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PRESS RELEASES

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

LSU MEDIA DAY -- PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPTIONS

LSU Head Coach Les Miles
Opening Remarks:
“Our team has looked forward to being in Dallas. Having had the good fortune to be in the Cotton Bowl before, I’ve experienced the hospitality extended by the city and certainly the Cotton Bowl committee. Their reputation as being a serving bowl committee – and most serving bowl committee – is a very sincere one and honest one. Our guys are enjoying the finest hospitality.
“I enjoy coming back to Dallas because I was very fortunate to be part of the Dallas Cowboys organization for three years. The (Jerry) Jones family is very important to me and has been very important to my family. We enjoyed our time here. I looked across the (Cowboys media room) wall and saw Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith. I was with the Cowboys at the back end of those careers. Those men were great leaders, and my time with the Cowboys reflects some of those experiences.   
“I also have many friends in the Dallas area who are Texas Aggie graduates. When I was here with the Cowboys, on the Fourth of July, I would routinely go to a backyard pool and have hot dogs and hamburgers with a poolside of Texas Aggies. They spoke about how they love their school, how important it is to them and that their college experience was a spectacular one. I was struck by how loyal they, how much they rooted for those Aggies and how broad and wide that fan base is. So we understand that we are in a wonderful place. Our football team comes to the finest stadium in the world – certainly for football. They are looking forward to performing well and playing their best game.
“These Texas Aggies are a great football team. If you watch their film, they get better and better. They run a great defense and a great offense. Their effort is really specific to them. We look forward to the game. Certainly, LSU’s desire to perform and play well in this game will be on display.”

On status of Stevan Ridley and contingencies:
“Nothing … we don’t know how that’s gone. To my knowledge, there’s no information at this time.”

On Texas A&M’s defense, specifically Von Miller:
“Any time you play great defenses, there are Von Millers. He plays well, has a great motor and unusual athletic ability. He’ll play on a great defense for a number of years. There are some guys we played every Sunday when I was with the Cowboys that remind me a lot of him.”

On what this game means to the LSU players from Texas:
“We have a number of guys from Texas who are looking forward to playing well here and a number of guys from Dallas and Houston who are looking forward to returning to their home state and playing well.”
On Texas A&M lineman Matt Allen, who transferred from LSU:
“Matt is a very talented guy. We’ve seen him on film, and he’s grown and improved, and we would expect he would have that success. The want to be back in Texas was an influence. I’m glad for him and glad he found a great spot with Texas A&M.”

On how LSU plans to use quarterback Jarrett Lee:
“In the past, we’ve used him about every third series. There’s reason to consider that exact substitution.”

On getting LSU comfortable with Cowboys Stadium:
“We’ll have a good practice today. We’ve taken some time off. We’ll have a good go here and taper as we go through the week. We’re playing on Friday, so Thursday will be an off day, Wednesday will be light and Tuesday will be lighter than normal.”

On Daniel Graff:
“Daniel Graff is an example not only to our team but to everybody. He showed up at LSU because this is something he wanted to do – he made the decision and show he could play. He first demonstrated this by blocking punts against us. We wanted him run and do everything we asked better than asked him to do it. We said this guy needs to play on Saturdays. Immediately – as fast as we could – we got him in position to play special teams for us, and when we put him in there, he’ done everything we’ve asked him to do. He has great speed and is a very physical player. He’s smart as a whip and earned a scholarship. He’s a guy who will play at full force and finish his career Friday night.”

On playing in Cowboys Stadium:
“It’s an interesting thing about playing football: You play at a number of stadiums. At some, the distraction is too small. In some, the distraction is, too big. In some, the distraction is there’s a dome, and in some there’s a distraction in that your opponent is very good. What happens is, teams understand is where you have to fix things is within that 100 yards. Once you cross that line, it’s all about football, it all about contact, it’s all about covering your guy, it’s all about the specific responsibility of your play and the ability to do that in a dominant fashion.
“If our guys are still checking out the Jumbo Tron or the perimeter, then we won’t play very well. I just can’t imagine that happening. Considering that this team has played in a wide variety of venues – none this nice or this quality as possibly the finest stadium in the world – one that will resemble a 100-yard field in a very quality environment. Our players will adjust very well – maybe not today because some will try to measure that Jumbo Tron – but we’ll zone in pretty good.”

On running game in game plan:
“Our guys are going to run our plays. If Stevan is here, that’s one. But our guys understand. I don’t think we’ve changed our call sheet.”
On mindset of having season-ending loss:
“Our team never enjoys the experience of finishing second. It’s one of those things that are with you over time. Our coaches and players understand that feel and don’t want to repeat it. After any game where you finish second, there’s always a specific motivation.”

On Patrick Peterson:
“He has great anticipation for plays. He has tremendous size and speed for his position and is a very physical player. He has natural ability to catch the ball – if a ball comes near him, he’s going to accurately get his hands on it and put it away. He is really seeing what he has to do to get open. That’s how great returners operate. They catch it and that next move is instinctive.”

On Southeastern Conference bowl performance to date:
“The league prepares you to play in games that are going to be very competitive. Our teams have seen some very competitive opponents. It’s more about really controlling how you play and what you do and your outcomes – who you are as a team, not necessarily, who you play. Our opponent is very, very talented, but it’s a team that, frankly, compares to other great teams we’ve played.”

CB Patrick Peterson
On Texas A&M’s offense:
“These guys have a pretty balanced attack. Their approach is a little different from some other Big XII teams. Their receiving corps is probably the best we’ve seen this year. They have a really nice running back who can really pound the ball, and their quarterback is versatile, too. He can really be that 12th man.”

On being motivated by his father:
“He told me that when I while I was working out, someone else might be sleeping, so that extra work might give me the edge I needed. My goal was to be the best cornerback, the best player I could be.”

On watching other offenses in the post-season:
“I’ve noticed a lot more trick plays. We’ve definitely have to be leery of that. They might have a double pass or double reverse – we have to be ready. I saw two double passes in one game.”

On seeing Cowboys Stadium for the first time:
“Wow, this place is huge. When we first saw it, it looked like its own planet. Once we walked in, it was like its own world. It’s a phenomenal stadium. Hopefully, I’ll have the opportunity to play here again.”
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