‘We expect that from him’: LSU’s Lewis Neal among the nation’s sack leaders _lowres

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU defensive end Lewis Neal (92) celebrates a sack in the first half of the LSU-Florida game in Baton Rouge Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015.

Les Miles isn’t looking past Western Kentucky.

LSU’s coach praised the surging Hilltoppers, and even said he voted for them to be in the top 25, during his weekly press luncheon Monday. WKU quarterback Brandon Doughty leads the FBS in completion percentage (74.1) and has thrown for 2,709 yards this season.

“Offensively, this team can play,” Miles said. “They’ve got a good quarterback and a running back that can hurt you up the gut.”

Here are more news nuggets from Miles’ press conference:

  • No foolin': Following LSU’s sluggish 44-22 win against Eastern Michigan on Oct. 3, players acknowledged they were joking and playing around during practice that week. Miles isn’t concerned the Tigers will take their non-conference opponent lightly this time around. “Eastern Michigan was not 6-1 coming into the contest, did not have one of the nation’s No. 1 quarterbacks,” Miles said. “This is a complete team. This team will stop you on defense, move the ball and score on offense and play special teams very dangerous. It will be easy for them to see.”
  • ‘The whistle needs to be blown': Miles expressed discontent following the 35-28 win against Florida last Saturday about defenders throwing sophomore RB Leonard Fournette to the ground after his forward progress was stopped. He said he’s worried about player safety and has sent in clips to the league office for review. “There’s good, open dialogue,” Miles said.
  • Keehn’s ‘limitations': Senior punter Jamie Keehn is averaging five yards less per punt in 2015 than he did last season, and Miles hinted he dealt with “some physical limitations at one point in time.” LSU’s opponent have scored twice on punt returns, and Miles said following the Florida game he was unhappy with the “direction” of the punts. “He’s comfortably working through some technique issues. I think we’ll be fine there,” Miles said. “He’s a team guy. If we want him to kick it to the boundary, he’ll kick it to the boundary.”
  • Beating the clock: Sophomore kicker Cameron Gamble booted three touchbacks against Florida, but that’s not what pleased Miles the most about his performance. “I like the fact that Cameron Gamble did not allow a five-yard penalty before he kicked,” Miles said in reference to Gamble’s delay of game penalty earlier this season. “It got down to four seconds, and last week it was two seconds.”
  • Miles the villain: Miles mentioned Tom Cruise’s presence at the LSU-Florida game. The movie star is filming a “Jack Reacher” sequel in New Orleans. “My daughter saw him, with about 50,000 other people that were straining their necks to see him,” Miles said. “I would be a good bad guy, I think. A guy that Jack Reacher beats up.”