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August 31, 2013

Les Miles


LSU – 37
TCU - 27

COACH MILES:  Well, I certainly enjoyed the victory.  Felt like the TCU team played extremely well.  I can see why some picked them to win their conference.  I think they'll have a very good year.
I think it was a sloppy opener at times for us.  Things that we could do to improve certainly have made a very, very significant difference in this game.
But all in all, when you open on the road, very quality opponent.  You put 448 yards on them.  You make the mistakes you make, get the opportunity to correct those mistakes, and keep on.  So I felt like Cam Cameron started his debut at LSU and did a very, very strong job.  A couple of balls dropped that we would have liked to have back, certainly a fumble here or there, and a more distinctive attack in the crown, but we were much better in offense.
And that defense gave up 259 yards, and we led in time of possession and snaps.  So again, sloppy but an opportunity to correct.
And 1‑0, it's nice to start the season that way.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions?

Q.  Could you talk about the offensive line, the job it did tonight and what that allowed Mettenberger to do.  He was pretty upright for most of this evening.
COACH MILES:  Yeah, I liked our offensive line.  They're getting better.  I think they protected extremely well.  I felt like the backs did the same.
Receivers ran routes.  That's what it's supposed to look like.  Have a tall quarterback standing back there hitting his targets.

Q.  When you brought Cam Cameron in, was tonight what you envisioned Zach to look like under him?
COACH MILES:  Yes, that's exactly right.  I think that Zach will have nights like that pretty routinely from this point forward.

Q.  You mentioned you were strong offensively, but inconsistent in the red zone, especially early.  Could you talk about that and what you have to do to improve?
COACH MILES:  They did everything they could.  They changed up.  They had a really nice game plan against us.
They made some significant changes in their front and the way they played it.  And, again, I commend Gary Patterson for that.  But we have to be better there.  We have to be able to run the football when we get down in there where we're in striking distance, at times.

Q.  For Terrence Magee, somebody who's waited patiently for his time to shine, just how big was he tonight for your team and moving forward this season?
COACH MILES:  Terrence Magee is a talented guy.  Those people inside this program root for Terrence Magee because he's just a great kid and works hard and has talent and ability.  And given the opportunity, he'll make that kind of contribution throughout the year.

Q.  What's your evaluation of Alfred Blue's play tonight and what did you miss without Jeremy?
COACH MILES:  I think Alfred Blue played extremely hard.  It's one thing to run practice snaps when you're not getting tackled, you just came off a major knee injury.  And it's quite another to shoulder the load in the running game in a big time game against a non‑conference opponent that's nationally ranked.  And I think he'll look back on this day and really kind of respect the work that he did.  That's the first one.  It's the first one back.
I really‑‑ we look forward to having Jeremy Hill join us and playing.  But I don't know if it's time to talk about what we missed or what we lost with him not being there.

Q.  What did you make of some of the guys who were kind of the fringe guys on defense coming in, Jordan Allen and Micah Eugene, nickel and‑‑
COACH MILES:  I liked them.  They looked like LSU defense to me.  They flew around.  Jordan Allen was out there.  Danielle Hunter, Jermauria Rasco and those guys up front, both Anthony Johnson‑‑ he'd go first and he looked like issues for the running game and the passing game.  So I liked this.  And, again, we'll play better, but nice start.

Q.  How pleased were you with your team's performance on third down offensively, especially Zach's performance on third down?
COACH MILES:  Those were the major differences.  We're throwing the ball for bigger plays.  We're being able to convert on third downs.  I think that's one of the real successes of the offense at this point.

Q.  What exactly happened at the end of the first half from your perspective?
COACH MILES:  (Laughing).  We changed personnel because we wanted another play.  We did everything we could possibly have done to get down in there.  And the want to get seven was certainly the motivation for the time that we took.
And we felt like we could take a throw and throw an incompletion or something out the back for a touchdown.  And during the play, somebody took the helmet off of our left tackle.
And the official said, okay, there's going to be a ten‑second run‑off, the half is over.  I said, wait a minute, wait a minute, somebody took his helmet off.  And then he reviewed that with the gentleman that made the call and said that that was true.  And then so we got those five seconds to kick the field goal.  To the best of my recollection.

Q.  Can you talk about Beckham's kickoff return‑‑
COACH MILES:  Let me tell you something.  He let a ball bounce down in there to the 1‑yard line, put us in an ugly spot.  And I think he wanted to make a play.  I think it was very important for him.
I mean, he had an injury.  And not just a fun injury to deal with.  I mean, something he could play with but there was some personal injury there and he stepped in there and played like heck.  So that was a big play.  That was an emotional play.  That was something he wanted to give his team really sad he didn't get it into the end zone.  Yes, he had stitches, so...

Q.  Does this remind you at all of 11 against Oregon?  They were more highly ranked.  I think you might have been, too, but just introducing a bunch of new guys.  Tyrann Mathieu had a coming‑out that night.  A little bit at all?
COACH MILES:  Yeah.  This program is 3‑0 in this stadium.  We certainly have enjoyed that.  I think that Coach Patterson has a very good football team.  I think they've got a really good defense.
I think the way they used their quarterbacks were good.  They got some fast guys and some return guys.  And they play good concept.  And so, yeah, this was very much like the Oregon team.  I felt like the skill was very comparable.

Q.  Could you elaborate maybe a little on that third down and what Jarvis and Odell were able to do, veteran receivers for your team?
COACH MILES:  Let me let you know something, I think they'll play really better than that I think they will.  They're just getting started.  I think the chemistry there has improved and obviously they made very significant contribution tonight.  I think that's the kind of contribution that they'll make night after night and increase their productivity.

Q.  Zach threw it in the first half tonight more than any first half of last year, was that the plan coming in or was it more of a product of what TCU was showing you on defense?
COACH MILES:  TCU does a great job stopping the run because they commit so many people to the run.  They'll walk safeties down and place people indiscriminately and back out and, again, it's a very good concept.
So the plan was to:  Let's see if they can cover the pass, and certainly we did move the ball through the air very well.  And it was still sticky on the ground.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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