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October 7, 2013

Les Miles

COACH MILES:テつ How about this cool weather, huh?テつ Really last warm day, I guess.テつ I look forward to being home in Tiger Stadium.テつ I can tell you that playing on the road is certainly a challenge and it's really a lot of fun.テつ Again, the LSU faithful travels well, and we saw a lot of purple and gold in Mississippi and enjoyed, again, how we're followed.
I also want to reiterate welcome back the 2003 National Championship team I was fortunate to coach a couple years of those guys, and welcome.テつ They're a very important part of our tradition, and I look forward to seeing some of them this weekend.
Any time that you go on the road and you face a noisy environment and some things from a team that's had a couple of weeks to prepare for you, you're basically taking them in stride and schedule.テつ You would expect to get a very good effort from them.テつ They certainly provided us with that.テつ I have to say that our team is growing up a little bit.テつ It kind of felt like the way the offense handled the scoring, making sure that they answered at every turn certainly made a difference.テつ The score just before half, in my opinion, was just what we needed.
Offense, again, another great effort, 59 points threw for 563 yards.テつ Again, good balance.テつ 223 yards rushing.テつ Jeremy Hill with 157, Kenny Hilliard with three touchdowns inside the red zone, threw the ball well.テつ Zach had four incompletions on the day, threw for two touchdowns.
Receivers, again, doing a good job.テつ I like the fact that Travin Dural got a catch, I like the fact that Odell Beckham for 179 yards, two touchdowns.テつ Landry 8 for just under 100 yards.テつ I like the fact that those guys are being really called on week‑in and week‑out.テつ That's what they expect.テつ That's what they want.テつ That's how we'll treat them.
Certainly we've got to fix a poor decision on a throw, but certainly that's something that's easy to do, and we will get that accomplished.
I think Zach is just playing just how we need him to play at home or on the road.テつ He's the leader.テつ He's in charge of communication, and he's doing it extremely well.テつ My opinion really a‑‑ one of those guys that are on the field just gives you advantages, not only with his arm, but with his mind and how he approaches the game.テつ He's also the SEC offensive player of the week.テつ Again, very, very strong performance by him.
We get down in the red zone tight zone and running the pass just seemed to be very difficult for those teams to defend us.テつ Again, defensively, proud of Chief.テつ I felt like the staff did a great job.テつ Anytime you run into things that you see for the first time, and I'm just looking at probably four schemes that a team ran for the very first time against our defense, and some pass routes that were completely kind of seen for the first time in that practice and in that game, I should say, not in practice, that defense needs some adjustment.テつ I thought they did a really fine job.テつ I think that they realize that any win on the road is going to take great effort and energy.テつ They came into the second half defensively and allowed three points.テつ We scored 31 and certainly that was the difference.
Again, I think Chief's doing a great job, and I think our guys took a stride and I think they'll continue to take steps there.
Special teams, Jamie Keehn punted it twice, averaged 46 yards.テつ Hairston had six touchbacks.テつ Again, I think we're doing a really sound job there.テつ I think Colby Delahoussaye is a guy that we've got a five‑yard penalty, backed him up, took points off the board.テつ That's a pain when you're a kicker, and he just stepped right back in there and hit it.テつ Again, that's just what we needed.
On to Florida.テつ We'll be challenged.テつ A very, very talented team.テつ They have good players.テつ They'll be coming to Tiger Stadium.テつ Any time that we get these two teams matched up, I can think back into '07, and think back into times that we've faced Florida in this stadium, they've always been very competitive, a great challenge certainly to both teams.テつ So good, quality Florida team, ranked number 17, which in my opinion, they look a lot better than 17.テつ They're the No. 1 team defensively in the league.テつ They're allowing 12 points, 217 yards, 65 yards rushing and 152 yards passing.テつ They lead in all major defensive categories.テつ Again, a very sound scheme.テつ They don't give up big plays.テつ Again, Will Muschamp does a great job with that defense.
Offensively they're averaging 25 points, just under 400 yards a game, 107 yards rushing and 200 yards passing.テつ And they, again, good balance.テつ The quarterback is a play maker.テつ Tyler Murphy, and they have two very, very quality running backs and this Trey Burton comes in.テつ He's a play maker.テつ He leads them in receiving, and he can play quarterback kick.テつ I thought he seems like we've been playing that guy for a long time.テつ We need check his eligibility.
But a very, very quality team and we're looking forward to getting to work on him today.テつ It's a workday.テつ We look forward to welcoming Florida to Tiger Stadium, and we expect that it will be a loud, very, very home team friendly crowd.

Q.テつ When you hired Cam Cameron, did you ever in your wildest dreams think the passing game could look like this in year one?
COACH MILES:テつ I can tell you, I felt like it was just exactly the right pieces or factors to come together.テつ You have a veteran quarterback that can really throw it.テつ You have a veteran receiving corps that can really run routes and receive the ball.テつ Yeah, I really did.テつ I don't underestimate our offense, nor do I underestimate Cam.テつ I think he's a great coach.

Q.テつ Can you talk in detail about Zach?テつ Talk about your wildest dreams, 25 out of 29 and two drops.テつ What is the challenge for him going forward.テつ How do you handle it when the getting is good?
COACH MILES:テつ What he's doing is facilitating victory, playing well.テつ His piece of his contribution, if you will, is going to be based on how well we do and what the final scores are.テつ So some days throwing for 250 is not enough.テつ You're going to have to throw for 300.テつ It's based on what's needed for victory.
I can't imagine that he won't be motivated right on through this season with the idea that there are opportunities for this team to achieve and achieve greatly.

Q.テつ Looking back to last year, why did your offense struggle so badly against Florida's defense?テつ How improved are they now going into this game as opposed to that unit you brought to Gainesville last year?
COACH MILES:テつ Well, I think that we've found that I think it was a great effort going both ways.テつ We turned the ball over late in the game.テつ If we don't, maybe we take the lead and it's a completely different game.テつ I can tell you that Florida was very good that day, and we have to give them credit.テつ They're a talented team.テつ I think our guys fought very well.テつ So finished second that day.

Q.テつ The way your defense adjusted and executed in the second half, how can you guys use that to move forward defensively as you approach the Florida game?
COACH MILES:テつ Well, really all we have to do is play our technique and do the things that we're being coached to do and be confident and play with poise that that's all we need to do.テつ That's it.テつ It's the things that we've coached you to do, and accept the adjustment in a like fashion and play.テつ Tackle well and do the things that we're used to doing, and our football team, for that matter our defense, will take strides really each week.

Q.テつ What are the short term goals for Rashard Robinson, and how impressive for a kid to show up three days before things get rolling and to already be out there with the physicality and whatnot?
COACH MILES:テつ Rashard's a really exceptional guy in the fact that he's really ready for football.テつ There's a guy that can step on the campus and say, okay, football I understand.テつ We've got to make sure he gets ready academically and understands his role.テつ But he's one of those guys that understands football.テつ You put him aside that 100‑yard spot, and he's ready.

Q.テつ Could you just‑‑ we got to talk to Cam for the first time this season and just kind of gauge his take on how it's progressing.テつ What are your expectations for him moving forward to finish off this year?テつ Again, how much better can Zach get, how much better can he get as far as the duties that he has?テつ How comfortable do you think he is in the college game?テつ Do you think this is a pit stop for him or is he moving on to something else?
COACH MILES:テつ No, I think he is‑‑ I think he enjoys the college player.テつ I think he enjoys recruiting.テつ He's somebody that is committed to, in my mind, making LSU the best they can be.テつ His short‑term goals are to win and win very big.テつ I think Cam is a guy that will have long‑term ‑‑ I think he'd be a great head coach in the college game or for that matter the pro game.テつ Again, right now he's in college.テつ I think he sees his opportunities in college, and I think he'll have them.

Q.テつ You talked in your opening statement, what did Cam change in his approach in terms of the presnap and how he reads things and how he sees things before he lets the ball go.テつ What kind of change in process was it?
COACH MILES:テつ It's interesting.テつ I think one, I think Cam is a unique teacher in the fact that he can approach situations and teach it in such a fashion that he's speaking to the person that he's teaching, not necessarily a coach of 30 years, but basically getting through to that college aged student‑athlete that this is what we want.
In the same vein, I think Zach in his fifth year or in his final year in college kind of looks around and goes, I kind of got this.テつ I understand this.テつ Then to take a mentor that can fine tune the thought process.テつ I just think it's exactly the right thing.テつ It's getting out of his hand quickly.テつ He's aggressive in his thinking.テつ Yeah, I think it's kind of the perfect match, if you will.
I think there are some guys that Cam would have to have detailed it maybe a little bit differently.テつ The change in the week‑to‑week game plan would not be as wide.テつ You'd have to go at a pace that the quarterback could use and still be successful, but not necessarily as advanced as Zach was when he got here.テつ He's had some good coaches, and now you're really getting to the back end of a guy's career and coaching him somewhat differently where he can accept the changes and understand the changes and make a difference.

Q.テつ The changes you made in the secondary, obviously Loston was out and that's why Thompson had to play.テつ What was the thought process then behind inserting Rashard at the corner and moving Mills back to the nickel spot on the nickel package?
COACH MILES:テつ He's a very physical guy.テつ He made a lot of tackles in that game and played extremely well inside.テつ Rashard's a guy that really is probably ready to play corner.テつ That was the where is Rashard ready to play?テつ He's most capable at the corner spot, then we have a good nickel in Mills.テつ So that's why we moved him inside.

Q.テつ Injury update, Tajh Jones, Loston and Jarvis Landry?
COACH MILES:テつ Yeah, I really don't see any of those guys missing this game.テつ We'll have to see how it goes.テつ I think probably the one that is furthest away is Tajh.

Q.テつ There's been a big jump in the successive third down conversions, particularly long third downs.テつ What's been the biggest change from last year to this year?テつ Is there still anything that you'd like to see still be improved?
COACH MILES:テつ Well, we're constantly wanting improvement.テつ But I think there is an acceptance that there is a certain percentage that when you have success on third down and long position, that you certainly accept what you're getting.テつ I think we understand that we're having success and it's really benefiting us.

Q.テつ At this point in the season, is the answer more contact during practice, or is it just kind of teaching other things and less contact?
COACH MILES:テつ I don't know exactly what you said in the beginning, but what we're looking for is we're still teaching contact technique.テつ There is a point in time where your players have to realize that this is a technical game and that this is what you have to go through.テつ I don't think that contact is necessary to teach that kind of technical ability.テつ I think that you understand how important the small things are in your daily regiment, that you can continue to improve.テつ Not necessarily tackling a guy to the ground, but will tackle, legitimately tackle every day.

Q.テつ I realize offenses are going crazy.テつ But can you win a championship giving up 25 points a game?
COACH MILES:テつ Well, I just wanted to win the next game.テつ And I want to win the next game by one more than the opponent.テつ If we can continue to do that, we'll get to the back end of this thing and look back and go, yes or no.テつ But in any event, that's really all about the very next game.
I can tell you this:テつ It's not nearly as much fun when it's a game that you feel like you may have to just score more than the opponent.テつ I like how our defense is coming, and I think we'll get back to great LSU defense very quickly.

Q.テつ With Craig out on Saturday, what exactly were you missing in your secondary, if anything?テつ And what did you see from Corey?
COACH MILES:テつ I like Corey Thompson.テつ I thought that he handled the position extremely well.テつ I thought he communicated with the secondary, made the calls.テつ He made some tackles.テつ Now there were some times that I didn't like his angle to the tackle, but you know what?テつ He's really playing in his first starting role.テつ So I'm going to accept that he'll continue to improve.テつ I think you can win with Corey Thompson.

Q.テつ In recent years we've seen an influx of smaller, faster along the front seven players, is that strategy because the offenses are opening up to a spread more or y'all are recruiting the best players to come in?
COACH MILES:テつ I think it's a real interest of defenses to have athletic guys in that spread.テつ Those guys that can really chase around a quarterback that's really mobile.テつ I think there is a need, if you will, to have that fast guy that might even be able to go underneath that offensive tackle into the back field on the pass rush.
So those two things probably have factored into the need to get a little bit more athletic guy at the loss, if you will, of size and range.

Q.テつ You're number one in the league in red zone offense.テつ Is that a product of just being much better offensively this year, or do you think there are specific things that you have done that have paid off in the red zone that maybe you weren't doing a year ago?
COACH MILES:テつ Well, we're spending a little bit more time in the red zone and the tight zone.テつ I still think we're going through this same process.テつ I think maybe we're a little bit better team down there than we've been.テつ I certainly‑‑ it's all about the next game and the need for that trend to continue.

Q.テつ With Florida being the number one defensive team in the SEC, if Zach were to have an exceptional game, would you be in favor of allowing him to be promoted for the Heisman Trophy or some other such?テつ And how do you handle something like that when a player gets to that point?テつ Is it a difficult thing for you?
COACH MILES:テつ No, it's not a difficult thing for me.テつ I was around Desmond Howard as a Heisman Trophy winner.テつ I would expect that Zach would handle that kind of scrutiny, if you will, pretty well, considering the things that he's already kind of handled very well in this season.
But, again, I think we're cart before the horse there.テつ I think you'll find that all those people that are in the running for national awards, their team does extremely well.テつ If that continues, I think that there will be a large number of national awards for Zach as well as other guys.

Q.テつ Could you talk a little bit more about Tyler Murphy and maybe how their offense has changed since he took over?テつ Do you have enough tape to get a good feel on what kind of guy he is?
COACH MILES:テつ Well, he's a guy that's very athletic.テつ He's a guy that can throw the football.テつ They've run a number of wide kind of reverses and fake reverses and those things.テつ So it's an offense that's diverse.テつ But, again, I think that the trigger man is certainly the guy that makes good decisions.テつ I think he's thrown five touchdown passes and one interception, plays smart and does what the coaches ask him to do.

Q.テつ Being on your side of it, do you see a defense that has room for growth and they are maybe doing some things that they need to do better, maybe the offence as well.テつ Do you see them doing better?
COACH MILES:テつ Yeah, I like this game, especially later in the game that our defensive line we're handling 2‑on‑1, and 1‑on‑1 blocks and still making point of attack tackles.テつ To me, the defensive line up front is continuing to play better and must.テつ I think our linebackers have to play that tween position, if you will, between the run and the pass, and be able to come down the hill and make really quality tackles while covering the underneath route.
I think that there's definitely room for improvement.テつ I don't think that we've gotten to the high side of the water mark, if will you, of our defense.テつ I think it's taking strides.テつ I think they took a really nice stride last Saturday.テつ I think our guys will see this film and go, yeah.テつ That's what we're capable of.テつ That's how we need to play.テつ Let's continue to move in that direction.

Q.テつ Coach, you mentioned the linebackers.テつ Do you anticipate any change there moving forward as did you with the secondary, getting some fresh, younger guys?
COACH MILES:テつ Yeah, it will be interesting.テつ There's a number of young backers there that can see the field.テつ I kind of‑‑ there's some athletic guys that we've yet to get to the field as frequently as we'd like.テつ We'll have to see.テつ I think there is some movement there.テつ Again, it's one of those spots where we have some talented guys.

Q.テつ Any particular reason why you didn't use a back‑up quarterback in the winning minutes of the game?
COACH MILES:テつ Well, one of the reasons is we wanted to have a four‑minute feel and wanted that quarterback to be on the field, our quarterback, and have the ability to milk the clock, put him in that situation and run it out.テつ We were just going to hand the football off for the entire time, and we really didn't feel like we needed to make that change for that quarterback.テつ I think he's fine.テつ I think he'll understand how to play in competitive situations.テつ Again, more the training of Zach, not wanting to play the other quarterback.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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