Miles Address Media at Press Luncheon

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

BATON ROUGE -- Prior to the final non-conference game of the 2006 season, LSU football head coach Les Miles spoke to the media during his weekly press conference on Monday. Members of the GeauxZone powered by USAgencies can watch the video on-demand now!


Opening Statement

"I thought we played smart against Kentucky. We were aggressive on offense, defense and special teams. We improved in a couple of key areas. It's nice not to turn the ball over. It's nice not to give your opponents short fields. We played smart. You have to play tough. You have to be aggressive. You have to play confident. You have to have swagger, but you also have to be smart. Our football team did that in several snaps last week. Offensively, we scored the first four times we had the ball. We put in excess of 500 yards on our opponent. We scored 49 points. Defensively, we held them to no points. Special teams really contributed significantly in a number of ways. When you play that kind of football -- well in all three phases -- you can count on having a dominant Saturday."

On the LSU players of the game vs. Kentucky...
"Our players of the game were (Craig) Buster Davis for 27 yards on punt returns and being able to handle those punts very confidently and comfortably. LaRon Landry, who had three tackles, a tackle for a loss and an assist, caused a fumble and a quarterback hit is giving us great leadership in the secondary was our MVP on defense. Dwayne Bowe had three touchdowns and probably blocked as well as I have seen a receiver block in a long time. It was just a dominant performance when he had the ball in his sights and when he didn't. It was a nice victory to come off of and understand that we just played like we should played."

"Looking at Fresno (State), they had a difficult go against Hawaii. It was the only game that they were out of this season. They are coached by Pat Hill. Pat Hill is an acquaintance of mine who is a tremendous coach. I have great respect for how he approaches playing teams that may have some advantages. Anytime, anywhere and place, he wants to play. That aggressive approach has really benefited him. For his tenure there, they have beaten 10 BCS teams. They are really known for their ability to reach up and strike great, talented opponents. One, we probably all remember, was a last minute see-saw battle where USC got victory late in the game. It had a lot of scoring, a lot of excitement, one which should well have been an undermanned Bulldog team. They played one of the best teams in the nation off of their feet."

"They are a veteran team. They have lost a number of ballgames by one point, a seven-point loss to an Oregon team that is currently ranked 15th in the nation. Their record does not really depict their strength. The Hawaii game several years ago, Fresno put 70 on Hawaii. A couple of turnovers and things start going bad, it was Hawaii's turn to put a large number on Fresno. I see that as a grudge match. I know this is a talented team. They have two quarterbacks who can throw it. (Sean) Norton comes in after (Tom) Brandstater. Brandstater is a tall, very capable quarterback. Both guys are very capable. Bear Pascoe is a big tight end. They have a big, strong receiving core. They have a running back (Dwayne Wright) who averages about 120 yards a game, so they have balance in their offense. They are more traditional than some of the attacks that we have seen. They will be physical."

"On defense, they have talent upfront with big, strong and physical guys. They can play. We are not going to take this team lightly. We're looking forward to playing our style of football, improving in a number of areas that we want to improve. That needs to take place every week, certainly this week so we can beat, in my opinion, a very capable Fresno football team."

On playing well after a loss ...
"The thing that I am brought back on is my old coach, Coach (Bo) Schembechler. He used to say in quiet moments away 'teams with character respond to adversity.' To me this football team has that. I think they understand that it is our tradition and our right. It is what we are expected to do -- to show our strength and win. There is a piece of the puzzle that says if you gave everything you got and that opponent was a little better, then you understand. You can rationalize it. It is not any fun, but they were deserving. When you have a loss, you know that you contributed more to your opponent's victory than maybe even your opponent. What you have to do is respond. I think our football team responds. Our football team has character. Our staff, support staff, coaches and players understand.” 

On RB Jacob Hester ...
"I don’t know if the separation is as significant. He just keeps going in there and gaining yards. He did a really excellent job in the bowl game against Miami. He came in and carried the ball extremely well and ran hard. He has ball security, great vision on his cuts. I think Jacob Hester is a great football player. What he's done, just about everything he has done on special teams, he is able to do on offense."

On Craig Davis at punt returner ...
"It is interesting how a guy who never returned a punt in his high school career comes to college and really learns that ability while catching balls thrown by the quarterback. Most of his time has been spent receiving. When Buster catches a ball in the open field, he can run with it. He has that knack. To me, he has all the ball skills that you need to have a good return man. We like to see Buster back there, but I am not saying that at some point in time there might not be some other guys back there. We, as a team, when we call on you, you have to go in there and perform. It is that simple. Buster has given us a nice lift there."

On who carries the football at running back ...
"That is a decision we make as a staff. Who has the best week at practice? Who has done those things on and off the field that we enjoy? We are playing the guys that we feel like give us the best opportunity at victory on that specific snap. I am not saying that Alley Broussard is not capable, and certainly I am not saying he won't get some carries as we move forward. We are going to approach it to win the game that we are playing. We felt like we made the right decisions last week."

LSU Player Quotes

RB Jacob Hester

On the shutout against Kentucky...
“We needed to get out to a good start against a good SEC opponent that has proven themselves this year with some close games against some good teams. We knew we had to go out there and start early.”

On losing on the road and dominating at home...
“We have some young guys and that was their first real road game, and they had to work some kinks out. They are getting better with every game. I think the next time we go on the road it will be better. It’s tough to go on the road in the SEC, especially when you are a young guy. So, we are just trying to get better and hopefully we can win our next road game.”

On Fresno State...
“Even though they got beat by Hawaii last week, last year they played USC down to the wire. Then they lost to La. Tech the next week. So, they are capable of beating anybody and playing with anybody so we have to be on our toes.”

On Buster Davis returning punts...
“He (Davis) did a real good job. We needed somebody that could get back there and hit the wall like he did. Hopefully, he can continue to do that the rest of the season because that gives us real good field position.”

On getting a break on special teams...
“They try to give me a little bit of a break knowing that I play tailback and fullback still. They are cutting down my special teams reps a little bit, but not too much.”

On getting the opportunity to play tailback...
“I was somewhat surprised. I knew if I got the chance I would be able to do it. Coming into this year I just wanted to be the fullback for whoever was running the ball, and if I got the shot that was great. Luckily, I got the shot and I am just trying to run with it. I am trying to get into the tailback mindset instead of the fullback mindset. I am trying not to bang heads as much and make some people miss. It is a little different. Hopefully, I can keep getting good blocking and scoring touchdowns.”

CB Chevis Jackson

On starting out on top so fast against Kentucky...
“That is how we usually start. The defense tries to get on the offense pretty quickly so we can jump out early and set the momentum for the rest of the game.”

On the shut out against Kentucky...
“A win is a win any way you count it. It was an SEC win, and we really needed that so we can start to win all the rest of our games so we can climb back into the race.”

“They gave USC a run for the money last year. They play really well with big teams. Their motto is they go anywhere and play anybody so Fresno is going to be a good opponent for us. We’ll have a tough week of practice and we will be alright.”

DE Chase Pittman

On the pressure on the defense to prove themselves after Florida...
“I don’t think it was pressure because we know we are good. It was kind of going back and proving that. We knew we could do it so it was a matter of going out there and showing everybody that we could do it. We were looking forward to it so it was no pressure at all.”

On Fresno State...
“The one thing that comes to mind when I think about Fresno St. is that they don’t quit. Pat Hill is the coach over there and he is doing a great job. Whatever he is doing to motivate those guys when they are down is working, they don’t quit. That is the one thing that stands out in my mind. We are going to find out what kind of scheme they are running and all that. But before film I know that we are going to have to come out and put it on for four quarters.”

DE Tyson Jackson

On shutting out Kentucky...
“Going into the game the team itself doesn’t really focus on shutting other teams out. We just go out there everyday and execute and try to get the victory and try to play to the best of our ability. We try to execute the game plan for the week. We are not really too concerned about the score at the end of the game.”

On the bye week coming up...
“I think the bye week will be really good for us. I think a lot of players are really knicked up and injured a little bit. I think the bye will help us a lot. I don’t think too many people are really tired, but I think a week off will be pretty good for us.”

On coming back after a loss like Florida...
“You can really look at the coaches with that because they really keep us focused on the week ahead. They stress a lot about preparing for the game that is that Saturday and not looking on to the next game. We don’t look over any of our opponents. After the loss against Florida, we just had to tighten up, come back to practice as a team and just focus on Kentucky.”

WR Craig Davis

On coming out and taking care of business so fast against Kentucky...
“I think that was the main focus of the game. We came out the last week against Florida and we started off kind of slow and couldn’t maintain through the game and we had too many turnovers. This week we did a great job managing the game. We had no turnovers and we moved the ball up and down the field.”

On the road losses and the home games going so well for the Tigers...
“We understand that going on the road is going to be a tough crowd and a hostile environment. When we come back home to Tiger Stadium we have the crowd behind us, the pressure is on the opponent and we have the advantage.”

On Fresno State...
“My understanding is that they are a pretty solid team. We have to come out and play solid football and keep doing what we have been doing. We have to take this win from last week and let it hand over to this week coming up.”

On the fact that Fresno State gave up 68 points last week...
“You can’t look at just because they let 68 points get put on them last week and let that be a factor. We had bad games too this year. We have to come back and play a solid game.”



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