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October 2, 2013

Tigers may keep passing

Last week, LSU's tailbacks averaged fewer than four yards per carry while rushing for just 109 yards in the 44-41 loss to Georgia.

Offense was not a problem for the Tigers due to Zach Mettenberger's career-high 372 passing yards. Wide receivers Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham accounted for 16 of Mettenberger's 23 completions and 274 yards.

When LSU's tailbacks rushed for 129 yards against UAB, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron put an emphasis on the running game the next week against Kent State. The Tigers' tailbacks picked up nearly 300 yards on the ground against Golden Flashes.

LSU passing game taking off with Landry, Beckham

At his post-practice press conference Wednesday evening, coach Les Miles was asked if LSU would have a commitment to the run Saturday night at Mississippi State.

"If the defense decides not to let you rush the football and gives up 370 yards passing, that's what we'll do," Miles said. "If they are going to play everybody in the box, we'll take those 370 yards."

The Tigers defense had its own problems stopping Georgia which had a balanced attack while gaining almost 500 yards - 196 on the ground and 298 through the air. But, Miles doesn't intend for LSU to turn into an offense-dominant team.

"No, we aren't going to leave it to the offense," Miles said. "We have to stop them. We need to execute the game plan. To stop the pass either you do it with coverage or bring an extra man in the rush. We'll try both."

Different factors led to LSU's defensive communication issues

Miles indicated there will be no depth chart changes on defense for the game against Mississippi State. Miles only said that he anticipates that tackles Quentin Thomas and Christian LaCouture will play more this week.

"There will be no personnel changes on defense," Miles said. "We are going to play the guys we've got. Those kinds of mistakes that happened last week we've gone over and gone over again. I am optimistic those things won't repeat."

Only once in Miles' nine years as coach have the Tigers lost back-to-back games. LSU closed the 2008 regular-season with consecutive defeats against Ole Miss and Arkansas. Miles sees the players showing the proper approach this week.

"A personal response takes place when a group of men finish second in a contest," Miles said. "The players have shown the need to perform for this (football) room. The team understands the need to improve this week. There has been a great effort to operate that way."

LSU has enjoyed great success against Mississippi State with 20 victories in the last 21 games, including 13 in a row. The Bulldogs had an open date last week. So, they will have 14 days to get ready for the Tigers.

"I would expect that they would change things up since they were off last week," Miles said. "They'll do different things. We expect to have to make adjustments.

LSU DT Ego Ferguson discusses lack of pressure on the QB

"Both quarterbacks (Tyler Russell and Dak Prescott) have gotten reps where they were productive. One guy (Russell) is good for a certain set of situations. Then, there is another guy (Prescott) who is a pretty good in a number of spots."

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