Les Miles: "I'm responsible" for LSU's season-opening loss
by Mark Menard,posted Sep 7 2016 8:06PM
LSU Coach Les Miles took to the airwaves for the weekly edition of the “Les Miles Show” four days after his Tigers suffered a disappointing setback in their season opener against Wisconsin.
Quarterback Brandon Harris had a dismal outing, completing just 12 of 21 passes and throwing two interceptions, including a crucial pick on the final drive of the game with his team in range of the game-winning field goal. Miles was asked if there will be a change under center.
“Here’s what happens,” Miles said. “We all compete. Everybody in the room competes at their job, competes at life. Frankly, our quarterback can play better and will play better. We would expect that from him. Should he not, we will look for another quarterback at some time. There would be a time when another quarterback will be considered.”
Much of the focus of fan questions was centered on the underachieving Tiger offense, which managed just seven points in a game LSU lost by two. (LSU scored another seven points on defense with an interception returned for a touchdown.)
“What we have to do,” Miles started. “We threw 21 times. We completed 12. We have to do better. We had a couple of drops. We had a couple of missed throws. We could not keep the ball moving efficiently enough to get first downs.”
Miles made it a point to deflect criticisms from his players, rather taking the responsibility upon his own shoulders for his team’s shortcomings in the season opener.
“Are we critical?” Miles asked. “I’m critical. It’s my responsibility, and I get that. I certainly recognize when we’re making great decisions and when we’re not. That being said, these Tigers are working hard. They’re looking forward to getting to the field. I’m responsible, and I’ll do those things, those hard things, that will make this team better. Period.”
Miles says his team, who dropped from #5 to #21 in the AP poll after the loss, is very eager to take the field in Death Valley for the home opener this Saturday, particularly the offense.
“I can just tell you there’s a lot of energy that wants to get to the field,” Miles said. “There’s a lot of our team that says we didn’t play our best. And we didn’t. You look at some of the things we did and didn’t do. Offensively is where we’re taking our greatest criticism. It’s not as simple as just throw it every down, OK? Leonard Fournette: 138 yards, averaged six yards per carry. And frankly, we didn’t throw the ball efficiently. There’s some things we didn’t get accomplished.”
LSU hosts the Gamecocks of Jacksonville State, and Miles discussed what his team must do to avoid falling to 0-2.
“Offensively, we have to be productive. We have to move the football. We can’t turn the ball over. On special teams, we have to fix our landmarks. And defensively, we have to get turnovers. We have to get takeaways.”
The #21 Tigers host Jacksonville State this Saturday night at 6:30. We’ll have full coverage on WWL starting at 2pm.