BATON ROUGE -- Les Miles spoke to the local and regional media on Monday at noon during his weekly press conference at the LSU Athletics Administration Building. Watch the 30-minute video now in the Geaux Zone powered by USAgencies.
COMMENTS FROM LSU COACH LES MILES AT MONDAY PRESS CONFERENCE
"I really felt like the Mississippi State game was played like all of our games this year in the fact that our team takes very seriously the process that we go through to prepare each week for specific challenges. We accomplish that during the week, get to game day and look forward to playing with passion and enthusiasm that we have been accustomed to seeing. I think that is very much accountable for the fast start that we got off to this week. I look forward to that same approach week in and week out, whichever opponent we play. We scored five out of our first five possessions on offense. Defense was stubborn and gave ground grudgingly. They found out right away that we were ready to play. I wondered how our team would respond to a daytime game and an early start. There was no difference. It was the same approach taken and the same play observed."
"On offense, our MVP of the week was JaMarcus Russell, 18-of-20, 14 consecutive completions. He was also the SEC Offensive Player of the Week and is really playing good football for us. He's playing better than he has played. I really think our offense will run the football better. We have such great weapons and chemistry right now going on the perimeter. We'll continue to work on our running game and execute very specific situations and look forward to taking advantage of a team in the air."
"Chase Pittman is our MVP of the week on defense again. There was a lot of production from Chase -- sacks, knock downs, just a well-rounded game from him. Our special teams' player of the week was Harry Coleman. He had five tackles in kickoffs and two inside the 20 (yard line). The tempo of the day was set by our kickoff team or that return team is just a tremendous advantage to us. We went into the week with hearing that the Mississippi State return teams were very capable, and the opening kickoff got stopped at the 14-yard line. I liked the start of that day."
"Now, if you look to Florida they are a very talented team, as talented a football team as we'll face. They are very balanced on offense. They are about 175 yards of rushing offense, 260 passing or thereabout. Chris Leak is a talented quarterback who makes good decisions and runs the offense well. Tim Tebow comes in during specific situations. He just happens to be their second leading rusher on the team. They have a tailback that generally gets them 100 yards. It is a real diverse attack. They throw the ball extremely well. They have a lot of talent in the perimeter. Percy Harvin and Dallas (Baker) are very capable guys. Dallas has worked about 100 yards of receptions yards a game. Leak and Tebow mix the ball around to a number of other guys."
"On defense, Jarvis Moss is a big, tall defensive end -- 6-6, 255, No. 94 -- who has great speed. He is a real confident end. Ray McDonald plays inside for them or outside. No. 95 has been a very strong player in this league for years. Reggie Nelson, No. 1, leads the team in interceptions. He has four interceptions on the year. He is a very good cover player in their secondary. They are averaging giving up 42 yards on the ground and 187 in passing for 229. They are a real stubborn defense, and we look forward to that match-up. They are a very capable defensive unit."
"We look forward to these games. Anytime you match a capable team with us, we want to see how it fares. We will approach it the same way. We work hard, but we are going to celebrate it with our play, that play coming on Saturday. It is the only top-10 match-up in the nation. That's great. I don't think it will be anymore exciting to our players if nobody shows up. We are looking forward to going to Florida and playing."
On Florida's offensive advantages ...
"The quarterback carries, certainly, that is their greatest advantage in rushing the football. They spread the ball. They spread the formation out. They go up inside with the running back or with the lead back and a quarterback carry. That is the advantage that their offense has."
On going on the road again ...
"We are not going to change. We are going to do the same things we have always done. What we have learned from the Auburn (game), we have to run the football better. That lesson is still being learned, and it is something that we're going to approach. We're running the ball with more efficiency in short-yardage and goal-line situations. The key is that you take what the defense gives you and be able to take advantage of it, whether it would be in the run or in the pass. We are going to play our style of football from start to finish."
On LSU's defense ...
"They are very talented. They are as good of a defense as I have ever been around. They will run and hit you. They have great scheme. They understand their responsibilities. They are big playmakers on the defensive unit. They are as good of a defense I have been around and playing that way."
On JaMarcus Russell's improvement from the last game at Florida in 2004 ...
"I think JaMarcus Russell is a much more accomplished quarterback than when he was no matter where he was playing two years ago. I look forward to taking him there, and he looks forward to it as well. That was the same JaMarcus Russell that went pretty well on the road at Alabama, and in my opinion, gave us every opportunity to win at Auburn. I think he will take a lot of experiences with him as we go forward."
On the wide receivers ...
"I think Dwayne Bowe and Craig (Buster) Davis and for that matter, Early Doucet, come to practice and practice very, very hard. When you see them in how they pursue our offense and how they work at practice that is why they play so well in games. They play at a high rate of speed. They have done it with our quarterback. They expect to get the ball. They expect to run their route exactly right. Coach (Todd) Monken does a great job preparing them. They are excited about our offense and excited about playing on Saturday. Our like our receiver core. I feel it is a real advantage for us."