BATON ROUGE -- LSU picked up the pace on Monday as the 10th-ranked Tigers held their fourth bowl practice in preparation for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl contest against ninth-ranked Miami.
The Tigers and the Hurricanes will meet in the Georgia Dome at 7:30 p.m. EST on Friday, Dec. 30. The game is one of only two bowl contests to feature two top 10-ranked teams.
"Today was our fourth day back and we looked a lot better," LSU coach Les Miles said after the workout. "The pace was faster and we are working longer. We went ones against ones and we got a lot done."
The Tigers were without three starters on Monday as senior offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth, senior running back Joseph Addai and senior linebacker Kenny Hollis missed the practice to participate in graduation exercises on the LSU campus. A fourth player, junior offensive tackle Peter Dyakowski, also graduated on Monday but he chose to practice instead of participating in the ceremony.
"I'm very proud of those guys," Miles said. "They came to LSU to get a degree and play championship football and they've been able to accomplish both of those. They've done things the right way and have set a positive example for the other players on this team."
Miles continues to be impressed with the play of sophomore quarterback Matt Flynn, who will likely start in place of an injured JaMarcus Russell against the Hurricanes.
"Matt's really doing well," Miles said. "He understands the position, knows the offense and he'll give us an opportunity to win the football game."
Miles did say, however, that it's still too early to tell if Russell will be available for the Miami contest on Dec. 30.
When asked about what he's looking for from his team against Miami, Miles replied, "I want us to play well. I want to play the type of football that I know we are capable of in all three phases -- offense, defense, and special teams. If we do that, then we'll put ourselves in a position to win the game"
The Tigers will practice at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday before breaking camp following another morning session on Thursday. The Tigers will depart for Atlanta and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at 2:30 p.m. on Christmas Day.