POSTED: Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - 11:22pm

UPDATED: Monday, February 13, 2012 - 9:38pm


Hilton Riverside, January 4, 2012

LSU Head Coach Les Miles

(Opening Statement)

“We took a couple of days off, had a short practice today, and loaded the buses and went to New Orleans. I can tell you, you remember the drive in and you recognize that [Hurricane] Katrina was not long ago. I remember the memories as I traveled the city one of my first times and really found out how important to this city that LSU was here. We had a great experience obviously; we finished with a victory. The attachment to this city is one that this team really feels. As I drive in again I’m reminded of it. It’s very unusual – we had a helicopter following the bus. I wondered really what they were trying to get because we were going to make it I think. The privilege, the fans and friends of LSU stopped and waved – how kind, how sweet, how wonderful for our team.”

(On keeping the younger players focused)

“Well, you describe it I think with athletes [they] seem to understand it more a little earlier in their career. I think this team has had that. In other words, it started in a dome. They played on national television on a grand stage. Really week after week – let’s go to West Virginia, let’s go to Mississippi State, let’s go to Tennessee. Certainly, they have played a number of great, nationally ranked teams. I think they know how to remove distraction. I think they understand it. I think they’re encouraged on that stage as well.”

(On handling having fun and playing the game)

“I asked my unity council and here’s what they said: ‘Coach, we don’t want curfew.’ Come in early and it’s all about the game. It’s all about preparing and getting ready so I’ve really let them lead. I asked and they said no that’s good. We have a very, very early curfew comparatively to other bowls that we’ve attended. The celebration is maybe put off for a while.”

(On if wrapping up the season in New Orleans is fitting)

“There’s no other place we wanted to play. I promise you that at the very beginning of this year really as early as when our team voted to accept the Oregon game and play Oregon early in the year, they really pointed at this game. They wanted to qualify for this game. It was a feeling that the staff, that the team had really all along. For us, there’s no other place for us to play. This is right where we needed to be.”


LSU WR Rueben Randle
(On arrival in New Orleans)
“We had a great entrance to town and it is great to see our fans here. Our fans are definitely excited for the game and that got us more excited. We have been anxious to get here, but now we are here and we’ve got a few more days to get prepared.”

(On preparations for the game)
“We still have a few days to prepare. We will get the game plan right. We still have a few days remaining to stay focused and we know we have a job to do while we are here.”

(On the trip from Baton Rouge)
“Everybody was kind of sitting back and relaxing and taking in the moment. It is a once in a lifetime moment and we wanted to enjoy it.”

(On staying focused)
“We will stay focused on the things we have been working on the last couple of weeks. We will keep practicing hard and not let any outside distractions get in the way. We know what we need to accomplish.”

LSU RG Will Blackwell
(On where he was when LSU won the title four years ago)
“I was here. I was with the team. I was on the sideline. I was in the middle of the celebration and it’s something we are trying to do again.”

(On what he remembers about home field advantage playing in 2008 BCS national title game in New Orleans)
“Just the fans. It’s about an hour from Baton Rouge so a lot of our faithful are going to be down here. If we can’t play this game in Tiger Stadium, the only place we’d rather play it is here.”

(On if the home field advantage is only during the game or if it’s during the week too)
“We have a lot of people from Louisiana and New Orleans, and we’re familiar with the [Mercedes-Benz] Superdome. I think it adds a little bit of comfort knowing that your fans can travel to the game. It’s a place you’re familiar with so hopefully we’ll use it to our advantage this week.”

(On what this week leading up to the game is going to be like)
“A lot of media, a lot of interviews, practice and some team events. We are just glad to get to New Orleans. We have been in Baton Rouge all semester and we’re looking for a change of scenery. We’re glad to finally get down here.”

(On the break between the SEC Championship game and the BCS Championship game)
“It’s been tough. You get used to playing every week. It’s hard to stay focused at times but our coaching staff has done a great job of keeping us focused.”

(On the reception when the team got off the bus tonight)
“It was tremendous. They had a band outside and fans were holding signs. It was a great thing to see.”

(On if this team is better since the last game versus Alabama)
“I would say we are better. We’ve played four games since then and we’ve worked on a lot of things, our miscues. We’ve gotten a lot better at some things. Having these practices and this camp-like atmosphere these last few weeks has really helped this team and we look forward to the end of the season on Monday.”

LSU S Eric Reid

(On his Twitter messages sent from the bus)
“I was just talking about how excited I was for the game to finally to be here. This is the goal we set at the beginning of the year. We have been working hard to get here and we have one game to go.”

(On if LSU played their best against Alabama earlier in the season)
“That is for other people to talk about. When we are in a meeting room, we know we have to execute. We made mistakes last game that we know we have to get corrected. We will go out and give it our best shot this time too.”

(On LSU’s red zone defense)
“We pride ourselves on trying to keep the other team out of the end zone. When it gets close to the goal-line, we know we have to turn it up and stop them.”

(On waiting for this game for five and a half weeks)
“I took advantage of it because I was hurt and dinged up. I took the opportunity to get healthy. I will be ready for the game.”

(On containing Trent Richardson)
“Hopefully our defensive line will get some penetration. That way, he won’t make it to the second level. If we can stop him in the backfield that would be great.”

(On the team’s early curfew)
“This is a business trip for us. We came in for one reason, to win a National Championship. It’s not fun unless you win the game. It doesn’t make sense to go out late at night to just be tired and not focused at practice. As a team, we decided to get in bed early. That way, we can get it done.”

LSU SS Brandon Taylor

(On the bus ride to New Orleans)
“It was actually a long bus ride. It was worth it because we are coming to a great city. We are happy to be here and ready to get to work.”

(On the mood being that of a business trip)
“This is a business trip for us. There is no playing around. We do have a job that we are coming here to do. We are on a mission.”

(On the amount of time between games)
“It was a long process. We are here now and that makes it better practicing and knowing that in a couple of days we will be playing in the biggest game in the country.”

(On the helicopter following the team bus)
“We actually found out before we left. It’s exciting because none of us had ever seen anything like that. We saw it out the window and tried to wave. It is exciting because that shows how big the game is.”

(On the advantage of the game being in New Orleans)
“We have this whole state behind us. A lot of people love LSU down here. The Saints are home too, so that’s going to make it even more fun.”

(On how prepared LSU will be after five and a half weeks)
“We will be very prepared, just as Alabama will. We know that they have great coaches and players over there. They are playing for the same thing that we are playing for, a National Championship. We have to go out there and dominate, play hard and give it all we have and we will see who wins at the end.”

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