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October 4, 2010LSU coach Les Miles quite emphatically said that an improper decision was made late in the game against Tennessee on Saturday afternoon.
After Jordan Jefferson was stopped a yard shy of the goal line, the Tigers attempted to get off another play with the clock running. The result was a botched shotgun snap. Only a similar lack of organization on the Volunteers sidelines gave LSU another chance, which resulted in a 16-14 Tigers victory.
"There was a try to not give up a down," said Miles at his weekly media luncheon Monday afternoon. "That was a mistake. The clock-it call was absolutely the best call at the time.
"What happened at the end of the game is my responsibility. Let's clock it needed to be said. As soon as we were without a timeout, clocking the ball should have taken place before (considering) down and distance. Clock-it should have been called."
Miles acknowledged that the attempt to substitute different personnel after Jefferson's run was not suited for that time frame.
"We used way too much time in substitution," Miles said. "We finally get the play on the field. The quarterback calls for the ball, but he is not heard. He looks at the clock and he doesn't see the ball when it gets snapped."
When some manner of clam was restored, Stevan Ridley ran one yard for the game-winning touchdown. Miles had no communication with offensive coordinator Gary Crowton in the press box, so it was his play call.
"I did call that play," Miles said. "I was struggling to get the head phones back on. We were not in contact with the press box. That allowed me to make a call."
Undoubtedly, both LSU fans and the national media have taken their verbal shots at Miles since the clock mismanagement against Tennessee. Miles addressed both situations Monday.
"The issue is I enjoy victory," said Miles, regarding his disconnect with the Tigers fan base. "Our football team fought its heart out for victory. We're going to enjoy it. For us not to celebrate and enjoy victory would have been a mistake. I hope the fan base, like me, supports our team."
"I can't comment on speculation in the perimeter (national media). I criticize and critique everything in the game from player to coach, including myself. We are working on our corrections."
No decision has been made as to whether Jefferson or Jarrett Lee will start against Florida on Saturday night in The Swamp.
"It's too early in the week to determine who starts and who doesn't," Miles said. "Both will play in situations like they did last week. Both guys can throw it. The two quarterbacks can do some good things. If we use the positives of the two quarterbacks, we can improve that offense."
Miles explained the thought process in deciding which quarterback goes on the field.
"Before a series, (Crowton) has a conversation with me about the quarterback," Miles said. "During a series, generally that's the play-caller's (decision)."
Immediately following the game Saturday, Miles talked about reducing the number of offensive packages. Miles was not as inclined 48 hours later to simplify the offense.
"You have to try to use the talent you have," Miles said. "We had a 100-yard (rushing) day from a quarterback. You get just under a 130-yard day from a running back. You have a 185-yard throwing day from another quarterback.
"You have to think something is being accomplished. The important thing is to reduce the mistakes, not dissemble the offense. The thing I want this team to do this week is play like we can play and eliminate mistakes. We're 5-0. I just want to win this Saturday."