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September 10, 2016

Les Miles

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Jacksonville State - 13, LSU - 34

LES MILES: Went a couple series and really felt like Brandon was not comfortable. So we figured we would bring Danny in. He was productive certainly almost right away, so we decided to let him stay. He was not perfect by any means, as I recall he's, oh, 6-14, which is not what we want and we had some guys wide open, certainly, but that was his first start, his first playing time, I should say, and certainly performed well, to a point.

I think Brandon's, we got to get him comfortable and settled down and in the flow and I don't know that that will happen, it just kind of depends on how this quarterback competition plays out.

So I like Guice. Guice came in, he was 19 carries for 155 and shows that he's a pretty special back in and of himself.

I thought our special teams was very sharp. I felt like Josh Growden averaged 40 plus, but many of his balls were not returned, he put it on the boundary and allowed them to bounce and that's an advantage for us.

I felt like Cam Gamble hit the ball right -- when you only have to cover a third of the field with your team, you can make a lot of tackles for short space. And if you looked at our average possession, we had kickoffs that were tackled on the 14, the 27, the 7, the 24, the 25, so we're really a lot closer to being a dominant special teams unit than we have been.

T. White, he went back 21 yards before he started to go forward on that return. So, he should get double credit for that running.

Missed an extra point. We can't do that. And we had two turnovers. Danny throws a deep ball for no reason, don't need to do that, we can pull that 1-down or hit a check down.

And then we had pressure off of our left side. So we were penalized 5-35 yards and we're going to lose some of those penalties too, I promise.

So, work in progress, feel like we're pretty talented. We didn't play Leonard Fournette today and we'll, we should certainly see him back healthy here pretty quick.

So, I don't think anybody got hurt, I think there's a -- nobody missed time. We would like to have been a little bit more efficient in running the clock out in the back end, but if that's your complaint, then that's not a bad complaint. So, questions?

Q. Danny's key decision making on the three touchdown drives that you had, seemed like even the incompletions were right on guys' hands, is that safe to say?
LES MILES: Yeah, we felt like there were a couple of balls that should have been caught during his time as well. But in the same vein, there were a couple of decisions that we will change, but we're optimistic that that will happen.

Q. When Danny was running the offense, it looked different than with Brandon. Was any of the play called different or is it just how he operates it?
LES MILES: No, it was just exactly the same offense that we have been running for as long as I can remember. So, we, the pieces that are there have been there for quite some time. In fact, that guy standing next to you ran a couple of those plays, so. He didn't sink? No, he didn't. I'm sure that whatever he said there is good. It's quality. That's no question. It's quality.

Q. Defense played well, but it seemed like they had a little trouble getting some three and outs in the first half. I think the only one was right before the end of the second quarter terrible?
LES MILES: Eli Jenkins is an All-American, he's got great speed. Did you see that big back? Oh my goodness. That offense was a real offense okay? Did you see the size of the receivers that were catching balls? I want you to know something, I, they looked like a big strong could have played in any league. So they haven't lost many games in their time that coach has been there. You see why. I think we lined up against a very quality team today. Quality.

Q. When you mentioned quarterback competition playing out it seems like Danny has a solid chance to compete for starter this week?
LES MILES: Absolutely.

Q. Did you get a chance to gauge Brandon's psyche, emotions after?
LES MILES: Well, the season is a long season. We're going to need both of them and I would expect a competition both guys would understand and that we would go forward from there.

Q. What was your assessment of the offensive line play?
LES MILES: I think I'll have to see film. I think they were certainly a lot better. But again, it will be -- we had, we moved Boutte, Boutte wasn't there, so we put Mi in the right guard and I thought he made some mistakes, but I thought he did pretty well.

Q. Did you think about playing Danny last week at all during that game?
LES MILES: Yeah. We were not in the exact same position, we didn't want to bring him in in an ugly spot where the pressure of the position might adversely affect how he played.

Q. Does this feel like a stabilizer coming back here and winning?
LES MILES: What we want to do is we want to go and correct some things. We want to talk about the things that need fixing and any time that you finish a game second like we did last week, it's a whole laundry list of things and it's difficult. This one here is we played a good team, we beat a good team, but we didn't play as well as we're capable and we'll take that to task and improve. So this Mississippi State looks like a pretty good football team.

Q. (No microphone.)
LES MILES: No, I have to be honest with you, after he moved around, I don't think it's something that he wanted to do and we were fortunate to have talented backs. I think that, I don't know how many yards Nick Browssette got, but he did pretty well too. So, yeah.

Q. What's the status with Leonard? How bad is he? Do you feel like he can play next week?
LES MILES: Well, me feeling like how he could play and him feeling it really --

Q. How does he feel?
LES MILES: I would like to tell you how he feels. I don't necessarily have that one either. But certainly he's happy that his team got a victory, and he's in the position where now he can step forward and step in in conference play and let's go.

Q. Brandon has been here two and a half years, why hasn't he succeeded?
LES MILES: I think it's not a succeed or not succeed, I think it's a take a couple steps forward and then you take a couple steps back and then you take a couple steps forward and as long as he continues to rebound and fight and compete, that's way down the road. You know what? There was a guy here that played quarterback with Hester, he was on Hester's team, a guy named Flynn. He started one year, he won a National Championship and he's still playing in the NFL. Isn't he still playing in the NFL? Well, why didn't you tell me before I said that.

So my point to you is, even though there's a lot of people that would say that success is a fleeting piece, and it's really the pursuit of that success that you're after. I think he's -- I think he'll continue to compete.

Q. What do the touch passes Danny completed do for the offense?
LES MILES: He did the check downs. It's night and day. If the deep post is covered and there's nothing on a crossing route and you hit it to a back and the back can turn, you can see, Darrel had a couple really nice check down runs and -- did they score on that one? Did he score? Yeah, it got right down to the one yard lane or thereabouts. So I thought that those were nice adjustments by Danny.

Q. What does it say that 4-16 is good enough to win with this offense and that run game?
LES MILES: Yeah, that's not enough. What you're going to want to do is you're not going to want to throw that deep ball out there in hope that a guy -- basically you want to hit a check down. You have to realize that you don't win the job with that throw, you really injure your opportunities. And that being said, he made enough really smart decisions -- I mean, just the scramble play on the naked. He comes off to the side and really there's several guys to throw it to, but the defense is running laterally, so he said, no, I'm taking it in. And that was exactly the right decision.

Q. How important is it to get the ball to Smith, because he has some skills.
LES MILES: I mean, he is a talented receiver. We think we have a number of talented receivers.

Q. Can you pinpoint what's going on with Malachi?
LES MILES: Yeah, he's got, I don't know what his, what's prohibiting him from having success, big strong, talented guy, goes up and gets it. But just can't bring it in. So, I would guess that he'll work on that. And, again, it's a work in progress.

Q. Seemed like early in the game especially the defensive line was rotating a lot more then a week ago. Did you want to get more guys in early?
LES MILES: Well, it was probably the heat that we saw here in Tiger Stadium that spoke to moving guys around making sure that we had a good fresh lineup there and having Frank Herron back certainly helped that group.

Q. (No microphone.)
LES MILES: We need to have like a ball or something that we can throw at him. I tell you what we did think, we said, this is Deja Vu all over again, right? Okay.

Q. Quality.
LES MILES: Quality. Yeah.

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