Notebook: Tigers hold 'correction practice'
Thursday, 09/15, 11:30 a.m.
By Jim Kleinpeter
BATON ROUGE – The LSU football team had two days off this week to savor last Saturday’s thrilling 35-31 victory at Arizona State.
Reality returned Wednesday in the form of a ‘correction practice.’
The No. 3 Tigers looked at tape and then worked out in shorts and helmets while going over the mistakes, which seemed especially numerous on defense.
First-year coach Les Miles said while there was certainly a lack of execution, other factors such as it being the team’s first game and the effectiveness of the opponent factored into the 461 yards passing LSU allowed.
“I don’t want to discount that as the only reason but it certainly contributed,” Miles said of the game as LSU’s opener. “Their (Arizona State’s) offense is pretty good. They’ve always thrown the ball extremely well. The quarterback threw some balls into receivers that were covered very well. There were two opportunities to get picks that went right through our hands. Had we done things differently we may have had an opportunity at a couple more. It was the kind of game had we executed people would have come off saying look at all the turnovers we’d gotten.”
INJURIES: Injuries hit the Tigers hard, especially at wide receiver. Five players, including three receivers, did not work out and two others were limited. Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, who missed the Arizona State game, did not go through individual drills with the team. Instead he tested his injured ankle on another practice field. Fellow wide receivers Craig Davis and Early Doucet did not dress out and Bennie Brazell practiced in a green (no contact) jersey. Also sitting out the practice was offensive guard Nate Livings and defensive tackle Claude Wroten. Safety Laron Landry practiced in a green jersey.
PASSING CHANCE: LSU fans probably reacted with horror when punter Chris Jackson threw a pass out of his own end zone after LSU’s first possession. But it wasn’t a snap decision made by Jackson, who played quarterback at John Curtis. It’s an automatic call when one of the gunners is left uncovered. “It’s not a called play, but when they show that, we’re taught to throw the ball out there,” Jackson said.
Miles concurred. “It’s a concern when a guy throws out of his own end zone, but the reality is I’d want him to take that advantage. It’s like leaving the net (in hockey) untended. You’re supposed to pass but we need to take a shot.”
PAT ANSWER: Colt David was a surprise participant in Saturday’s game, making all five of his extra-point attempts. Chris Jackson and Ryan Gaudet struggled last year with that duty, missing eight PATs between them. David made the team last year as a walk-on from Grapevine, Texas, and won the job in fall camp. “He’s just a guy who proved to be consistent and performed pretty well,” Miles said. “I’m not making any long-term decisions but in the short term, he’s certainly going to get an opportunity to kick ‘em.”
Miles said the Tigers had breakdowns on coverages that the team performed well during the week. He said there were no surprises, though it was hard to get a pass rush on the Sun Devils, whose quarterback Sam Keller, used a lot of three-step drop patterns. Also, Arizona State used maximum pass protection, which made it hard to get to him.
“Those things can be adjusted,” Miles said. “There will be a differing degree of ‘come get ya’ and press and cover one and a good zone attack. That variance will change week to week.”