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October 21, 2019

Les Miles

Lawrence, Kansas

LES MILES: Good afternoon. Another good outing, but not exactly how we wanted to finish it. I believe that this team is coming, and I think there will be some games of significance as we go forward.

Any questions?

Q. Obviously that was the first week with Dearmon at OC. What did you kind of like about his preparation and then in-game play calling? What worked well?
LES MILES: Yeah, he has kind of just a good view of the 100-yard field and kind of knows where he's at and made some very significant calls on Saturday that put us in position to score.

Q. Obviously it was the best offensive game for you guys since that Boston College game, and it seemed like Pooka was able to have a huge game and Stanley had a really productive game.
LES MILES: Nine guys touched the ball. I mean, in receptions from Stanley. I think we're doing the things that we need to do, and I think that he is facilitating that extremely well. It's a -- when you get the ball to nine guys, those nine guys, it makes their game jump a little. I think you'll find that there will be another and another and another what would be game with multiple receivers.

Q. And then obviously defensively there were some issues for them to score 50 points. What was kind of standing out after you've watched the game --
LES MILES: Well, as much as I hate to admit it, I think their quarterback is pretty good, and I think if we'd have got him a nice tackle -- if we'd have got a tackle late in the game, in the last drive, for instance, you'd be surprised how quickly the plays and the opportunities that they have to move the football dwindle. So we just couldn't get that done. You know, again, the quarterback is pretty talented.

Q. What did you like about what you guys did defensively?
LES MILES: I thought we tackled the ball. I thought we tackled hard. I think as an example, Mike Lee's tackling, severing of the ball, and Bryce Torneden -- Bryce Torneden got to that ball faster than I could see how anybody could, and then once he got there, there was no chance that that ball was going to go to anybody other than him. I like those things.

Q. You talked about a lot of guys touching the ball on offense. Torry Locklin took two snaps at quarterback in that game. Was that just for the Texas game or is that in a package that you'll be using further into the weeks?
LES MILES: We'll have to see how that goes, as planned, but we'd certainly like to make that a regular piece of our business if we could.

Q. After the game a lot of the athletes were talking about how they felt disrespected by the Texas coaching staff, and you could see the way they played on the field with an edge. Did you like the way you guys played with that edge on the field?
LES MILES: I liked the way they played, and I enjoyed how they took the field, and they obviously were in a very competitive game from the start. Participated fully, and when you take the lead in the last drive, you think that you're going to win. Yeah, I liked it.

Q. Do you feel like Gavin Potter took a step forward, and what do you think about where he's at right now?
LES MILES: You know, Gavin Potter is a true freshman. He's come in, has shown no problem dealing with big stadiums and stepping into spots and playing big. I think he had nine tackles all over the field. Yeah, he's going to be something down the road. Give him a couple years, and he'll be something else.

But freshman newcomer something or other would be a great suggestion if you'd make it. I kind of like the freshman newcomer of the something-or-other. That had a nice little zip to it, didn't it.

Q. What's the update on Jeremiah McCullough's status?
LES MILES: He won't be with us this weekend. We'll have to see. It's significant.

Q. Looked like late in the game, Texas when you guys were trying to stop them, maybe the ball --
LES MILES: Oh, there was some time in the game that we weren't trying to stop them?

Q. You know, when you're trying to stop them to win the game. The clock might not have started on time. I don't know if that's something you guys noticed re-watching film if that's something you bring to the attention --
LES MILES: Absolutely, we'll turn it in. We'll see what they say. There's been other conferences that I've been involved in, and it seems that the hometown clock guy can sometimes quickly move the clock along sometimes inappropriately or sometimes hold the clock and not get it started when the play is started. So I think we'll have a look at that, see what they say.

Q. What type of impact do you think it had from re-watching it?
LES MILES: I would say without a time-out, that was one play.

Q. Also the TV cameras --
LES MILES: With the time-out, it could have been two.

Q. The TV cameras also showed you and Brent talking with the two-point conversion. I wondered what that discussion was before you guys decided to go for two. What were you guys talking about in that moment?
LES MILES: Well, I just wanted to make sure the logistics of this -- because I wanted to see what his thoughts were in terms of the rest of the game. Everybody was very positive, so I decided that that was the way we should go.

Q. There have been games where you've had a call sheet and have been involved with the headset. The last game you were not. I wondered the thinking behind that.
LES MILES: I had a call sheet and a headset.

Q. You did?
LES MILES: Absolutely.

Q. Can I ask you, just in a big picture sense when you have a performance as you did this weekend, just the importance as you're building a program to continue to build on momentum games when they occur and avoid any kind of setbacks? Regardless of wins or losses, just continuing building your momentum?
LES MILES: Well, any time that you go to an opponent's stadium, you build character in the understanding of what it takes to compete away. I think the understanding of being competitive and last drives and how important -- the offense got on the field to win it and won it, and special teams did not participate in a way that we'd like for them to participate. And then defensively should they have gotten a tackle at the end of the game, that could have made a tremendous difference.

Having those experiences build a team's reservoir, if you will, of what it is they're supposed to do when given opportunities, and we had a great opportunity this last Saturday.

Q. You mentioned nine different receivers made a catch, I think 10 different receivers targeted. How important is it just to spread the ball around to have that many different options for your offense?
LES MILES: It's team. And when you have that, you demonstrate it, and young guys -- first of all, it becomes a lot easier to block if you're out there catching a ball, and it becomes -- and I think it was. I think it was truly a team effort, and I think that those nine guys plus others stepped in and made big plays based on the fact of the connective feeling of team.

Q. And then can you kind of speak to the toughness of Andrew Parchment and give an update on his health moving forward?
LES MILES: I think Andrew is going to be fine. He had a nice game, and he'll be fine.

Q. You mentioned special teams. I know you had a lot of elite special teams units at LSU, so what goes into a good special teams unit?
LES MILES: Well, the speed under a ball, you kick a ball, you must have speed, know how to cover area, and there's a relationship with the players. I think that's the most important thing. If you have a very quality return man, I mean, I think that gives you a strength in the return game that other people don't have. But you have to do the things that are basic and fundamental to teams. When you line up to kick a field goal, when you line up to kick an extra point, you have to have protection, period. If I'm Liam, I'm saying, hey, guys, there's some leakage up here.

That being said, I think we'll be fine on special teams. Just keep going, babe.

Q. Along those same lines, have you guys identified between those two blocked kicks a common thread in both of those, or were they two different situations?
LES MILES: They were different pieces of -- they were different people. But we can categorize them in a wide term: Protection. We'll spend time on it, I promise you. The coaching staff spent time Sunday and this morning, so we'll take that expression of effort and energy to the game room.

Q. Can you talk about your expanded use of the fullbacks? You had them back with Carter, also up I want to call the dirty slot where they were getting their hands dirty, and also the significance of what Pooka was able to do because of these two fullbacks?
LES MILES: Yeah. Yeah, the -- one of the things that operate out of this room and probably on that wall, we are the most physical. So one of the things that allows us to be physical is to have big, barrel-chested, tough fullbacks, with the opportunity to block for others, and yet have the opportunity to do those things sparingly that they do with the ball, like run down to the goal line or run midfield.

Q. What impressed you about Carter's first game with this new offense?
LES MILES: It's not a new offense. It's a -- and then again, you can say -- that was a great question. It is a new offense, but the similarities between what we ran in the first several games and what we're running now are significant. It's just that the approach is different. I think Mr. Dearmon is doing a great job in pushing connectivity and team and physical play, and yet similarities between some of the things that we call -- and dissimilarities. I mean, there's some, specific to him, additions.

Q. What have you seen from Texas Tech so far on film?
LES MILES: Talented, well-prepared. It's going to be a very competitive game. We'll look forward to hosting them, certainly.

Q. There were I think maybe two or three times where Malik Clark looked like he was kind of banged up. How is he doing? Is he going to be able to play this coming week?
LES MILES: I think Malik Clark will be fine. He had cramps, and then he had -- really a couple little nicks, but I think he'll be fine. I would expect him to play in this game.

Q. And then with Prox being out so long, is it possible he'll miss this year, and if he did, would it be possible to have a medical redshirt?
LES MILES: I don't know, haven't done the research on it. I promise you that that research will be done before he goes on to the field again. But we'd love to have him for another year, should that be the case.

Q. Do you think he'll play this year?
LES MILES: You know, I'm going to have to check on that. It would be a late call, I promise you.

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