Despite missing a critical tune-up before a two-game Southeastern Conference swing, LSU coach Les Miles said the Tigers possess “advantages inherent to the position” as they head to Starkville, Miss., to face Mississippi State. The coach hinted the biggest advantage is the players being fresh after playing less than five minutes against McNeese State.
Here are more nuggets from Miles’ press conference:
Valentine-Okeke to redshirt, Johnson out: After not dressing out for LSU’s no-contest against McNeese State, freshman offensive lineman will receive a redshirt this season, Miles said. Senior defensive tackle Mickey Johnson, who was also not dressed out Saturday, will not play for the rest of the season, but Miles did not specify the reason. Neither player is listed on LSU’s updated depth chart.
Clark, Teuhema uncertain: Sophomore defensive ends Deondre Clark and Sione Teuhema were also inactive Saturday, and Miles said he’s “uncertain” if the two will play against Mississippi State. “It depends if they earn their way there,” he said. Miles later said their statuses are “performance-based.”
Harris’ disappointment: Miles said sophomore quarterback Brandon Harris was “miserable” over the season opener being canceled. After winning the starting QB job over the spring and summer, Harris is slated to make his second career start in a hostile environment in Starkville. “He was one of the guys that didn’t take off his shoulder pads the whole time,” Miles said of Harris. “He really wanted to play. You could see the disappointment on his face.”
Miles on Clanga: Mississippi State fans are notorious for ringing cowbells throughout home games, but Miles dismissed the tradition’s effectiveness. “Honestly, as much as I’ve been in loud stadiums, I’m not distracted by cowbells,” the coach said. Miles, however joked about getting some cowbells in Tiger Stadium. “It would be an enjoyable piece as well,” he said.