Les Miles says Swinney 'asking his players to do the things that they do best'

Coach says LSU's defense will be tested by Clemson's speed and tempo

AP file photo by Stephen Morkon

AP file photo by Stephen Morkon

(Editor's Note: LSU head coach Les Miles made the following comments during a joint press conference with Clemson's Dabo Swinney on Sunday).

LSU coach Les Miles

On his impressions of Clemson's program: 'We have followed the Clemson team, and I also kept my eye on the Clemson team. Since Dabo has been the head coach, they have consistently recruited well. And when you saw the film, you recognize a very talented team, very well prepared, well coached. Coach Swinney is asking his players to do the things that they do best, and hopefully gives them every opportunity to play great. We are challenged by a great quality team."

On LSU's 'next game' approach to the bowl game: "Any time you win a game like this, it's about that game. The approach is the same. It's a very quality opponent. Clemson is talented, well prepared, offense, defense and special teams challenges to us and it really is about playing well in a significant football game. That's really what it is. We focus our team to improve and play well. Both teams want to play their very best in the last game, both teams. And certainly that's our approach. Any time you have an opportunity to play in a game like this, the opportunity for victory is twice, tenfold what happens if you finish second. So both coaches understand that and will be playing along those lines."

On Clemson's offensive tempo and speed: "It's really both. They have the ability to run the plays in rapid succession. Get on the ball and snap it, get on the ball and snap it. And they have great speed. The preparation for that is certainly something that we have undertaken for some time...You must get ready when they snap the ball and that's north and south, getting down on the ball, understanding your responsibility and assignments and doing it like that.

There's certainly something that we have worked hard on, we've accomplished and we'll find out Monday night how successful we've been.

"But yeah, we've had tempo, period, in our practices, really, since two springs ago, just before we set up to play Oregon. I think it's been certainly beneficial for us both offensively and defensively."

On Atlanta as a host site for the national championship playoffs: "It's a major metropolitan area. It's a football friendly environment. It's a great sports town. The Dome itself is really a great quality arena to play in and it's great turf and all of the acoustics and everything you want visually. And the committee here does a great job. The Chick Fil A Bowl Committee does a magnificent job in really serving our coaches's needs and players, as well."

On the benefit of bowl practice time: "When you have 15 practices in a spring practice, and a bowl practice, it allows those teams in a bowl preparation to have another spring. So many of our freshmen played in this last year, so really getting our young guys ready, it means practice. In other words, you practice, and it's a second team and that's where the freshmen class are, a lot of them. It's one of the rewards of having a quality season. You get into bowl practice and get guys into spots that they are going to be playing for some time and to give them reps and just perpetuates the program."

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