home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


September 17, 2016

Les Miles

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

LSU - 23, Mississippi State - 20

LES MILES: Well we get to an in-state conference opponent and not in-state necessarily, but a conference opponent and we come away with a victory and it wasn't perfect in any way, but we got started. We got a real good start in conference play.

Danny Etling comes out and is 19-30, 215 yards passing, nice start. We handled the ball in the first half for right around 20 minutes and a nice piece that the offense came out and took care of the ball, did the right things, and threw the ball pretty well.

The finishing of the game, we, the offense doesn't turn it over, we walk off there and don't put anything in question. But an onside kick, two fumbles and they get back in the game when they should not have been.

So, defensively, I thought they played really well. The Arden key had two sacks, Jamal Adams, nine tackles. Lewis Neal nine tackles, and again, but the defense played very well.

I think our special teams are unbelievably credited with contribution in this game. That punter hit balls that he out-kicked and basically made their returner give ground to field balls.

But like Cam Gamble hit the ball extremely well in that kick off tee, just went down there and knocked them dead.

So, all in all, a not necessarily a perfect win, but a good conference victory and one that we'll look forward to playing Auburn on the heels of this experience.

Q. You're ran three sort of gadget plays in the first quarter, why the need to go into that bag of tricks early?
LES MILES: Just a feel about the counteraction and making sure that they were not just running through the ball. And I would like to have those reverse calls back if I could get them back right now.

Q. What did Danny show you tonight?
LES MILES: Extended plays, ad-libbed the things he was supposed to do, pretty accurate, I think he missed on maybe two throws. Made plays with his feet. I liked him.

Q. Do you recall Leonard fumbling twice before?
LES MILES: No, I don't, to be honest with you. Again, when you're just a little -- the good news is he's ready to be gotten into great shape and be a great back again.

But one of those pieces is ball security and that's something that you always pay a tremendous price for if you don't work on it prior to.

So, he's one of the most ball secure runners that I've ever had. I'm sure he'll continue to be, it will just be a little refreshing course there.

Q. Was he limited at all tonight?

Q. Some fans will throw out you took the foot off the gas or whatever in the second half, but you find you didn't do that, it was just fumbles and --
LES MILES: Fourth down and a yard, we put some balls in the air in that second half, too. We got that first down on fourth down and one, it's just a walk in the park at that point.

Q. How disappointing is it when you dominate the first half to not have a dominating second half?
LES MILES: Not finish that way? Well, again, two fumbles, an onside kick, and a SEC opponent that can take advantage of real quality field position. So, we're fortunate that it finished like it did. And but, again, it's a great lesson to us. I think it will be something that we'll take with us to Auburn.

Q. You had a number of injuries on the offensive line tonight. Were you comfortable with the combinations that you had to play?
LES MILES: I thought Coach Fox did a good job of mixing and matching. The good news is we had Karl Malone is -- had a real significant cramp and he'll be back. And it doesn't really look like we'll miss any of those guys and we'll have to see how Toby is doing. But we think that they will all be back next week.

Q. Despite the late points, was this the defense's most complete performance?
LES MILES: Well I would like to have had them have a little bit more statistical supremacy, if you will. The problem with it is the offense didn't do that for them, offense could have put them in that position. And, yeah, I think the defense played, considering the opponent and considering the size of the offensive line and the backs and the quarterbacks that were playing against them, yeah, I thought this was a very solid outing. But they can be so much more, we finished the game on offense.

Q. Is this what you wanted the offense to look like, been having struggles but you guys seem to be mixing it up as well as you can with what you got. Is this indicative of who you think you are?
LES MILES: Yeah it's always been my desire to be 50/50 on an on any given down, you're going to have to defend -- not necessarily it's going to be 50/50 -- but you're going to have to defend the pass and the run. And I just felt like, yeah, this is much more what we were in search of. But it, again, it's, Danny Etling executed the things that we asked him to do and I think that that's really the story here.

Q. Outside of a couple of tight end issues I think you had in the game, getting some people on and off the field, it seems like they're getting the plays in easier, he's identifying things and then making some different checks?
LES MILES: Yeah, he's following the calls. He understands that it takes some time to, a good quality year, to understand all of the motions and the stems and what we do. But he's really capable. He's a very bright student of football and academics, but I think it helps him.

Q. Did he respond this week the way you wanted him in preparation?
LES MILES: Yeah, he's, he likes to work hard. Really more than anything, you have to tell him to come off the field.

Q. It seemed like DJ Sharp played a great role with Malachi in the slot, what was the reason for that?
LES MILES: Just trying to see different talents and skills and both for Malachi and DJ, and move those guys around and just give it a different look. All three of them know how to play those different spots, so we're fortunate to be able to mix and match what we found worked with those skills and talents of each guy.

Q. Did you like the way they responded?
LES MILES: Yeah, there's certainly a lot here or there, but we can certainly improve that.

Q. Did you give Danny more freedom to make checks at the line or did he always have this type of freedom to make those last few checks?
LES MILES: Yeah, that's really been our offense more than anything. He can get a lot of help on the sideline or he doesn't need any help and he's good and many times it's not a check it's just calling a play.

Q. Was there a pitch count for Leonard, do you feel like he could go 20 carries were right where he could be?
LES MILES: Yeah, we were, we talked about a pitch count, but he didn't want to sit right there, he wanted to get in the game so that really kind of told me that his ankle was doing pretty good.

Q. When it's a three-point game late in the game and they have the ball and the stadium is basically empty, is that strange?
LES MILES: Well, I certainly understand it, because they thought just like, hey, this thing is done, it's over, let's go get some food. But the reality of it is we had to make it close and certainly we had some people turn the TV back on, you know, hey, turn the TV back on. But, no, to be honest with you, I think that that crowd was just everything we wanted early and it will be there when we need them.

Q. Six sacks tonight, how are you able to do that?
LES MILES: We had some guys that can fly, Lewis Neal, certainly Arden Key, Kendell Beckwith, those guys can hit the quarterbacks and they're a devastating weapon on third down.

Q. You spoke about a tremendous price for ball security, for most backs that would probably be the bench. In Leonard's case, what would that price be?
LES MILES: Well, the reality of it is is that generally he would have had eight carries in one of the preseason scrimmages and then as many as 12 carries and then maybe as many as 15 carries. So, for the first real live work that he's had, certainly we got to fix those turnovers, but we're getting him back in shape and we're investing in what will be a very talented back and everybody know that is Leonard has good ball security we just got to make sure that we bring it to the forefront.

Q. Do you think Danny has kind of got a hold of the team and now is kind of cemented as your starting quarterback?
LES MILES: I'm not into defining all that, but I do very much like Danny and I think he's done a great job and I would anticipate that he'll be in that position come that trip to Auburn here next week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297