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November 19, 2013

Press Conference Tuesday

Coach Sumlin:

Opening comment: "Last week was a really good week for us. I've got to admit, at the start of the season I wasn't thrilled about (2 bye weeks). But I really enjoyed it. Mississippi State was a very physical team ... so it came at a good time for us. We could get some guys back, like Tra Carson, and we had some guys on defense who were banged up. Now we're back in the pool as we get two quality opponents on the road. Got a chance to work with our young guys, get healthy and get fired up and ready to go."

On Trey Williams as a returner: "This game last year, he gave us an opportunity in that game. He's a weapon back there. He's a very, very talented player and he's working on becoming an every down back. We've always had faith in him; we put him back there for the opening kickoff against Florida, so I don't know how much more faith you can have in him. He's very capable; he was one of the best players in the country coming out of high school and he shows that when he's got the ball in his hands."

On Johnny Manziel going after the Heisman again: "I think for that to happen, we've got a couple of big stages for our football teams. LSU's a prideful program with a great, great history; to be successful there, we're going to have to play well as a football team and he'll have to play well. And then we have a game against Missouri that has a lot of implications for our league. We're going to have to play well against both these teams, and play well this week, to go to Tiger Stadium and win. What do they say? That's where teams' dreams go to die? We want to keep those dreams alive."

On special teams: "It's going to be huge. Odell Beckham has gotten loose on just about everybody. He's said, you know, I'm just going to do my thing, and makes three or four people miss. He's really dynamite. We've got to be prepared in our coverage teams and there's no doubt that we've got to be prepared...for a myriad of fakes coach Miles has shown to college football over the last number of years. We're paying close attention to that, and a lot of other people have too, but he's still pulled them off. We'll be on edge for that. From the time we get off the bus, our special teams units have to be looking for stuff to happen."

On the Louisiana kids playing LSU: "There's some significance in that respect. The last time we went over there, these guys were just born. We remember that this used to be a heck of a battle; they've never seen it. The last time we went over there, Darian Claiborne couldn't walk."

"It'll take a good effort from all three phases -- offense, defense and special teams--to in there and win. We're about as healthy as we've been all year; we under stand out schemes as well as we have all year. I said earlier that it'll take as good an effort to win, but we look as comfortable as we've been all year."

On turnover margin: "We're better then we were last year. We're giving up big plays, but we've been getting the ball back to the offense. Turnover margin to me is a big deal. Your job on offense is to score one more point than the opponent, and on defense we talk about turnover margin. If we have 2 or 3, we need to get 4 or 5."

On last year's game: "They're two different football teams on the field this year. They've lost a lot of guys, particularly edge players, and it goes without saying ... offensively, we changed schematically after that game. Last year's video was important, but not as important as the last 7 or 8 weeks."

On the growth of Manziel's leadership: "As a freshmen, you're just trying to do your job; I don't care what position you're playing. It's hard to do your job as a first-year player and do your job and try to get someone else to do their job. This year ... just being comfortable, he's gotten better with that and talking to guys and what they should be doing. The game slows down for you the more you play. And that allows you to communicate with other players. He's comfortable in the system, he's comfortable in the situations -- he's been every situation you can be in -- he's been through that. The comfort level to be in that situation makes it easier to do that."

On LSU's offense: "They've change a lot philosophically. Mettenberger's playing at a high level; Hill is a grown man. He got loose on us and that was really the difference in the game. Those guys are back, and we're going to have to find a way to slow them down. Schematically, when you have a running back like that, you have some challenges. you have eight guys in the box, and maybe a ninth guy to stop him, and that's when they'll get you with their receivers."

"The ability to stay on the field on third downs, for first downs and then touchdowns, is going to be key in this game."

On Mettenberger: "You've got a new coach, a new scheme, a whole lot things going on. He's confident; there's no doubt if you look at your percentages and schematically, they're a totally different team from last year."

On LSU becoming THE rival: "For our fans, it's got that potential. For our current players, it's a little different. In order to feel like a rivalry to a player, you've got to play them a few times. But when we try to get into Tiger Stadium at about 12:30, they'll get a feel for the atmosphere a little bit."

On the Drake concert: "My two oldest daughters, I surprised them and coach Snyder's two oldest daughters, they wanted to go to the Drake concert. Being a good dad on a bye week, I had two options: either let my daughters go by themselves, or go with them. And then, when the pictures got out, it was just me and coach Snyder."

Coach Snyder:

On LSU's running game: "That's what coach Miles does. They run the ball. That's in their makeup. Jeremy (Hill)'s the lead dog. We told the guys he will try to concuss you as best he can. We've got a challenge, no doubt."

On Mettenberger: "Last year, Zach was just out of junior college. I think he's gotten more comfortable in this league. He's just gotten better, gotten more comfortable running that offense."

On getting a pass rush: "That's part of the chess match of the game. They protected well against us last year and sometimes we got home, and that's part of the chess match."

On Cam Cameron's offense: "It's pretty much the same offense and they've gotten more comfortable."

On the defense: "See a little bounce in their step. Got some Louisiana kids out there and there's a little more excitement. They're excited to play in this venue, as am I. They're flying around in practice."

On the challenges: "The game plan is pretty simple. There won't be much trickery from this offense. We need to stop the run, get off the field on third down and limit explosives."

On previous teams who look like LSU: "Arkansas is the closest one. They're going to put two tight ends out there, with that big offensive line, and Jeremy Hills and try to bust you in the mouth. Then they've got those two wideouts and Zach throws the ball up to them. When they're in third and medium and third and long, Zach's been doing a good job getting the ball to them."

On Beckham and Landry: "They're really good. They're both pros. They give them a 1-2 punch. They're both very explosive areas. 3 (Beckham) is pretty explosive. He gets a lot of yards after the catch. And 80 (Landry), he's just a real competitive kid.

On Drake: "It was good. It was like any concert where a dad's going with his daughter. It's a little different going with coach Sumlin; he's like Justin Beiber in Houston. He'll kill me for that."

Coach McKinney:

On LSU's defense: "It's another day in the life of the SEC. Another group of big, fast athletic guys. You saw what they lost last year on defense and just reloaded with another bunch of guys."

On LSU last year compared to this year: "Last year, you had a bunch of NFL pass rushers. It was a real battle between our tackles and their rush guys. This year, we have the same kind of tackles; we just have to protect the quarterback better. I don't think they changed much from a schematic standpoint. They just reloaded with another group of guys."

Says Tra Carson will be available.

On the RB rotation: "It starts with Ben... we don't have a particular order. We just use the next three guys as needed."

On getting ready for the noise: "We use the music (as a distraction). The loudest part of the game is when it's at it's most crucial point. We don't anticipate the noise being a factor. We just need to go and execute."

On the health of the offense: "It's great that we had a bye week this late in the season, so we can have everyone healthy. We used this bye week to fine tune some things, and we've got everyone healthy and ready."


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