LSU Coach Les Miles Quotes

January 1, 2014

OUTBACK BOWL HEAD COACHES NEWS CONFERENCE

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


LSU COACH LES MILES

Opening statement:

"First of all I want to congratulate Iowa's Coach Ferentz ina gutsy performance by an Iowa football team. We had great respect for themcoming in. They did everything to show that the respect was well earned. Ourfootball team came here to accomplish certain goals. One, our team wanted to bepart of a legacy. It's the first time in school history that they've won 10games four years in a row and they wanted to be part of a bowl championship.They really saw this opportunity to finish the season and win a championshipand they recognized this team will be configured uniquely one last time, thatsome of the seniors, some of the juniors would leave and they would commit toplaying for everybody in that room. They played as a team. I think they did allthe things they needed to do to ensure victory. Practiced hard, prepared andthen played a gutsy performance from start to finish. The young quarterback,the first time out, he did some things that he'd like to have back, but managedthe game and comes away with victory. I'm really proud of the defense. Thedefense played spectacularly. If you have to look at the turnovers, thekick-off return, there's a chance that defense could have played perfectly inthe game. On the offensive side we rushed the football well. Jeremy Hill, ifyou give Jeremy Hill an opportunity to close out a victory, he knows what thatmeans. He really put the finishing touches on an Iowa team and this game on theback end. We're awful proud of him."

On stopping the Iowa running game as a key to victory:

"I think that's a pretty standard rule. Iowa is atremendously talented rushing team, real strong offensive line, they'recommitted there. We had to step into that and stop it."

On starting the game with 12 straight running plays:

"We probably would have gone with 13 or 14 straight runningplays, but I think we scored at 12. I think we realized there were someadvantages right there and we didn't want to go away from them. We wouldeventually throw the football and we came out with a quality plan that way. Itjust turned out that we had advantages and we were going to stay with thosecalls."

On Anthony Jennings' performance in the Outback Bowl:

"It's his first start and he was tight as heck. It's hisfirst interception of note. He came to the sideline just sick. He's got to dropit. We're in the middle of the game. There are some lessons that he learnedthat will benefit him as he looks forward. Again, he was not perfect by anystretch, but he did the things that he needed to do. First outing, he learned alot."

On the emotion of the players making their final collegiate start inthe Outback Bowl:

"It really means that this team is committed to each other.We had a meeting last night in the hotel where we really give the team theopportunity to speak to each other. You could tell that there was a bondbetween the guys in that room. They cared for each other and they were going toplay for each other. That, to me, was as telling as anything including a greatpractice week that they were coming to play and they did. Honestly, I'm reallythrilled Jeremy Hill had the day that he did, but I kind of wish that (Jarvis)Landry, and (Odell) Beckham and (Alfred) Blue and some of these other guys hadbig games too."

On the effectiveness of the LSU running game:

"Again, we hit a couple of things that we knew were going tobe good early on in the game and pressed them, stayed with them. J. Hill madesome nice cuts early on and we take a very significant lead. Late in the gameit's cover zero and if you make a guy miss it's a big gain. If you can put twodefenders behind one blocker it's a huge game. J. Hill knew that. He's one ofthose backs that, if you give him the opportunity to close out a game, he knowswhat to do. He made some nice cuts. When you give him that spot, thatopportunity at extending the play, he can score, and he did."

On underclassmen that may leave early for the NFL:

"I'm sure I'm going to be excited. I can tell you this;there is a point in time where the decision is a personal one and one that youtake a mom or dad, a family, you sit down and kind of map it out. You find outwhat goals you have and what benefits you best, and it's not the coach'sdecision. I have to be honest with you, I give them everything I've got and Igenerally give an opinion. I am very fortunate to represent quality men whogive me everything I ask them for. I promise you this, I looked on the fieldand every guy just gave 100 percent effort and contact at risk of injury. Forme, if they decide it's their last one, I'm going to support them and love themand go to recruiting."