BATON ROUGE - It's been a good week of practice for LSU so far as the sixth-ranked Tigers are getting prepared to face one of the most explosive offenses in college football on Saturday morning in College Station against 19th-ranked Texas A&M.
However, it's what the Tigers have been doing off the field this week that may help LSU more than anything as once again, head coach Les Miles has called on a "sleep doctor" to get his team ready for the 11 a.m. kickoff.
"Now and then, we consult him (the sleep doctor)," Miles said following Wednesday's workout. "I think we're going to do some things that we're supposed to do that will give us an advantage at playing early in the day. We're going to change our body clock a little bit and get used to being up early and going to bed early.
"Nutrition is a big key to this too. We're focusing on not eating the starchy foods and really heavy sugars. We're trying to avoid the donuts and the Snickers bars and move more into the multigrain health eating. I'm serious about it, in terms of a quality blood sugar all the way through the game."
With the early kickoff on Saturday, the Tigers will have a 6:30 a.m. wakeup call, followed by the pre-game meal at 7 a.m. The team departs for the stadium at 8 a.m.
Plenty of sleep and eating healthy could go a long way on Saturday as LSU will face an Aggie offense that leads the SEC in scoring (47.0 points per game), total offense (543.7 yards per game), and rushing offense (235.8 yards per game). They are second in the league in passing offense with an average of 307.8 yards a contest.
"They're a talented group," Miles said of the A&M offense. "They have nice wide receivers and veteran offensive tackles. Guys that started as freshmen are still there and still performing. It's a nice concept. I think they're very efficient on offense. They're doing the right things with their personnel."
Leading the way for the Aggie offense is redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel, who leads the SEC in rushing (112.7 yards per game), and total offense (392.7 yards per game). Last week, Manziel set an SEC record with 576 yards of offense (181 rushing, 395 passing) in the 59-57 win over Louisiana Tech.
The Aggies bring a 5-1 overall mark and a 2-1 league record into the game, while the Tigers are 6-1 overall and 2-1 in SEC action. It's the first regular season meeting between LSU and Texas A&M since 1995 when the Aggies won, 33-17, in College Station.
The Tigers go into Saturday's game coming off their best all-around performance of the year in the 23-21 win over third-ranked South Carolina last week. LSU had its best offensive output in SEC play with 406 total yards, including 258 on the ground, while the defense limited the Gamecocks to just 211 total yards.
"I think the team's accepted the challenge to practice hard," Miles said. "I think there's a nice enthusiasm for our opponent. I think all three phases have stepped up, and I've enjoyed practice. There's a lot of energy out there. It's just what we need."
The Tigers will practice again on Thursday afternoon followed by a walk-through on Friday morning. LSU will depart for College Station on Friday afternoon.