Miles Holds Weekly Press Conference

LSU head coach Les Miles
LSU head coach Les Miles (@LSUsports) (@LSUsports)
LSU Sports Interactive

BATON ROUGE -- LSU head coach Les Miles held his weekly press conference on Monday at the LSU Athletics Administration Building.


Opening Statement
"When you are a good football team and you work as hard as you do and you have great expectations, it is very difficult to admit that you didn't play well. That is what we are going through today. I met with the team this morning at 6:45 a.m. They are having to deal with the fact that they didn't play their best. They had the opportunity to play much better and knowing in that room, coaches and players, that the outcome was decided by us. It is tough to take. We expect more from us. The mood in the room was somber. It was very honestly a cooperative group. Not only the coaching staff but the players look forward to fixing some things. If we field kicks and punts, have a snap that 90 percent of the time goes routinely to the quarterback. If we correct a young player's alignment mistake, this football team would have a pretty good Saturday afternoon. That's what we have to do.

“There will be some adjustment to the practice schedule. We'll give more time to the specific issues of fielding punts and kicks. There will be a greater attention to detail on offense, defense and special teams, not only by the coaches but by the players. I don't think there is any question that this football team is confident and understands that they are capable. I like this team. This team has character. They are good people. I like this staff. I think they will fight like heck to be the best team that we can be. If you look what this team has to play for, I would say that you're looking at a reason to improve, to beat Kentucky. There are a lot of great teams on our schedule.  If we improve and beat the teams that we are capable of beating, I'd like to put ourselves in position to play Arkansas at the end of the year and maybe play them for more than just 'The Boot'. I think our football team is focused on what we need to do for Kentucky and Kentucky first."

"Kentucky is a team that played Florida very tough, trailed 12-7 at half. In the past, two LSU football teams in 2001 and 2002 had last second victories over Kentucky and those were two very good LSU football teams. Kentucky is a big, physical team. They have a great quarterback. They throw the football well. They play a solid, sound defensive scheme. They are the No. 1 team in the league in kickoff returns. Their tailback is apparently out, but I know they have very adequate guys. There is ample talent at Kentucky to challenge an LSU football team. We understand that we are going to be challenged. They lead the league in turnover margin, and we are going to have to come out and play well. We're glad to be at home. We look forward to taking the field and getting after Kentucky."

On running a no-huddle offense in the second half vs. Florida...
"We talked about going no huddle very early in the second half. We had time and did not necessarily want to rush our play call, and we threw the ball more than we did. The reality was we were aware of the time. We did put up greater percentage of the balls in the air. I think we went no huddle pretty fast. With eight minutes to go in the game, we were no huddle the entire time.”

On running back Charles Scott's status ...
"He was a little bit nicked last week. It cost him some playing time. We kind of felt like (Jacob) Hester and (Alley) Broussard in the calls that we had maybe would have given us the best opportunities to win the game, especially considering he did not get a lot of practice snaps."

On the punt formation ...
"The punt formations of the Top-10 teams in the country a year ago, three of which ran the exact same punt formation we do. Florida runs the same punt formation we did and were ahead of us in the national rankings a year ago. You have to do the things your personnel can do. We felt like this punt formation that we were doing really fits our personnel better. That is the reason that we changed. It should give you greater protection when you change the block points. Our opponents should not know exactly where they are rushing the punt to and it gives you greater coverage down the field."

On the punt returners ...
"The reason the guys are back there is because they handle the ball as effectively as anybody that we have. We are not going to manufacture new guys. They are going to be the guys. We may look at a couple of other players in a perimeter position. It is just repetition. It appeared to me that both guys took their eyes off the ball. If it something that we can fix by drawing a little more attention to detail and giving in greater snaps to catch the football, that is what we will do."

On using the backup quarterback in spot situations ...
"We have considered that. The difference in a mobile quarterback and JaMarcus Russell, I don't know if the variances are a greater competitive advantage for us to make a change in situations. JaMarcus, if you look at it on paper, threw three interceptions. The truth of the matter is, he threw a ball to a receiver where it was a one-on-one route. We have a 6-foot-2 receiver and a 5-foot-10 corner. We like that match-up. We want that throw. At the very worse it should be an incomplete pass. The ball that Dwayne Bowe caught and was later kicked out and knocked up into the air, should have been a reception and allowed us to continue down the field. The third was a pass that would have been caught for a touchdown that was really under thrown by about three feet. Dwayne Bowe had to go back for it. The reality was JaMarcus gets hit by a defender and really affects the follow through of the throw.”

On Jacob Hester ...
"(Jacob) Hester is a big strong back. He is 230 pounds, really a very capable back. He has great vision, is tough to tackle. He is very sure-handed. We like Hester with the ball in his hand."

On the Kentucky offense ...
"Andre Woodson throws for about 250 yards a game. They move the football in the air very well. Their receiving core is obviously a well-timed unit. They work well together. It is going to be a challenge for our secondary and our defense."

On the status of wide receiver Brandon LaFell and defensive back Daniel Francis ...
"Brandon LaFell sustained an injury on a play early in the second quarter. He played the remainder of the game. He's back and spent the night in Florida. It appears that he is still having some difficulty, but there is no serious concern. Daniel Francis' leg or knee is being examined. There will be more information coming. I know he had an MRI today."

On the passing game against Florida ...
"We threw some vertical routes, but they were certainly playing deep. The safeties were well off the ball, and they were giving opportunities underneath rather than the deep seam. We called a lot of combinations that gave us safety reads and deep ball threats. They were playing back."



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