LSU head coach Les Miles. (Associated Press)
Last Modified: Monday, September 30, 2013 10:36 PM
The immediate aftershock of LSU’s thrilling but frustrating 44-41 loss to Georgia Saturday seemed to bother head coach Les Miles more than most.
Miles was noticeably subdued immediately after the game, a mood broken only by occasional outbreaks of annoyance.
But by Monday, Miles, his team having dropped to No. 10 in the polls, was ready to move on.
The Tigers stay on the road this week for another SEC trip to Mississippi State.
“The good news about the Georgia game is we played awfully hard,” Miles said. “Guys gave everything they had.”
Miles gave them 48 hours to get over it before he was to meet with the team Monday afternoon.
He said his point would be that the season is far from over after one loss, that LSU still has all of the goals it started the season with.
The loss came to a SEC East team, so the Tigers (4-1, 1-1 SEC) still control their own destiny in the race to get to Atlanta for the SEC championship game.
“I’ll make reference to that,” he said. “More than anything, the short-term, the most immediate need is to get us squared and look forward to this next team.
“I think on a Saturday like we just had, everybody will recognize that all the things we want to do are still in front of us, and there’s no reason at this point in time to approach it any differently.”
Not that the Tigers don’t have plenty to work on.
Miles tried to paint it as a classic team loss, but most of the questions he got Monday concerned a defense that was strafed for almost 500 yards of total offense in the shoot-out with Georgia.
“I think there’s the opportunity now to maybe address some things that needed addressing and turn our attention more fully to them this week,” Miles said. “There’s some things we need to get accomplished and be better at. I think that will put us the right frame of mind.
“We’re a team that’s pretty confident in their approach. I think we recognized that we played a very quality opponent. I don’t think there’s any reason for wholesale change yet.
“You have to give credit, again, to Aaron Murray. If you make a mistake, he’s going to feel it. He’s going to instinctively look at that secondary and make nice adjustments and throw. (But) the mistakes are certainly correctable.”
Miles also had an theory as to why the LSU-Georgia game wasn’t an aberration, why scores in SEC games in general seem to be going through the roof this season.
“I think the quarterback position in this conference right now is as salty as it’s ever been,” he said. “It’s as capable a group of quarterbacks as there is.”
In the LSU-Georgia game, for instance, the two defenses lost a combined 15 players to NFL draft last year. The young and depleted defenses were up against a pair of future NFL quarterbacks, probably four NFL receivers and at least two NFL running backs.
“There’s probably some youth on the defensive side (SEC-wide) that’s (a result) of real quality defenders leaving early to go to the NFL draft,” Miles said. “The quarterback position generally speaking, is greatly been staying.
“Quarterbacks stay and continue to ply their trade. Possibly some of the more skilled defenders go on to the league.”
Miles believes the defenders will catch up.
“It’s still very hard for me to believe that in the back end of this year we won’t be a very quality defense and a much better defensive league.”