Alleva, Miles Sign to Play in Capital One

by LSUsports.net (@LSUsports)
Joe Paterno Press Conference Audio +0
Alleva, Miles Sign to Play in Capital One

ORLANDO, Fla. — LSU Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Joe Alleva and head football coach Les Miles officially accepted a bid to the 2010 Capital One Bowl as the two joined Penn State and head coach Joe Paterno at the Capital One Bowl Contract Signing Luncheon in the Varsity Club at the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium on Thursday.

Alleva and Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley signed contracts accepting each team’s invitation to the New Year’s Day tilt. Miles and Paterno met with members of the media prior to the luncheon. The two then took the stage for a question and answer segment in front of Capital One Bowl officials and guests.

“We look forward to this game and it’s going to be a great setting,” Miles said. “It’s historically a great bowl game and played New Year’s Day. It’s exactly how we would want to end our season. The matchup with the Big Ten and Joe Paterno and a quality Nittany Lion team will be everything that we want.”

No. 13 LSU and No. 9 Penn State are meeting for just the second time in each program’s illustrious history. The Nittany Lions defeated the Tigers, 16-9, in the only meeting between the schools in the 1974 Orange Bowl. Paterno was on the sidelines for Penn State in that contest.

“Getting an opportunity to play against a team as good as LSU is tremendous,” Paterno said. “I go back to LSU years and years ago when Paul Dietzel was coaching there and they won the national championship. Billy Cannon ran that punt back. Dietzel and I were assistant coaches and competed against each other, so I was always interested in how he was doing.”

LSU is making its 10th straight bowl appearance and its 41st all-time. Miles is a perfect 4-0 in bowl games with the Tigers, while his teams have outscored opponents 157-44 in those four contests. LSU has won 10 of its last 12 bowl games dating back to the 1995 Independence Bowl.

This year’s LSU team brings a 9-3 overall mark into the contest as the Tigers finished second in the SEC Western Division with a 5-3 league record. LSU, which has been ranked as high as No. 4 in the nation this year, has been ranked in the top 25 all year.

Kickoff for the 2010 Capital One Bowl is set for noon CST on Friday, Jan. 1. The game will be televised nationally by ABC. Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge and Erin Andrews handle the call.

2010 Capital One Bowl Contract Signing Luncheon
LSU head coach Les Miles

Opening statement…
“Our football team is looking forward very much to participate in the Capital One Bowl. It’s historically a great bowl game and played New Year’s Day, and it’s exactly how we would want to end our season. The matchup with the Big Ten and Joe Paterno and a quality Nittany Lion team will be everything that we want. We look forward to a quality opponent at the end of this season, and certainly we have one. Anybody that follows college football has followed Joe Paterno and these Nittany Lions, so the LSU Tigers are excited about the matchup and look forward to playing.” 

On the impact that Joe Paterno had on him early in his career…
“I visited Penn State probably so early in my career I don’t know who I was representing at the time. He has always been and Penn State has always been a program that has done it right. He has competed at the very highest level and his leadership has been exemplary. Anybody in football follows Joe Paterno and understands the tradition behind that Penn State uniform.”

On what he’s seen out of Penn State so far…
“We have seen them passing, and I can tell you they have a very quality quarterback that was MVP of the league and threw for 1,700 yards, 24 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions. In the games that he’s started for them, he’s been a winner who makes great decisions. They’ve got a 1,000-yard running back on offense, and a big, powerful, physical team. On defense, they’re giving up 277 yards to their opponents and only allowing 11 points. They’re a quality football team from top to bottom. I do know is that it’s going to be a great challenge.”

On if he views the bowl as a reward for players or as an extension of the season…
“We look at it as both. The opportunity to have competitively played yourself into an advantage position where you can play for a bowl championship ? we recognize that as the reason why we’re here. We also recognize that it’s through achievement that you are allowed to play in the Capital One Bowl, and so there is going to be a reward. There will be the opportunity to see Orlando and the sights, and that will be the reward. The greatest reward will be the opportunity to play well and to honor a very quality opponent with our best effort.”

On the injury status at the running back position…
“I think Charles Scott is on a ?probable’ list. Whether it’s ?probably’ or ?probably not’ is the question. We’re optimistic, but I think I might be too optimistic. I think Keiland Williams will be out, and Richard Murphy will be out. The rest of this team will be ready to play.”

On his tremendous success in bowl games at LSU…
“I don’t know that there’s any magic to it in any way. I just think our guys get to the back end of the season and recognize the opportunity to play a quality opponent and win a championship. A bowl championship is a very realistic and very engaging opportunity for our football team.”

On giving Penn State his best effort…
“I’ve always looked at competition being the responsibility of an opponent. It’s a responsibility that both teams have in this game. I think our football team will honor this opponent with great effort.”

On Penn State QB Daryll Clark…
“He makes great decisions. Anytime you don’t turn the ball over, your ratio from touchdowns to interceptions is great. It just let’s you know that he’s making all the right decisions with the ball. He’s very accurate, and they have a good receiving corps. He doesn’t make mistakes. He’s a very quality quarterback.”