Following the cancellation of Lunch with Les due to a bomb threat that forced the evacuation of LSU’s campus Monday late morning/early afternoon, LSU head coach Les Miles addressed the media Monday evening.
“I hope they find the guy who did this and certainly make him pay a price,” Miles said.
The coach was at his desk when he received LSU’s mass text alert to depart from campus, and he and the coaches quickly left harm’s way. It happened while players were in class or lunch and before they had to report to Football Ops.
“It’s the kind of thing where you just don’t know,” the coach explained. “You rationalize it as it’s not a sincere threat but, I can’t make a determination for everybody that works in this business or our players certainly that show up here. So we kept them away until they gave us a reason to believe that this building was not compromised so we went on. We had a meeting tonight. We did not practice today. That part of the day was lost due to the threat. Certainly I think our team will respond, and our preparation will not be hurt. But these things are real issues. Morally you cannot come into this building. It’s not right.”
After it was deemed safe to return to campus, Miles met with his players and went through the game tape from the Idaho contest. The Tigers missed their first pre-Auburn practice today, however. He said he expects LSU to have a normal practice schedule tomorrow and possibly make up the practice time later in the week.
“We’ll have time in 20-hour week, a little bit more time later in the week. I don’t know that we’ll need it. I think our preparation will be fine. If we get a good, quality Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I think we’ll be ready to go,” he said.
This is actually the second game-week practice the Tigers have missed so far this season after Hurricane Isaac passed through the Pelican State on the Wednesday before the North Texas game.
“The fact that we lost a practice [North Texas week and] our preparation was not really hindered, I think that it probably will help us,” said the eighth-year man.
Moving on to how LSU will look on the field, Miles was not optimistic about Alfred Blue playing this weekend against Auburn, but he quelled any fear of the “lower extremity” injury being a season-ender. Blue left the Idaho game in the second half on crutches. After saying Blue returning in a couple weeks is probable, Miles corrected himself and said he may have more of an opportunity to play then. That doesn’t sound promising for two weeks, but Tiger fans have to breathe a huge sigh of relief that Miles even mentioned two weeks as a possibility.
The coach expects the remainder of his players to be healthy including safety Craig Loston (toe) and running back Spencer Ware (hip) who didn’t play against Idaho and center P.J. Lonergan (back) and left guard Josh Dworaczyk (calf) who played partially against the Vandals.
Miles said Lonergan will probably start at center in place of Elliott Porter who started his first career game last week. He also expects Dworaczyk to start at LT, keeping Alex Hurst at RT.
As for safety opposite Eric Reid, the starter between Loston and Ronald Martin could be yet to be determined.
“I think Craig will be back in, and it kind of really depends on his game week, see how he’s feeling. If he is in fact back, then we’ll have luxury in that we’ll have two quality safeties,” Miles said. “…I thought Ronald Martin was really good [against Idaho]. I thought he tackled well. I thought he handled his responsibilities well. He hustled to get to balls. I liked Ronald Martin in that game. He played really more of a full game than he’s played.”
On one final note, the coach continued to stress that starting quarterback Zach Mettenberger will learn from his second red zone pick in three games this season.
“That’s something that we are going to get fixed,” Miles said in regard to Mettenberger’s mistake in the red zone. “… He’ll understand that. He’s just taking steps. He can’t get too excited to score that he forces one in there.”