent. The difference is, is that we have to play with the same intensity. We are going to have to be that team. We have to play with high intensity and play hard. We will make those decisions later. We are not going to go in with predetermined advantages.”

On Matt Flynn‘s interception…
“I wish the flea-flicker would have been thrown away. It should not have been thrown in coverage. We had an aggressive call which we probably should have taken out of his hands. I take the discredit for that.”

On Marlon Favorite‘s face mask penalty…
“There were three penalties that aided their offensive drives, and that was one. Marlon makes a sack, and having played that position a long time ago and understanding what it is like, when you approach a ball handler your hands are ready to grip. Whatever you get your hands on you are going to grab it. His intention was not to grab the facemask and twist him to the ground ? I promise you. It was certainly not Marlon Favorite‘s thought process. As he grasped for the ball carrier, he caught the facemask. It was just a natural reaction. It is not something that Favorite wanted to do. It is a very difficult thing, when you are clawing after a ball carrier, to catch a nice flat surface. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want those penalties. We will get that fixed.”

On how every team they have faced has changed quarterbacks during the game…
“I know our defense is a very formidable group to play against. I don’t anticipate a lot of college quarterbacks will have success against our defense. Those decisions to change quarterbacks are made independently of that. I think they (opposing coaches) come in knowing the strengths and weaknesses of their players and that decision to make a move could be prompted by a tough opponent but it was something that was in the coaches mind before we played them.”

On the improvement of Carnell Stewart and Lyle Hitt
“One of the things I should have done a better job of in my opening comments was to talk about our offensive line. I really think our offensive line had a very strong showing. When you are in muddy turf and not necessarily hitting in the passing game, you need to get the ball downfield. Those five guys, six including Keith Zinger, did some serious blocking. That line and the tight ends did a great job. Lyle Hitt and Carnell Stewart are both coming on. They are young guys that have played four games and are getting comfortable against some quality opponents. I think they are taking the steps to be just what we need.”