LISTEN IN… Miles: “The story is the mistakes”
LSU coach Les Miles not happy after 14-point loss to Georgia
by Matt Deville
Tiger Rag Senior Editor
(At left) Les Miles (Photo by Matt Deville)
There wasn’t much he could say.
When Les Miles stepped to the podium after Saturday’s 52-38 loss to Georgia- at home - the usually boisterous Tiger coach was visibly irritated, but frustratingly calm.
“You can’t make mistakes,” Miles said softly. “When you play a quality opponent, you cannot give them turnovers. You can’t uncover people in coverage. You can’t let runs that should be tackled go untackled. Our football team has to learn that.”
The Tigers (5-2, 3-2 SEC) surrendered 443 yards of total offense to Georgia and gave up 52 points in a 14-point defeat that all but eliminated any chance of a title (of any kind) for LSU this season.
It was the second time this season in which the Tigers have allowed more than 50 points. Florida topped the half-century mark in a 51-21 decision in Gainesville three weekends ago. The Bulldogs (7-1, 4-1), aided by a pair of interception returns for touchdowns by Georgia linebacker Darryl Gamble, followed suit in pasting 52 on the Tiger Stadium scoreboard.
It marks the first time in the 115-year history of the program that LSU has given up 50 or more points in two games in a single season. Dating back to last season’s triple-overtime loss at home to Arkansas, Miles-coached teams have given up 50 or more points in three of their last 10 games.
“I promise you I will go about teaching,” Miles said. “Guys have bad days. Those bad days can’t sink the team. You can have bad days and still give your team a chance to win. I told our team that we played a very quality team today, and we never pressured them.”
The Tiger, who step out of conference next weekend to host Tulane in one of the south’s oldest rivalries, did manage to outgain the Bulldogs 497-443. But LSU struggled with consistent quarterback play and the Tiger defense was gouged for huge plays and is now ranked ninth in the SEC giving up 315 yards per game.
“The issue is the rushing yardage,” Miles said. “If you give up the rushing yardage, you’re not going to put the pressure on the quarterback. As long as they had the lead, there’s little reason for them to spread you out and just toss it over the line and allow us to get in the backfield. It’s hard to pressure a team that is running the football pretty well.”
LSU continues its lengthy homestand with the Green Wave before hosting rival Alabama on Nov. 8. Following that game, Troy comes to town before Ole Miss visits for the 2008 home finale. The Tigers conclude the regular season at Arkansas on Nov. 28.
“I told my team another thing too, that the answer is going to come from within this room and the fact that’s it’s going to be about a team, and it’s not going to be any other way,” Miles said. “Everybody is going to have to further identify their role and have them play very positively and efficiently within that role. That’s where we’re headed.”
CLICK HERE to hear Miles’ postgame comments in their entirety.