Sunday, January 2nd, 2011


The 11th-ranked LSU Tigers got in their first workout with a lively two-and-half hour practice in helmets and pads at Cowboys Stadium.

After taking its official AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic team picture, LSU went to work under the stadium’s 25,000 square-foot video boards, which caught the eyes of many of players and coaches at the start of practice. Attention to the big screens subsided and the Tigers got down to work on all three phrases, spending quality time on fundamentals and individual work.

“We so enjoyed practicing in this facility. It was just a real treat for our team,” said head coach Les Miles. “When you work as hard as a football team does and as hard as this team does, they so enjoyed being in here. This is a spectacular venue. It was a fast-paced practice and we got a lot done.”

The Tigers’ matchup with 17th-ranked Texas A&M on Jan. 7 has a lot of significance for Miles. He returns to the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic for the second time after leading Oklahoma State to the 2004 Classic against Ole Miss. He becomes just the fifth coach in the game’s 75-year history to lead two different teams to the Classic, joining a distinguished list that includes Paul “Bear” Bryant (Kentucky and Alabama), Jess Neely (Clemson and Rice), Houston Nutt (Arkansas and Ole Miss) and Jackie Sherrill (Texas A&M and Mississippi State).

“I’ve been around some real quality assistant coaches, some great teams and some great players. For me to be a part of their success and to be represented in two Cotton Bowls, it’s wonderful. It’s one of those things I will look back on at some point in time and cherish the memories.”

Playing in Cowboys Stadium also brings a fondness to Miles with his ties to the Dallas Cowboys organization. His stint in the NFL came with the Cowboys from 1998-2000 as an assistant coach with the organization coaching the tight ends.

“I was very fortunate to be with the Cowboys organization for three years. The Jones family is certainly very important to me and has been very important to my family. We enjoyed our time there,” said Miles.

Miles and his Tigers will enjoy a private team event at Main Event tonight before hitting the practice field again Monday afternoon. LSU practices at Cowboys Stadium are closed to media and fans.

Observing 75 years of college football tradition, the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic moves into primetime under the lights on Friday, Jan. 7. Airtime on FOX Sports is 7:00 p.m., with kickoff slated for 7:27 p.m. FOX Sports will have a blanket coverage of the broadcast with Kenny Albert and former Dallas Cowboy fullback Daryl Johnston calling the action from the booth, Charles Davis and John Lynch reporting from the sidelines, the legendary Pat Summerall serving in a new role as the Classic's essayist and Chris Rose hosting the telecast from the sidelines. Providing insight from an officiating perspective will be Mike Pereira, the former vice president of officiating for the NFL.

For the 19th consecutive year, the Classic will be heard around the world on the Westwood One Radio Network. Describing the action for Westwood One will be Brad Sham, the “Voice of the Dallas Cowboys,” and former UCLA head coach Terry Donahue.