BATON ROUGE -- LSU's fourth-ranked football team went back to work on Sunday afternoon as the Tigers began their preparations for the Allstate Sugar Bowl with a two hour session at the Charles McClendon Practice Facility.
LSU will face 11th-ranked Notre Dame in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Jan. 3 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. Both teams bring identical 10-2 records into the contest.
Sunday's practice, which was held indoors, was in shorts and shoulder pads marking the first workout for the Tigers since the week of the Arkansas game in late November.
“I thought the throwing, catching and ball handling was really pretty good,” head coach Les Miles said of Sunday's practice. “The key is that they (players) are in great shape. The first three practices will mostly be ones versus ones and twos against twos, which helps develop your program because it's getting some of the young players reps.
“There are a lot of things that you get accomplished during bowl practice. One of those is bringing some of these young guys along and getting them some snaps.”
Miles said the Tigers will have 14 total bowl practices, which includes nine workouts in Baton Rouge and then five in New Orleans.
“Fourteen practices are really a little excessive in terms of getting ready for one opponent,” Miles said. “The first couple of days will be more LSU versus LSU. Tuesday we will start working on Notre Dame some. We'll go right though until Friday, take a break for Christmas and come back and get three practices in before we leave to go to New Orleans.”
Miles said he and his staff have already seen enough film of Notre Dame to realize just how good of a team they are. Miles said he has been particularly impressed with quarterback Brady Quinn and wide receiver Jeff Samardzija.
“Notre Dame is very good,” Miles said. “We are concerned with a number of things they do. They are very talented. They have been Notre Dame for a long time.”
On Quinn, who finished third in this year's Heisman Trophy balloting, Miles said, “he has really good feet. He can run and he throws the ball very well.”
Miles also complimented the Notre Dame wide receivers and its offensive line, one in which he says, “protects very well.”
The Tigers return to the practice field at 3 p.m. on Monday in what will be the second of six workouts for the team before breaking for the holidays.