Tigers Practice in Dark to Prep for Hurricanes
LSU Sports Interactive
BATON ROUGE -- LSU's pre-Christmas workouts for the Chick-fil-A Bowl will come to an end on Thursday, but not before the 10th-ranked Tigers will have put in seven productive practices leading up to their game against ninth-ranked Miami.
The Tigers worked out indoors for the sixth consecutive day on Wednesday, going in full pads for just over two. LSU will hold another practice on Thursday morning before breaking for Christmas.
Wednesday's workout was held during some adverse situations for a stretch of about 20 minutes as 75 percent of the lights in the indoor football practice facility went out as the team was going through individual drills. The Tigers continued to practice through the semi-blackout. It was learned after the workout, that cornerback Ronnie Prude has mistakenly turned off the lights.
"Ronnie came clean," LSU coach Les Miles joked after practice. "He was running a drill and mistakenly hit the wall where the light switches are located. The switches flipped and turned off almost all of the lights in the facility. We didn't miss a beat. We kept on practicing in the dark."
Once turned off, the lights in the indoor football facility have to cool down, which takes about 15 minutes, before coming back on.
"I think the practices have been good this week," Miles said after Wednesday's workout. "We came out today and had good tempo. The players really got after it once they understood that with Christmas coming we just have one more practice before taking a short break.
"I think the players are excited to get a couple days off and then it's the start of bowl season once we get to Atlanta. That provided some natural enthusiasm during the workout."
Once in Atlanta, the Tigers will practice each day in the Georgia Dome, starting with a 10 a.m. workout on Monday, Dec. 26.
Miles said it's been exciting getting ready for a Miami team, who like LSU, has won a national title in recent years. The Hurricanes claimed the 2001 national title, while the Tigers won the 2003 national championship.
"I think it's a great match-up," Miles said. "Miami is a quality opponent, and this is an opportunity to get a significant win in the back end of, in my opinion, a very productive season."
This year's LSU team became just the fourth team in school history to reach 10 victories during the regular season. LSU goes into the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl needing a victory to become the second-winningest team in school history, joining the 1958 squad that won 11 games. The 2003 team holds the school record for wins in a season with 13.
In addition, this year's squad became the first in school history to beat Auburn, Alabama and Florida in the same season and became just the third team in school history to play in the SEC Championship Game.
Against Miami, the Tigers will face a squad who ranks among the top five in the nation in four defensive categories, including leading the country in pass defense (148.2 yards per game) and pass efficiency defense (84.6 rating) as well as being ranked No. 2 in scoring defense allowing only 11.9 points per game.
"I think Miami's defensive front is awfully athletic," Miles said. "They have quality defensive ends, their two tackles are tremendous and their three linebackers fly to the football. All around, it's a good defense."