LSU notebook: Les Miles feels no need to meddle on defense

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU defensive end Jermauria Rasco (59) tries to get a hold on Georgia running back Todd Gurley (3) during the first half in Athens, Ga. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU defensive end Jermauria Rasco (59) tries to get a hold on Georgia running back Todd Gurley (3) during the first half in Athens, Ga.

After a lackluster defensive outing Saturday at Georgia, LSU coach Les Miles described defensive coordinator John Chavis as “sick” over the team’s struggles to halt the Bulldogs.

The running theme Monday emerging from Miles’ weekly meeting with reporters and clustered around players at the Charles McClendon Practice Facility was a lack of communication. As in struggles to get calls in from the sideline and relay the message effectively on a day when the Bulldogs racked up 494 yards of total offense and 44 points.

So does Miles, a former offensive line and tight ends coach, wander over for a longer look at Chavis’ group in practice ahead of No. 10 LSU’s 6 p.m. kickoff Saturday at Mississippi State?

No more than usual, Miles said, adding he watches “every snap of every game and every special teams snap.”

“I can tell you that when we find things that we would have interest in changing,” Miles said. “Chief, he knows it before I get to it. When I get to it, it’s done extremely well.

“The questions I have are addressed. If I can add to it, I do. If I can’t, I say, ‘Well done, Chief.’ ”

Beckham bouncing back

A couple of days removed from a costly muffed punt, junior Odell Beckham Jr. sounded as if he’d gotten over the costly gaffe, which set up Georgia at the LSU 20-yard line and led to a touchdown late in the third quarter.

Collin Barber’s 48-yard punt went end over end and drifted in the wind at Sanford Stadium as Beckham tried to field it at his own 24.

“It was a tough punt to catch,” Beckham said. “As soon as it went up, it went up funny. The wind was picking up throughout the game. It came down at the last minute, and you’ve got to try and brace yourself.”

Given those factors, Beckham was asked whether calling for a fair catch might have proved a prudent course of action.

“No,” he said. ‘It was coming down pretty hard with a difficult rotation. It’s just plays I expect myself to make. Fair catch or not, you’ve got to make that play.”

Miles said he discussed the play “very briefly twice” with Beckham and maintained “he will continue to be the guy for us.”

“Sometimes he wants to make that great return,” Miles said. “If he would have fair caught that one, no one would have complained in any way.”

Beckham remains confident in his approach.

“I’m going to keep doing the same thing I’ve been doing every day in practice,” he said.

Don’t forget Junior

Safety Ronald Martin returned to the fold against Georgia after missing action in the SEC opener against Auburn. He also did so with an addition.

On the back of his jersey, he added “JR” to his nameplate, an indication that he would like to go by his full name of Ronald Martin Jr.

The move was made after his father, Ronald Martin Sr., died two weeks ago of cancer at age 40 in White Castle. Martin went to the equipment staff and asked for the change, which is meant to pay tribute to his dad.

Kickoff set for Florida

LSU’s tilt against No. 18 Florida on Oct. 12 will kick off at 2:30 p.m. on CBS, meaning it will be the SEC’s premier matchup when the Gators visit Death Valley.