3 LSU Defenders Get SEC Player of Week; Miles Talks Alabama
Written by  // Tuesday, 08 November 2011 11:02 //

Les MilesA pair of sophomore LSU defenders – safety Eric Reid and defensive end Sam Montgomery – have been recognized as players of the week in the Southeastern Conference for their role in the Tigers’ 9-6 overtime win over second-ranked Alabama on Saturday.

 Reid, a native of Geismar, earned SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors, while Montgomery, from Greenwood, S.C., was named the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week. Both players played a significant role in LSU limiting Alabama to season lows for points (6), total yards (295) and rushing yards (96). The six points were the fewest for the Crimson Tide under Nick Saban.


Reid had six tackles, including one for a 6-yard loss, and a key interception in the victory. Reid’s interception came at the LSU 1-yard line in the fourth quarter after Alabama had driven inside the Tiger 30-yard line. Reid also forced a fumble in the victory.


Montgomery also had six tackles, including a pair of sacks, in the win. His final sack came on third down in overtime, forcing the Crimson Tide to attempt a 52-yard field goal – which they missed. His other sack came in second quarter and contributed to the Crimson Tide being forced to attempt a 49-yard field goal, which was blocked.


Other honors handed out by the league on Monday include: Florida running back Jeff Demps (offensive player of the week); Arkansas return specialist Dennis Johnson (special teams player of the week); Georgia center Ben Jones (offensive lineman of the week); Kentucky quarterback Maxwell Smith (freshman of the week), and Arkansas defensive end Jake Bequette (co-defensive lineman of the week).


2011 LSU Football – Player of the Week Honors

Game                                    Honor

Oregon                                  CB Tyrann Mathieu (SEC Def. Player of the Week, Thorpe Award Def.

Back of the Week)

Northwestern State           None

Mississippi State               CB Morris Claiborne (Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week)

                                                DT Bennie Logan (SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week)    

                                                WR Odell Beckham Jr. (SEC Freshman of the Week)

                                                PK Drew Alleman (Lou Groza Star of the Week)

West Virginia                     CB Tyrann Mathieu (Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week)

                                                P Brad Wing (SEC Special Teams Player of the Week)

Kentucky                              DE Sam Montgomery (SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week)

Florida                                  OG Will Blackwell (SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week)

Tennessee                            OT Chris Faulk (SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week)

Auburn                                 P Brad Wing (SEC Special Teams Player of the Week)

                                                DE Barkevious Mingo (SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week)

Alabama                              S Eric Reid (SEC Defensive Player of the Week)

                                                DE Sam Montgomery (SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week)

                                                PK Drew Alleman (Lou Groza Star of the Week)


Below is the media session with coach Les Miles on Monday after the brutal win over Alabama:

Opening Statement…

“I just want to recognize that certainly this is a win and it counts one. This was a very significant win and gives us the lead in the West. It just makes the rest of these games much more important. There was nothing settled in any way with victory last Saturday. We still have to earn our way. It is all about whom we are about to play and what is a necessary improvement that must take place this week. With that being said, we are looking forward to the process as we go forward.”


“I can tell you that when we pulled up to that stadium that there was a significant throng of people that were in purple and gold. When we got out of the bus, there must have been about 15,000 people. It was seriously 20 yards deep and they were just jacked. They were just so excited about the Tigers arriving to that stadium. Our players felt it. It was an absolutely great way to be welcomed to that stadium. I enjoyed the start of that day.”


“The game was a hard fought game and there was tremendous defenses on both sides. It was a game that was celebrated in its play. In other words, each play made a difference. Whether it was a two-yard play or a big play, it was a significant impact on that game. When the difference between winning and losing is so small, every play counts. There were some hard runs by Spencer Ware and he had ball security. There were some tremendously key plays made by Michael Ford. The defensive plays such as Eric Reid on the goal line going up and getting that big play. Combined with the special teams contributions, just took the team. It was a lot of fun to play in and compete in. I felt the defense really had a great effort. They started off with a capable back and some adjustments that needed to be made because of formation. Trent Richardson was certainly as good as advertised. We put the breaks on him as we got into the back end of the game. The idea that the defense played with great character anytime you are in a slugfest there is that opportunity to make a play. That is what they were looking to do. The opponent would get close the goal line and suddenly there would be a negative play that would make the difference. There was pressure on the quarterback and a ball taken out of the air. I felt that defense played with great character. The offense did the things that they needed to do. They managed the game. We cannot turn it over and we understand that. It has not been a characteristic of our offense and will not be. I felt like Jordan Jefferson came in and gave us a comfortable head in the game. It was very close. He pulled it down and got a first down or two. He made a throw just before the half to Russell Shepard and led a drive. To me he managed the game from that spot well.”


“Both Eric Reid and Sam Montgomery are defensive players of the week in the conference. Drew Alleman was three for three for his field goals. It is interesting because you put a guy on the field that has been around this program and he was a comfortable competitor. He understands what it takes. It was really nice to have a competitor going in there to kick. Brad Wing has a punt that he didn’t enjoy. When it came down to it he pinned them down in there with punts inside the ten. He has that 73 yarder that I think hit the guide wires. I think that sucker could have been 85 yards if it hadn’t hit the guide wires. There was a point in time in that game where we needed a guy to make a play and Wing steps in there and makes that play. When you go off script when your team is not up by two touchdowns, you turn to those players that want to be champions to make those plays. I think there is a significant group of men on that team that want to achieve significantly. I think you saw that Saturday against a tremendous opponent. That has been the mark of this team.”


“As I say that we go to Western Kentucky who was won five straight. They are a very talented team who has beaten some quality football teams. The Florida International 10-9 score shows you how competitive they can be. They have a tremendous running back in Bobby Rainey and a very talented linebacker in Andrew Jackson. They have guys that have speed and can play. We’re playing better and what we will have to do is prepare to play our best and improved football against Western Kentucky. We will play for victory. One thing this team has been comfortable at is that there is a necessary improvement made each week. They will be pushing for that this week.”


“I enjoy that fact that the game is at 6 p.m. on ESPNU. I enjoy the fact that we are back at home in our stadium. I like to welcome Missouri into the conference. Come on it, the water is fine.”


On working with two quarterbacks moving forward…

“We have two quarterback that have contributed significantly to this point in the season. I think that will continue. I have given a lot of thought to it. I think we will need two and will go forward without making any real determinations at this point.”


On the holding penalty on Tyrann Mathieu…

“I thought that it was a very good penalty. The attempt that Tyrann made was to hit him in the chest and be legal. In other words, what happens in a position like that is that the position the Alabama man had was in front of Tyrann and in position on the ball. So what Tyrann cannot do is hit him in the back. So Tyrann goes running to the position to try and hit him in the chest. I think he hit him legally, but the issue became that he went high and held. That was exactly the call. It was a holding call and I understand the call. When the official calls it, sees it and is firm about it, he told me that this is what he did. He saw it better than I did. I saw the attempt at the collision and he said no he held. That really is the issue. I thought it was the right call. We talked to Tyrann about it during the game.”


On Jordan Jefferson…

“I think he has always wanted to be and worked to be a very significant contributor to this team, if not the leader of this team. The issue that happened early in the year certainly slowed his process. I don’t think there has ever been any change in him in terms of wanting to do everything he can to help his football team and to contribute at the quarterback spot significantly. Significantly meaning at important spots during games. With that being said, I don’t think that has really changed. I’m not speaking for him, but I think he is thankful the team is in the position where it is in because that has been the goal of this program for some time. With all the goals in front of us and every opportunity to play and compete for what we came into this season to do, I would have to think that Jefferson has got to be looking forward to finishing.”


On national perception of the game…

“I have to be real honest with you, anyone not impressed with that game, I don’t care. Obviously you have not watched football for a length of time, care anything about defense, effort, speed to the ball or two teams that fought valiantly. If you didn’t like that game, than tough.”


On quarterback play…

“I think that we can always turn to how well the quarterback plays. It is not significant to me to name anyone anything. It is always about in this series of the game, which quarterback gives us the opportunity at victory. I expect that both quarterback will play and it is not important to me to name anyone on Monday.”


On Eric Reid’s progression…

“Eric Reid is very talented team. We play freshman. Guys that come in that have an ability to play, we play them. They come to the field and we asked him to learn. He was a confident learner who understood scheme very well. He made adjustments comfortably in his first year. Remember that he started and played early that year and the Cotton Bowl. It is an interesting piece. He has played very well through out the season. Frankly, we’ve seen that he has the ability to play like he played Saturday. We’ve told him that. To improve and play as capable as he is, he needs to take some other steps. He does that. He is one of those guys that understand coaching and as he matures and becomes ready to be a dominant player play after play, he will be ready to achieve that. This game the Alabama game is an example of how we will have expected him to play and how we can play week after week. We’re thrilled with his improvement and need it to stay there because that is the style of field general we would like to have back there with Brandon Taylor.”


On Brad Wing’s punt hitting the guard-lines…

“I did not look at it in a bunch of different angles. It definitely hit the wires when we were playing last year in the last game of the season last year. I saw it, well I didn’t see it but I definitely heard it. In the coaches copy you cannot see the guard wires because it is too fine. I did not spend the time on this issue because it was a 73 yard punt and we got what we wanted out of it in reality. The difference between 73 and 85 may have not been significant. He hit it well. That piece of equipment must be behind the play. It absolutely has to. You can look at it and determine the ball went under the wire or over the wire, but it shouldn’t be near the wire. The determination of whether it did or didn’t is not really the issue. The issue is where should the equipment be stationed. Put it behind the punter and behind the ball so that you can play. To me, if they continue to operate the piece of equipment like that, than that would be a mistake. It should always be behind the ball. It is too easy. Chase the ball and you get all the views that you need, but start it behind the play.”


On playing Oklahoma State in a significant game…

“To play any of those teams behind us in a significant game would be something we would enjoy very much. That would mean that all of those programs that had the opportunity in that game had done extremely well. The significance of the game would override any personal feeling that I had for a place I coached, I went to school or a school in this conference that I have great respect for. Frankly, I am all about seeing if we can finish this season like we are supposed to.”


On Missouri entering the SEC…

“I have heard the Packers and the Vikings both have made application, and frankly I think that is very smart, but put them in the East. The great news is that Commissioner Slive has not called me and asked me how to align these things. I would respond in kind. It has always been the SEC’s desire to put us in the best, strongest and with great advantages in postseason play. I trust Mike Slive is doing the exact right things. I would hope we would have opinion about some of the interconference play and the cross over games as we continue to add very quality teams. It doesn’t appear to me that the competition in this league that is currently in this league is getting any weaker.”


On Jarrett Lee…

“He makes a couple of bad throws. That is it. That is how I see what happens. We need to get him going again. I think his contribution has been so significant that everyone can say that he has been a very capable quarterback and we need him to be that guy.”


On recruiting international players…

“I think it is wonderful. You should have the opportunity at a walkabout and there are probably some sites in Australia that the head coach would have the opportunity to go see. They tell me they have great white sharks in that area. The international players have dealt with crocodiles and put themselves in great position to compete in our conference. In my opinion the transition of those players to football, to give you an example when my family went to Jamaica, I had a football job for Usain Bolt. I felt that speed and kind of ability would certainly transition to a tall wide receiver. The reality of it is that if you don’t play a physical style of football or the technique behind it, even that big, strong and capable athlete you don’t know if they have ball skills. You don’t know how they react to an opportunity to make a catch and a collision. If they play a football, Australian Football is very physical and has a ball skill, in other words what Wing did training his leg his entire youth really allowed him to transition to American football. It did first in high school and has done so effectively in college.”


On the running back play…

“I think that both guys had success. Spencer Ware really took some rugged yards and got yards after contact. His impact was a very big piece of the game. I felt like Michael Ford came in there with speed and was downhill just as hard. Ford’s perimeter speed helped him.”


On recruiting American Samoa…

“I just want you to know that I have traveled to American Samoa. I recruited some guys for the University of Colorado while I was there. You basically have to go to Hawaii and back than I don’t remember the exact flight schedule, but every third day you could take a flight from Hawaii to American Samoa. You might go out there on a Thursday and be forced to wait until Saturday in Hawaii. It is mostly a beach area. Of course you would have to be ok with being on a beach because when you get to Samoa you have to talk in beach language. When you fly in it is about a four-hour flight and over water the entire time. When you landed, there were a number of quality athletes there. The flight then left at three in the morning or you would have to wait there for three more days. It is a short window, but you can recruit in it. I really like the guys from Louisiana first and then this I-10 corridor. If you needed to fly from here to California is about four hours and another three hours to Hawaii. It just may not fit into a week. You might need a little bit more time. I recruited Sal Aunesse to Colorado. I visited parents in the trip that you just talked about. They are a wonderful rugged breed of man that fits comfortably in the NFL, college football and a number of programs. Most recently, TC McCartney has a Samoan heritage, but he is really the only guy.”


On where he wants to play Texas A&M on the schedule…

“I want to play them right behind American Samoa. However it fits, they’ll certainly put them in the right spot. I like the SEC. I think there are some great advantages. That needs to be taken into account when you put together a quality schedule. I think there are some pieces that when you put that schedule together that need to be taken into account. There is some recognition of some current members of this conference that have scheduling issues and that need to maintain a quality and competitive equity and not a disadvantage. I think that it is important that it be taken into account.”


On issues early in the game with getting the offense in position

“We really did that better in the second half. I think there were some pieces to our communication that needed to be fixed. The coaching staff did a nice adjustment in the second half.”


On taking pride from the level Oklahoma State is today…

“I want you to know something. What Mike Gundy has done because he has taken that team to a whole different level. Combined with the contributions that Boone Pickens has made to the institution. That is not a program that has done anything but continue to climb for sometime. I am proud to have been a part, but again they’ve continued and taken that school to a strong competitive level.”


On Western Kentucky Coach Willie Taggart…

“I think there coach has done a great job. They’ve beaten some quality opponents. They are on a five game win streak. That lets us know that we better be prepared because they are capable. We need to show improvement and play well.”


On the rules associated with the ball hitting the guard lines…

“I suggested back when it happened to me that they would call do-overs. I lost a possession because it hit the wire and fell 10 yards short of Patrick Peterson attempting to get the ball. It hit one of our players in the back and our opponent got the ball. We hit a ball into the guard wire and the wire sent it left which cost us about 15 yards in actuality on a punt. I suggested to Steve Shaw that I need do-overs and legitimately because this thing here is not right. They went to the TV copy and the coaches’ copy and you cannot see the wires. They said no, you couldn’t have a do-over. They then said that lets take the wire off of the stadium and out of play. Certainly, that was a wise decision. I understand not being able to do-over, but it needs to be marshaled closer. The idea that the guy that runs the wire can have free range on our field and who really guides him? Nobody. He is running based on what angle he is being asked for. The ball hits the wire? No kidding. He doesn’t really care. He is just trying to do what the guy on the field says. They must not say to him that ball path is an issue. They need to tell him to keep it behind the 20 because of ball path. I bet you that communication is not necessarily being made.”

Tyrann Mathieu is being asked about the hit he put on Alabama's  Dre Kirkpatrick in Saturday night's "Game of the Centurey" in the SEC. The hit came on a punt as Kirkpatrick was running down the field  to make a tackle. Mathieu clothes-lined Kirkpatrick  and was penalized for holding. Kirkpatrick was knocked out cold and left the game with a concussion. Tide running back Trent Richardson said, "I thought it could


LSU’s final SEC road game against Ole Miss on Saturday, Nov. 19 in Oxford will kickoff at 6 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN, the league office announced on Monday.


The ESPN telecast marks the first time a network other than CBS has televised the LSU-Ole Miss game since 2006. It also snapped LSU’s streak of consecutive league games on CBS at four straight.


LSU closes out the regular season the following week against Arkansas on CBS giving the Tigers a fifth appearance on the network this year. 


The remainder of the network television schedule for the SEC next week includes: Kentucky at Georgia on the SEC Network at 11:21 a.m.; Mississippi State at Arkansas on CBS at 2:30 p.m.; and Vanderbilt at Tennessee on ESPNU at 6 p.m.

Plans are being finalized to have  next year's LSU-Alabama game on CBS or ESPN at night.

by Ed Staton

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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography.  


Website: www.louisianasportstalk.com
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