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September 25, 2013The statistics indicate that Saturday's game between LSU should be an offensive shootout.
LSU coach Les Miles and his staff can't just have in mind that plenty of points will be scored. The Tigers coaches must be able to adjust depending upon the circumstances.
"Each piece of the team - offense, defense, special teams - has to recognize the situation of the game," said Miles at his post-practice press conference Wednesday evening. "We could be ahead by 14 or behind by one score.
Aaron Murray on Zach Mettenberger and what might have been
"If we are down several (points), we may have to throw the ball more. That's what happens when you play a team as talented as Georgia."
There has been much talk about Zach Mettenberger returning to his home state to play the school at which he started his college career. Miles believes too much is being made about Mettenberger's homecoming.
"That storyline (Mettenberger returning to Georgia) is only significant to those who think the game needs more intensity than what it is for itself," Miles said. "Zach is in purple and gold. He is going back to Georgia with about 80 guys who are going to fight like hell for victory."
Two issues face the Tigers on Saturday. First, LSU will be playing a true road game for the first time. Second, Tigers cornerbacks Jalen Mills and Tre'Davious White will get a stiff test from quarterback Aaron Murray.
"This will be a first-time experience for a lot of guys on the team playing at Georgia," Miles said. "The venue is magnificent. There are guys who have experience with similar trips before. Murray will be a great challenge for our corners. But, our corners are tremendously talented."
Feature: LSU needs depth at defensive tackle
Miles said that free safety Ronald Martin will be available, but stopped short of saying he will start. Micah Eugene replaced Martin in the lineup last week against Auburn. Miles would not say that either defensive tackle Quentin Thomas or linebacker Tahj Jones will play.
"I don't know if Quentin Thomas practiced (Wednesday)," Miles said. "He did do some work. He will have the opportunity to play Saturday. Tahj Jones is a little nicked. It may take him some time before he's ready."
If Thomas is unable to play, Christian LaCouture will once again be the No. 3 defensive tackle. Kwon Alexander will start at strong side linebacker in the base defense with Tahj Jones out. Kendell Beckwith moves up to be the backup on the strong side.
"Wednesday was a big day for us," Miles said. "We got a lot done. We reached for the things we wanted to get accomplished. The players have a good grasp of things."