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November 28, 2011

Will Blackwell


THE MODERATOR:テつ Will Blackwell, Brandon Taylor, and Morris Claiborne.テつ LSU, are you on the line?テつ We've got offensive lineman Will Blackwell right here.
Will, good afternoon.テつ How are you?テつ While we wait on questions for the media, would you mind just discussing the Tigers season as you get ready to play for the SEC Championship on Saturday night.
WILL BLACKWELL:テつ We're fortunate enough to get through this season 12‑0.テつ Had a lot of tough challenges, had some road challenges.テつ Just excited to pick it up and go to Atlanta from here.

Q.テつ Will, you guys have played some unbelievable defenses in some big games this year.テつ Just wondering, looking at Georgia now that you've had time to look them over, do they compare favorably to Alabama or your guys' defense?
WILL BLACKWELL:テつ They're a very good defense.テつ They've got a lot of athletes that can run, some big guys up front.テつ Linebackers that do a great job of getting downhill and getting to the ball and making the tackle.テつ I'm not one to compare defenses.テつ I think that depends on what you consider good in a defense.テつ As you know, different people have different opinions of that type of thing.

Q. テつJust wanted to talk about your running game.テつ You guys can throw in three or four guys every game.テつ How much does that help to wear down a defense?
WILL BLACKWELL:テつ I think it helps to wear down a defense in the sense that our guys don't get as tired.テつ We got fresh legs here at the end of the season.テつ We've got three, four, maybe five guys that can all run the ball and run it hard.テつ The main thing, the best thing for us is we don't have to put the whole load on one guy.テつ When one of those guys comes in, he can just pound it as much as he can and look forward to getting a little break.

Q.テつ How much has that helped to open up the passing game?テつ Seems like Jordan's been passing the ball a lot better since you guys have been able to rotate all these running backs in and same thing for Jared as well.
WILL BLACKWELL:テつ That's the name of the game.テつ You've got to be able to run the ball to throw the ball.テつ That's the philosophy we've taken on this season.テつ Any time we can throw it, obviously we're doing a pretty good job at running it.

Q.テつ Will, can you just talk about‑‑ you guys are in the unique predicament.テつ You all have everybody in the outside world saying, hey, it doesn't matter if LSU wins this game Saturday or not.テつ They're playing for the National Championship.テつ What has that kind of been like for you guys to deal with, and how do you all approach it knowing that everybody from the outside has their opinion about that?
WILL BLACKWELL:テつ That's one thing about this team that really doesn't bother us.テつ That's the outside talk and the outside noise.テつ Going back to August right at the end of camp, we've had problems.テつ We've had adversity that we've dealt with.テつ We've had a lot of people on the outside say a lot of different things.テつ As you know, that hasn't really slowed us up, hasn't stopped us at all.テつ We do a very good job around here keeping things on the outside on the perimeter and not letting them affect us in any way.

Q.テつ Could you just talk about your guys' abilities to go on runs.テつ You fell behind 14‑0 the other day, closed on a 41‑3 run.テつ You took a game against Auburn and made it 42‑3 in just a few minutes.テつ It seems like those runs are being key from a lot of different directions.テつ What is it like to be part of that and get those things going?テつ How does the team feel emotion‑wise once they really get going on one of those things?
WILL BLACKWELL:テつ To give a credit to our defense, Tyrann Mathieu, Mo Claiborne, and defensive line and those guys, they do a great job of taking the ball away.テつ Any time you can take the ball away in an opponent's territory, it gives us a huge boost because we don't have to worry about playing on a long field.テつ We don't have to worry about turnovers because, if we do turn it over, we're already down there.
It simplifies the game plan for us.テつ Any time you get good field position, it makes things a lot easier for the coordinators and the players as well.

Q.テつ Will, you guys have had the bull's eye on you pretty much the whole year.テつ Can I ask the time the coaches weren't around, I know the mantra is one game at a time, especially in this conference, no doubt about it, but do you guys give yourself a little time to dream sort of what's going on?テつ Have you guys talked about the upperclassmen what this could mean?テつ Did you project a little bit maybe to this moment?
WILL BLACKWELL:テつ It's always a dream to go undefeated and to be in the SEC Championship with a chance to go to the National Championship.テつ We haven't really sat around and talked about.テつ Of course we've had some conversations, like I said, dreaming about it and just thinking about how amazing it could be.テつ It's been fun.テつ It's been a good ride.テつ It's nice to share the stories with the guys like myself that were around here since 2007 and understand what it takes to get there.
We're not focused on the National Championship game at this present time.テつ We're just worried about getting to Atlanta and bringing home another SEC Championship to LSU.

Q.テつ You mentioned you were part of that thing in '07 when you guys handled your business completely.テつ Did you tell some of the younger guys, not necessarily the media, the radio, the newspapers, but when you're walking around campus and everyone is telling you how great you are, to kind of understand what that really is and what that's really not.
WILL BLACKWELL:テつ Yeah, you said it well.テつ It's more about Baton Rouge and about LSU and about Louisiana more than it is about the national recognition or the trophies or anything like that.テつ I feel like this team, last few teams we've been able to bring this state together.テつ It's really meant a lot to the people around here that we've been as successful as we have been.

Q.テつ That game against Alabama when neither team could get in the end zone with touchdowns, was that a game that maybe the O‑line just didn't execute maybe quite as well as you could have or Alabama's great defense or just a combination?テつ Or it's just a rare game where neither team could score a touchdown in that game?
WILL BLACKWELL:テつ Just a little bit of both.テつ Two best teams in the country going at each other, it's going to be hard to get any points you can.テつ Fortunately for us, it came down to field goals, and we were able to come out with a win.テつ Alabama's a great defense.テつ They're huge up front.テつ Got some tremendous linebackers in Upshaw and Hightower.テつ They're a tough team to play against.
During that game, we had some offensive miscues, but a lot of credit could be given to them for stopping our game plan.

Q.テつ Along that line, Georgia defense has climbed to one of the top in the country, top five and so forth.テつ Do you expect that same kind of challenge this coming Saturday to get your offense going?
WILL BLACKWELL:テつ Yeah, we focus on that challenge every week.テつ We've faced a lot of good defenses.テつ Our plan has been to run the ball.テつ Hopefully, we'll be able to come out there and execute that this Saturday.

Q.テつ Hey, I wondered, from a player's perspective, all the things that you guys have sort of navigated through this year, what has Coach Miles' role been in that?テつ Is he one of those guys that sort of has the perfect mentality to sort of make it through some of those type things, Will?
WILL BLACKWELL:テつ No doubt.テつ Coach has done a great job of helping us block everything out.テつ We've had distractions off the field.テつ It's tough for guys our age to deal with that when there's no leadership.テつ That's one thing we don't worry about here.テつ Coach Miles and the seniors of this team have done a great job of coming together and helping us focus on really where we're trying to go.

Q.テつ Is he one of those guys that can play good cop and bad cop at the same time, can be tough and hard when he needs to but also can go the other route too?
WILL BLACKWELL:テつ Oh, no doubt.テつ That's makings of a great coach.テつ You can't always be too harsh, and you can't always be too soft.テつ You have to find the fine line of what's right and what's wrong.テつ If anybody's done a good job of that, it's been Coach Miles.

Q.テつ Will, what kind of problems does Jarvis Jones present for you guys at the line?
WILL BLACKWELL:テつ Well, the biggest problem we're going to have with him is blocking him.テつ He's made a lot of tackles this year, big physical guy.テつ He likes to use his hands.テつ He likes to get downhill and make tackles.テつ We've faced some linebackers like that.テつ They're tough to block.テつ So that's definitely going to be the biggest challenge for us.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you for your time.テつ

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