Miles: Preparations for Auburn to be fine
LSU’s first Southeastern Conference game week got off to an eventful start Monday morning when the campus was evacuated because of a bomb threat, disrupting the Tigers’ preparation for their game at Auburn on Saturday.
Coach Les Miles was in his office in the Football Operations Building when he received a campuswide mass text message to evacuate. Miles’ weekly news luncheon and practice were canceled.
“Everybody went to try and call their families and their kids,” Miles said Monday night after the football headquarters was reopened and he concluded a meeting with the team. “We were told that we fundamentally needed to leave the building. It was a sincere request, so we did.”
Miles and his staff continued preparations from off campus while they and the players waited several hours for an update.
“It’s the kind of thing where you just don’t know,” Miles said. “You rationalize it as not a sincere threat, but I can’t make that determination for everybody in this building or for our players certainly.”
Miles and the team returned for their normal Monday meeting after campus authorities assured them that the building “was not compromised.”
The Tigers looked at the film breakdowns of Saturday’s 63-14 win over Idaho, as they normally would before a Monday practice. The coaches edit the game into offense, defense and special teams, and individual position groups convene to review the good and the bad.
The players are also introduced the scouting report on the next opponent. In this case it’s Auburn, which is 1-2 after a 31-28 overtime victory against Louisiana-Monroe last Saturday.
LSU, however, was unable to get on the practice field to begin implementing corrections to the mistakes they saw on film or to begin implementing this week’s game plan. That’s usually a 45-minute to 75-minute session.
“That part of the day was lost due to the threat,” Miles said. “I think our preparation will be fine. We’ll have quality work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and be ready to travel and play well.”
Miles said the Tigers might have time left in their 20-hour work week to catch up later in the week, but that might not be necessary. He said he expected to be able to resume a normal schedule Tuesday.
It was just three weeks ago that the arrival of Hurricane Isaac forced the cancellation of the Wednesday practice before the season opener, so the disruption was nothing new to the Tigers.
Miles said that was the first time in his coaching career that he unexpectedly had to cancel a practice. He’s now had to do it twice.
“I think the fact that we lost a practice and our preparation (for the opener) was not really hindered probably will help us,” Mills said.
The Tigers defeated North Texas 41-14 in the opener three days after the canceled practice.
This week, however, No. 2 LSU is preparing to play a more talented team in its first road game and conference opener.
“We need to improve this week,” Miles said. “The caliber of opponent increases. The game is important because it’s a conference opponent and a division opponent. We need to play well.”
Though the Tigers were able to get back to work Monday night, Miles emphasized that the significance of the events of the day transcended football.
“I think our team will respond and our preparation won’t be hurt,” he said. “But these things are real issues. Morally you cannot come into the building. It’s not right. Several fathers had their kids evacuated from University High.
“There was some confusion and tense moments. Are your children OK, is their daddy OK? Those things go on. I hope they find the guy who did this and make him pay a price.”