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October 30, 2013Following nine consecutive Saturdays with a game, LSU coach Les Miles is quite appreciative of having a week off.
What makes the bye more pleasing for Miles is that the next team on the schedule is No. 1-ranked Alabama. The Tigers were supposed to play Ole Miss last week, but both teams agreed to move their game up seven days.
So, Miles can have his team get a few extra days of rest before taking on the Crimson Tide. The Tigers will conclude their three-day practice week Thursday.
"Some guys are taking time off," said Miles at his post-practice press conference Wednesday evening. "It was about time for our open week. I used to practice Thursday, Friday, Saturday. But, the advent of needing to recruit and freshening up the team has caused me settle in on this schedule.
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"Every team that can return a guy to health (in the off week) is important. An extra day of healing makes a tremendous difference. It's really an advantage when guys play when they are healthy. I have never had a team coming off a bye week which is not in better shape."
According to Miles, fullback J.C. Copeland has not returned to practice suffering a concussion almost two weeks ago. Miles also said that he is not sure that kicker Colby Delahoussaye will be available for the game against the Crimson Tide.
"Copeland has not practiced yet," Miles said. "This is a lengthy break for him. He understands all the plays on offense. He'll be ready. I think Delahoussaye's injury significantly bothered him against Furman. There was some swelling in his leg.
"I wished I had known (about swelling). It happened in warm-ups and he didn't saying anything. I wished he would have said something. But, no one has as qualified a replacement as we have (James Hairston). He'll be ready to step in."
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The Tigers are spending a small amount of time on Alabama this week. Miles feels the intensity level will increase beginning next Monday.
"I want (players) to think about good vs. good (No. 1 offense vs. No. 1 defense) and execute," Miles said. "It's mostly LSU vs. LSU and we'll sprinkle in pieces of the game plan. The team will up things next week.
"Losing last year's game will not be motivation. We want to play (our) best and play best against your best opponent. Our guys enjoy this rivalry. They look forward to playing the best opponent year in and year out."
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