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October 20, 2014

Les Miles

COACH MILES:テつ Afternoon, all.テつ These games are the reasons that you come to LSU.テつ The style of big rivalry, an opponent that you know well, that will‑‑ we will enjoy preparation, game day, the eyes of the college football audience on what's going on in Baton Rouge, we'll enjoy this one.テつ We would expect that the fans and those people that file into Tiger Stadium would come, bring food so that you can stay long and stay through the fourth quarter.テつ Make some noise!
This game here is one that you will enjoy.テつ I can tell you it will be a magical place, and you will add to it.テつ So to that crowd that will come in, come on!テつ Let's have some fun!
Now, before I get to Ole Miss, let's talk about Kentucky.テつ The 17 first quarter points, certainly we wanted to start fast.テつ That's what we did.テつ Terrence Mcgee's 49‑yard opening kickoff return gave us a short field.テつ We punched that in.
We scored a 3‑point field goal and tremendous Dave I couldn't say ^ white hits a punt return for 17‑0, Tigers, it's exactly how you wanted to start the day.テつ Very pleased with how our special teams played.テつ They played a very key role in the contest, and corrected a lot of things that we needed corrected going into this game.テつ Really thought the team set a tempo, if you will, for victory in that game.
The offensive rush for 300 yards, we were 7 for 13 on third downs, hit Travin Dural on a big pass.テつ We're getting better each week, improving is what we have kinda hung our hat on.
Terrence Mcgee has 127 yards, his best all‑around game, you get reception yardage as well as kickoff return yardage, 44 yards receiving and 49 yards kickoff returns and 127 so his all‑purposes yardage is very strong.テつ We don't turn the ball over on offense, minus the last play.テつ We played great defense.テつ Special teams does their part.テつ That's kind of the recipe, if you will.
Kentucky got 3 points, total yards of 217, 71 yards rushing, 146 yards passing, to Danielle Hunter had a big game.テつ If you watched him play, his tenacity, his hustle, he batted down passes, he made tackles, went inside and chased the ball outside and made tackles, he had a strong game.テつ Jamal Adams had 8 tackles and made some big plays on special teams.テつ He's a guy that just‑‑ who is No. 33?テつ That's what's happened to him.テつ Who is No. 33 and they go look him up in the program because simply put, he is making plays wherever you line him up at and that's a great characteristic.テつ Kendall Beckwith in his second start, played much better.テつ Nine tackles.テつ Again, we're improving.
Ole Miss, 7‑0, a No. 3, nationally ranked opponent.テつ Coach Freeze is doing a great job there building a quality program.テつ They're very, very good, a very talented team on both sides of the ball.テつ On offense they're averaging 35 points per game, 433 yards, 288 passing, 151 rushing, which is great balance.
The quarterback, Bo Wallace is maybe one of the best quarterbacks that have gone through this conference, very capable quarterback.テつ Tremendous receiving core, three receivers that have caught at least 20 balls, four touchdowns, they can beat in you a number of ways for touchdowns.テつ Defensively they're as good of a group as we will face, talented up front, linebackers that can run, overall scheme place on top, very difficult to move the football with any regularity, and they've‑‑ they lead the league in interceptions.テつ They've had 15 interceptions, 20 turnovers so this is a very quality team.テつ The style of team that deserves being nationally ranked and deserves the best efforts of their opponents.テつ They're some great history with this rivalry.テつ We like to point at, certainly, the Billy Cannon's Halloween run and for that matter, Odell Beckham's Halloween run.テつ Not necessarily the same style of national play but the same tile of play in Tiger Stadium.
We will have enthusiasm and enjoyment for preparation.テつ This will be a great week to improve and play against a quality opponent.テつ Questions.

Q.テつ Coach, it appeared to me that your front seven played a lot more guys early in that game.テつ Was that a concerted effort?テつ How do you think it helped in the ballgame?
COACH MILES:テつ I think we're developing depth there.テつ I think there are guys that we can put on the field early and late that give us quality play in minutes and give us freshness as we go through the game, so, yeah, I think we're fine there.

Q.テつ And that whole quarterback thing we started Saturday night, I wanted to bring that up again.テつ In general can you allow yourself as a coaching staff to think about how you prepare the future when you're trying to win games now at that position?
COACH MILES:テつ I think it's a‑‑ I think in an equality plan even in the short‑term develops the future and I think that is what is our thought process.テつ We have to develop the position, if you will, and make sure that we're preparing to win this game and developing that position as we would go forward.テつ In a snap you just never know who the quarterback is.テつ So we're doing both, as best we can.

Q.テつ Can you talk about how it's going?
COACH MILES:テつ I think both quarterbacks are improving.テつ I think they are enjoying the preparation, and I'm pleased.

Q.テつ Coach, you made a point to encourage fans to stay through the fourth quarter.テつ What word would describe your reaction that you're not?テつ Are you disappointed?テつ Irritated?
COACH MILES:テつ It's really difficult for me to tell a family, a dad that's just got off work or somebody who has had a rough weekend where they should be spending their time as a family.
Only thing I can tell you is that if you have tickets the back end of these games is worthwhile staying for.テつ It's, in my opinion, an event.テつ It's a wonderful place to spend an evening.テつ Irritated has never been my issue.テつ I promise you, I'm as excited as I could be through the back end of those games and those games that are 41‑3, I'm good with that, too.テつ Doesn't bother me a lick and I'm going to stay all the way through.テつ Just one of those things.

Q.テつ Les, back to the quarterbacks for a second.テつ How do you get Anthony to continue to gain confidence on different throws, different patterns and on the same side how do you and Cam gain confidence in him on every throw you feel like he can make?
COACH MILES:テつ Well, there's all kinds of teaching that we go through.テつ Certainly the classroom where we demonstrate the drawings and then the film work where we look at where those lines that we are attending and intending to attack are, and this is that space and, you know, you look at a team that's three deep and you picture your passing attack through that deep seam and as it would come down, and then you take them to the field and you throw those throws and they get comfortable throwing those throws and they realize how big the window is or how small the window is and they get off a guy that's covered and it's a maturation process, if you will, and I think these guys are coming.
I think they're throwing balls that you're not seeing in a game sometimes in practice much better than they have, so, yeah, we're working that to develop the total position and the total passer and the total quarterback.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
COACH MILES:テつ Well, I think with every call that we call, this is something that they're comfortable with.テつ You know, when you get that call from left field and they look at you like, now, what is that exactly?テつ That should never make a call list.

Q.テつ Second thing, why is Kendall making such a difference at middle linebacker?テつ Especially it seems like you've stopped the read option better.テつ Is he staying home more?テつ Reading things differently?
COACH MILES:テつ I think really it's a concerted effort.テつ It's certainly not just his play, but I think the defensive line using their hands and getting off and restricting movement and holes, if you will.テつ And also I think Kendall is playing more confidently and comfortably there.テつ He has great speed to the ball so when he gets there it's a big man on a tackle, so I think he's making a difference, certainly.

Q.テつ With Anthony how do you tell him to fire the football, be confident but also this secondary has intercepted a lot of football and they're dangerous and you have to be careful with the football.
COACH MILES:テつ Anytime you lineup against a secondary like this you're going to be involved with reading the play and coming to the spot where, you know, you need to throw the football.テつ But that's kinda how we've prepared him right along.
I don't think this‑‑ certainly they're a talented team and a team that can present a real problem, but in the same vein, the passing attack is a quality one and it ought to take us to the right spots.

Q.テつ After the Mississippi State game wasn't to blame for everything and it was a combination of things but the last couple of weeks they've played very well.テつ What's been the difference and going into this next two‑game stretch where they have to be probably the best that they have to be all year?
COACH MILES:テつ Our football team is improving.テつ I think they're improving in really all three phases.テつ I think an offensive line, when they run the football best, it takes pressure off the quarterback.テつ When they protect the quarterback, again, it allows that quarterback to go back in the pocket and do the things he wants to do.テつ When the defense is playing well, and they turn the ball over back to that offense and that offensive line with anticipation, going on to the field, I think that works and if when a guy like Tre'Davious White throws in a 7‑pointer, they can look up and see that scoreboard and it makes it much more enjoyable to go to the field.テつ I think the offensive line is absolutely improving.テつ I think they're one of the best five‑somes in certainly our league if not in college football, and I think it helps them play within and do their job within a quality team and I think the team is improving as well.

Q.テつ Les, there is no doubt, and you don't want to disrespect any opponents but it's no doubt that Auburn and Mississippi State because of their quarterbacks are a little higher caliber than Florida and Kentucky.テつ Are you interested to see how the defense has progressed going against Bo Wallace and another veteran quarterback in the league?
COACH MILES:テつ We think both quarterbacks you just mentioned are talented guys and we think that we're in a better position now to play defense, you know, against anybody, so we're lighting it up against one of the premiere teams in our conference in Ole Miss, and it will be certainly a challenge for us, but one which we will look forward to at match‑up.

Q.テつ Coach in facing one of the premiere defenses in the SEC, for your offensive play calling is this a type of game where you want to focus in on what your team does well or do you need a variety?テつ Do you need to expand it and possibly catch them off guard?
COACH MILES:テつ Well, we have to keep our opponents, all of which, off balance with the run and the pass.テつ We're a team that really wants to be balanced.テつ I think you will find that in the back end of last week's game we like to throw the football a little more, should the score not be so one‑sided, but as we go forward it will be about balance.
We will be throwing the football, especially in this game and as we go forward, we have to have balance to make sure that the run and the pass both go down the field.

Q.テつ How do you think your pass rush did, you know, the first six games?テつ Seemed like over the last couple of weeks especially last game you got more pressure, did some different things.テつ We saw a play at the tackle.テつ Seemed like you changed some things.テつ Why did you start changing and how do you feel the pass rush is now?
COACH MILES:テつ I think the pass rush is coming.テつ They're part of that team that's improving.テつ I think that this‑‑ our defensive line understands getting up the field a little bit better and where 33 lines up at those spots, comes around the edge as well.テつ I think some of the changes are maybe you're just noticing them as much as‑‑ because this has been in place for some time.

Q.テつ Anthony admitted after the game last week that he missed a lot of throws.テつ He's been here for a year and a half or so now.テつ Why do you think he's still struggling with accuracy issues?
COACH MILES:テつ I don't know that it's so much the accuracy as it was the decision where to go with it.テつ When you make a quality decision your feet are set and you make a nice throw that's kinda what you see.テつ If you make a late decision, you miss the decision and you try to get back to it with an off‑rhythm throw or one where your feet aren't necessarily set, I think that affects the accuracy of the throw, and I think that really is more what he's speaking to.

Q.テつ At the end of the first half you called a time‑out with 12 seconds left and I was wondering if you were considering taking a shot at the end zone and why you opted for the field goal.
COACH MILES:テつ Yeah, just the view of if we take a shot and it can't be a ball that is caught in bounds and not an in‑the‑end zone throw and we really did like our field position and what we were trying to improve on and that's the reason we did not take the shot.

Q.テつ This Ole Miss team a lot of players back from the team that beat y'all last year.テつ What did you see as the biggest improvement they have made?テつ Where are they better?
COACH MILES:テつ I think they have good quality personnel.テつ I think they're playing, you know, better in all three phases.

Q.テつ Coach, how has Anthony Jennings improved so far and what would you like to see him improve on more as the season winds down?
COACH MILES:テつ I think he continues to do the things that we want him to do more.テつ I think he's becoming more accurate.テつ I think he understands the style of throws better.テつ His leadership in those things that are not necessarily his plays allow him to make ten other players better, so that needs to continue.テつ All those things that I just mentioned, you know, for the position must continue to improve.

Q.テつ Your team got a penalty for an illegal snap.テつ What constitutes an illegal snap?テつ What happened in this instance?
COACH MILES:テつ Okay, first of all, let's go to things that are really important.テつ That is one sharp lid, Ted.テつ I'm telling you (Chuckles.)テつ That cap right there that you're wearing it's big‑time.テつ I want you to know there are a lot of men that walked by and said "Man, I'm going to have to get me one of those."
I just wanted to mention that.
The illegal snap, okay, if a center would start to snap and then start it again that would be an illegal snap, okay?
I think that's exactly what happened on that play.

Q.テつ On your kickoffs, I believe gamble is the one who kicked off and one of the other players covered it.テつ You kinda alternate them.テつ Does anything determine who is going to do the kicking off in certain instances, which one you use?
COACH MILES:テつ We like both guys.テつ We think that both guys have real strong legs and we think Trent Domingue is maybe a little bit more experienced, but, yet, we think Gamble brings a strong leg to bear.テつ We think they give us different things, so maybe there is a little skidder kick, if you will, and maybe the other guy kicks a cross‑kick more effectively.テつ So we use their different skills, hopefully the opponent does not necessarily pick that out.テつ Where did you get the lid, seriously?テつ It's really a sharp lid.

Q.テつ We'll see if we can get you one.テつ Will you wear it?
COACH MILES:テつ I don't know if I'll wear it but, yes.

Q.テつ Les, there were some plays you used the other night with Jennings, the screen pass, the tight end over the middle, dump to go Terrence.テつ Do you feel like you guys and him are able to expand things each week?
COACH MILES:テつ With Terrence?

Q.テつ No, Anthony.
COACH MILES:テつ With Anthony?テつ Yeah, there are some things that have not made the call list in the last couple of weeks that are being prepared for games and I think some of those things are part of, you know, those plays that you're now noticing.

Q.テつ Coach, you touched on the 17 interceptions that lead the league.テつ When you look at film of Ole Miss, what is creating that number of interceptions?テつ Is it pressure on the quarterback, their scheme?テつ Talented guys in the secondary?
COACH MILES:テつ I think they have a very good defensive coordinator doing a very good job, I think there are talented guys in their secondary that anticipate the ball and can make plays.テつ I just think the combination of scheme and players make a difference for them.

Q.テつ Bo Wallace has been a guy that has had some suspect decision‑making in his past but so the far he has a clean slate in SEC turnovers.テつ Where has he improved so much?
COACH MILES:テつ His years in the offense, understands the throws, kind of instinctive that way.テつ I think it's making a difference for him.

Q.テつ Coach, Travonte Valentine appeared to warm up with the team but wasn't on the sideline.テつ What can you tell us about his status?
COACH MILES:テつ He's still not eligible for play so we're‑‑ I don't know that he warmed up and then wasn't on the sideline, to be honest with you.テつ I think maybe that was a number issue.テつ I'm not ready to say that he warmed up and then wasn't on the sideline, but I can tell that you he's not going into the game.テつ Not at this point.

Q.テつ So to the best of your knowledge, he wasn't involved in the warm‑ups.
COACH MILES:テつ Yeah, he was not involved in warm‑ups.

Q.テつ Kendall Beckwith, did you ask the SEC whether that was targeting or not with the shot to the helmet?
COACH MILES:テつ We sent that in.テつ I think that's something that the Conference is looking at.テつ I know this:テつ We had a like position in Jamal Adams, Jamal Adams made a nice block at the hip and that's technically exactly what we want to have happen.テつ You know, I think college football is developing what is right and expected and it takes some work, and I think that certainly that's what the conference is doing and, you know, I think they recognize the issue of that block and they're handling it the best way they can.

Q.テつ A few weeks ago you guys were 0‑2 in the conference, you said you're only concern was getting it right, now you are 2‑2, what does it say about your team, the momentum, what you have done the past couple of weeks?
COACH MILES:テつ Yeah, we recognize what we're doing is improving us.テつ We recognize that we have a talented team.テつ We all kinda suspected that, now we're looking forward to playing best against some of our best opponents.テつ This will be a great game, a great competitive environment, and certainly Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.

Q.テつ Coach, the last two weeks, like you've said, you've gotten to play under‑the‑radar‑football, the Florida game, Kentucky game.テつ This week are you worried that they got used to that under‑the‑radar role and that it might be a big transition with the Game Day coming here on Saturday that it might be hard for them to get used to that?
COACH MILES:テつ When they walk on the field with the LSU helmet on and the LSU uniform on, there is no "under the radar."テつ Your opponent knows who they are playing and we know who is in our helmets, okay?テつ So we'll look forward to that environment.テつ It's kind of how we've grown up around here.

Q.テつ Can you speak to the importance that you put on special teams.テつ Jacob Hester told the story about the first game against Arizona State, how they worked all week to get that block and it worked and I think you have 20 touchdowns on special teams you have had a long run of successful kickers.テつ What importance has it meant to you in the winning and everything?
COACH MILES:テつ It's always been an equal place in our teaching and our curriculum as we prepare our team and it's always been really since my experience in the NFL, we have always wanted to teach it best.テつ There has always been an equal and first position for special teams.
We will meet and initially we will speak to special teams and then divide up into offense and defense, and I think that's the way to do it.テつ We get to practice, it's special teams first and then offense and defense.
I think that's, again, I think it's the right priority in the order of teaching and I think it's the right priority in practice and so I think Peveto brings a passion with his football that, you know, matches the order in which we teach special teams at LSU.

Q.テつ Even though you've been coaching ten years in the SEC, do you get surprised week‑to‑week after a game is over and you go home and you start watching, maybe see scores, whatever, are you surprised Alabama shutting out A&M or Missouri blowing up Florida?テつ Every week it's something crazy.テつ Are you surprised by that at all?
COACH MILES:テつ I just hope I'm not surprised when we take the field.テつ That's the whole key.テつ I enjoy how we play, how we play defense and offense and special teams.テつ As we prepare for a game and as we prepare for a season that's the key piece.テつ The key piece for me is that the LSU Tigers play like the LSU Tigers.テつ When you watch what's going on in college football, it's a tough bet, you know what I mean?テつ I would certainly hate to make a living having to put a buck down here or there, I would never get it right.テつ Thank you.

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