As Les Miles tells it, his family was one of the last two that left the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Friday night. The other family was that of LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.
Both coaches attended No. 6 seed Catholic High’s clash with top-seeded Rummel in the Division I select state championship game, but they weren’t there to scout potential prep prospects. They were watching their sons play for — and win — the state title.
Catholic stunned Rummel with a 34-yard field goal as time expired to clinch its first football state championship. The Bears’ playoff path featured come-from-behind wins against the top three seeds, and Ben Miles and Chris Cameron were a part of the run.
“The experiences that those guys have in that run are things that they will forever hold near and dear to them,” Miles said Sunday. “It will shape their life. They will understand what it’s like to pull together as a team. They’ll understand what it’s like to do something special and to do it for a collective good. I just couldn’t be any happier for my son to have been a part of that.”
Ben, a junior, plays fullback; classmate Chris is listed as a tight end and middle linebacker. Another of Cameron’s sons, Danny, played at Catholic and is now a quarterback at Indiana.
But LSU’s ties to Catholic go beyond family. The Tigers have two former Bears on their roster — most notably freshman running back Derrius Guice, who has 806 all-purpose yards this season.
Miles praised longtime Catholic coach Dale Weiner, who notched his 300th career win earlier this season.
“What a magnificent year Dale had,” Miles said. “Three hundred victories and his first state championship and Catholic’s first state championship in football. I just ... Wow. How cool.”
Dabbing on ’em
Miles still doesn’t know what Dabbing is.
Videos of the coach performing the trendy dance move in the past week and a half have gone viral, starting with his rendition following LSU’s 19-7 win against Texas A&M on Nov. 28.
Since then, he has Dabbed for recruits during in-home visits and said he even did the dance with students at the Catholic game.
“When I did that in a home,” Miles said, “everybody went, ‘Hey! Are you kidding me?’ ”
He elicited a similar reaction from his players in the locker room after their win against the Aggies. Miles said his Dab doesn’t quite stack up to that of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, one of several NFL players who has popularized the dance move.
“He has a lot more, it appears to me, rhythm and movement,” Miles said. “He’s got a lot more going to his Dab than I have to my Dab.”
LSU and Texas Tech haven’t played each other since 1957, but Miles has experience against coach Kliff Kingsbury. The coaches will square off when the Tigers (8-3) and Red Raiders (7-5) tangle in the Texas Bowl at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 29 at NRG Stadium in Houston.
Miles has faced Kingsbury as both a player and coach, most recently when Kingsbury was offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Texas A&M in 2012. LSU held eventual Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel to his worst performance of the season in a 24-19 win. During his tenure at Oklahoma State, Miles coached against Kingsbury in 2001 and 2002 when he played quarterback at Texas Tech. The Cowboys lost both games against the Red Raiders.
“He was always a great competitor,” Miles said of Kingsbury’s playing days. “Any time he had the ball in his hands, he had the opportunity to make a play. I don’t think he’s changed much as a coach.”
Longtime LSU play-by-play announcer Jim Hawthorne will receive the Chris Schenkel Award on Tuesday at the National Football Foundation annual awards dinner in New York.
The award has been given annually since 1996 to announcers who have had long and distinguished careers broadcasting football with direct ties to a specific school.
Hawthorne, who has called LSU football games since 1984, will call his final football game when the Tigers face Texas Tech.
Tigers nearly sell out allotment
LSU has just 400 tickets remaining of its 8,200-ticket allotment for the Texas Bowl, LSU associate athletic director Brian Broussard said Monday.
The Texas Bowl already had sold 55,000 tickets before the teams were announced.