LSU coach Les Miles leads his team onto the field against North Texas Saturday in Baton Rouge. (Associated Press)
Last Modified: Tuesday, September 04, 2012 7:05 PM
It’s one of those deals that takes some well-placed and selective adjectives, but LSU can set an NCAA football record Saturday night when the Washington Huskies visit Tiger Stadium.
The Tigers have currently won 38 straight — pay attention now — non-conference, regular season games, a streak that dates back to the 2002 season opener at Virginia Tech under Nick Saban.
A victory over Washington would give LSU the record of 39, along with tying a school-record of 19 straight victories in Tiger Stadium.
Les Miles, who has 28 of the 38 record-tying victories, didn’t want to talk about any of that Tuesday.
“I’m not going to comment on that,” he said. “Might give you that after the game. This is a quality Washington team. We’re not going to talk about ifs and whens.”
So he addressed a number of minor injuries, wished Tyrann Mathieu well in his quest to return to LSU classes (if not the football team) and didn’t sound optimistic about the return of Sulphur outside linebacker Tahj Jones.
Jones, listed as the starter in preseason, sat out last week’s season-opener while the school sorts out an academic appeal.
“Tahj, I don’t now,” Miles said. “I don’t know at all. I don’t know what is really being done there honestly. We’ve done the things we need to do as an athletic department. I don’t know what other steps there are. I hope there are other steps to take.”
But Miles does expect several key contributors back for Saturday’s game, and downplayed the injuries that two other starters played through against North Texas.
Neither running back Spencer Ware or preseason All-American punter Brad Wing played last week.
“We would anticipate that (Wing would play this week),” Miles said. “We felt he was a little tight (with a hamstring pull.) As I was told, it didn’t seem like it would hold him our for an extended time.”
Ware, who battled nagging injuries most of August, probably could have played last Saturday, Miles said.
“I think that Ware will be fine this week. He’s getting over the injury. We’d like to have gotten (freshman running back) Jeremy Hill in the game too.”
He said that safety Craig Loston and offensive tackle Alex Hurst played with nagging injuries last week, but should be better this week.
“I think that they probably played in that game as weak (physically) as they will ever play in any game,” Miles said. “I think that they will get better. They need to be on the field. They’ll be on the field this game and others that we need to play well and win.
“I really have less concern about their injury and to just let them settle down and play.”
The next in line at safety, Miles said, would be redshirt freshman Michael Eugene, true freshman Corey Thompson and maybe sophomore Ronald Martin.
True freshman Vadal Alexander would likely step in, if needed, for Hurst.
Mathieu reportedly was enrolling for classes at LSU on Tuesday, although he is still dismissed from the team at least for this season.
“I think he’s making some quality decisions for himself,” Miles said. “That’s kind of my view. (But) my focus is about routine and preparing for game week. There’s times I can devote to other things. I don’t really have that right now.
“I think he’s made some really difficult decisions for himself that will better him going forward. I certainly wish him the best.”