Sunday, 06 November 2011 19:27

LSU No. 1 In AP Poll After Miles Tops Alabama, Saban

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MilesOn a day after its 9-6 overtime win over No. 2 Alabama, LSU remained No. 1 as expected.

The Tigers (9-0, 6-0 SEC)  received all 59 votes from the coaches and 59 of 60 in the AP Top 25 poll.

In what any LSU-Alabama followers might consider to be the game of the new century, the underlying theme was the battle between former Tigers’ coach Nick Saban and Les Miles.  Here are quotes from both:

Nick Saban quotes

Alabama coach Nick Saban (On his message to his team after the game): "I told the players that I was proud of the way they played in the game. We're all disappointed, but nobody's more disappointed than the players. The players want to win more than anybody else. The fans can be disappointed, the coaches can be disappointed, everybody associated with the University of Alabama can be disappointed, but none of them feel worse than the players.

"They put their heart and soul into this. They played hard, but to me we didn't take advantage of the opportunities that we had and that's exactly what I told them. I said, 'We need to learn from this. We need to make a commitment to the rest of the season, in terms of what kind of football team want to be and they way we respond to what happened tonight. You guys have too much in it, you put too much into it, you have too much character, too much class, too much leadership not to finish this season the right way,' and they are all in."

(On wide receiver Marquis Maze's interception): "We have that play, we use Maze back there and he made a good throw, and we had an opportunity to catch the ball, but we didn't finish the play. We  were behind the defense and he made a good throw. We scored on that last year against Florida on the same play, so, their guy did a good job of recovering and did a good job to get to the ball."

LSU quotes

LSU coach Les Miles (Opening statement): "Two very physical teams played tonight. It definitely didn't go by script. The most interesting things is that you have to just keep fighting and find a way to win. There are the two interceptions by Eric Reid and Morris Claiborne. There's the punt by Brad Wing. There's some six-yard runs. Just a lot of great tackles made the difference in overtime. Drew Alleman comes in and kicks it for the win. Congratulations to Alabama though for having a great football team. This was great night. Tough football. Not necessarily  a pretty game, but it had a nice ending."

 (On sticking with Jordan Jefferson as quarterback) "We just felt like -- in this game -p-that the couple of scrambles Jefferson had made the difference and moves the chains. That gave us a huge advantage."

 (On LSU's defensive performance) "Our defense was tremendous tonight/ It was the difference ion the game. The turnovers were hugs and we finished plays. Our team played really well off the mat. Sending them back on the field, make a play. Then take them off and they come back in an make a play. In overtime your mettle is tested the most by key plays. Victory is decided in a short amount of time at that point and we came to play at the end."

(On the performance of LSU's special teams): We spend a lot of time on special teams. Our guys take pride in it and work on it. I'm pretty confident to send Drew Alleman onto the field and get the threes. Our punter penned them down in there several times as well. Again, we have a quality defense and played decent field position in the game. That's just solid football."

Some hither, others yon: What are the chances of Alabama coming to New Orleans for a rematch with LSU in the BCS National Championship Game? Unlikely. A trip to New Orleans still is a strong possibility foe the Crimson Tide, but chance is best for the Jan. 3 Sugar Bowl. Here is what has to happen for the Tide to have a chance at a rematch on Jan. 9 in New Orleans. > The Tide must win its remaining games, Saturday at Mississippi State, Nov. 19 against Georgia Southern and Nov. 26 at Auburn. > It would help if Auburn defeats Georgia on Saturday to keep the Tide's strength-of-schedule rating from dropping. >No. 3 Oklahoma State, which defeated Kansas State 38-13 on Saturday, must lose. It's biggest challenge will be a Dec. 3 home game against No. 6 Oklahoma. > No. 4 Stanford must lose. The Cardinal won 38-13 at Oregon State. It hosts No. 8 Oregon on Saturday, then California on Nov. 19 and Notre Dame on Nov. 26. >LSU must keep winning. A loss on Nov. 25 at home to No. 7 Arkansas could throw the SEC West into a three-way tie. > No. 5 Boise State might be unlikely to lose any of the reaming games against TCU, San Diego State, Wyoming and New Mexico, but least struggles in one of those games, it might lose support. LSU is considered the better candidate for a rematch if it had lost to Bama because it could have been forgiven for losing as an underdog on the road...

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. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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