Miles downplays Colorado rumors

By Rachel Whittaker | LSU Reveille

Les Miles addressed LSU's struggles against Auburn last week and the team's preparation for Alabama on Saturday but was mum on rumors of taking a coaching job elsewhere at his weekly press luncheon Monday.

Miles refused to elaborate on a coaching rumor linking him to a potential job opening at Colorado. The rumor circulated in a blog post by Denver Post columnist Woody Paige. Buffaloes coach Dan Hawkins is expected to be fired at the end of the season.

"Somebody needs to write articles. Somebody needs to mention names. I have little reaction," Miles said.

The LSU football team had its bye week to digest its loss to Auburn that eliminated the team from the ranks of the unbeaten in the Southeastern Conference.

Now that the off week is finished, LSU coach Les Miles said the No. 10 Tigers are in full preparation mode for their showdown against No. 6 Alabama on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

"We had a nice open week, but it created great anxiety," Miles said.

LSU and Alabama are tied for second place in the SEC West at 4-1 in conference play. For LSU to overtake Auburn in the division, it at least has to win its four remaining games.

Miles said he doesn't avoid the subject of the SEC race with his team, but he stresses the importance of focusing on the games at hand.

"It's more about controlling the things we can control," Miles said. "Frankly, to keep our position in the [SEC] West is what we need to do, and to do that we have to take one at a time, and this very next one is an awfully important one."

Miles said senior defensive tackle Lazarius Levingston's foot injury is healing, and he expects Levingston to practice this week.

Against Auburn, the LSU offense did not have the explosiveness to match the power and versatility of quarterback Cam Newton. One issue Miles addressed was the dropped passes by LSU wide receivers.

"We work hard on just the simple mechanics of catching the football on a daily basis," Miles said. "I'm in the key piece of my season where the big plays have yet to have been made. ... Really, I'm expecting this receiving corps to do the things they've done in the past, and that is rebound and play like hell and play well."

Miles said he plans to stick with the quarterback system of juniors Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee against Alabama, and he anticipates Jefferson to impact the running game again.

Jefferson led LSU in rushing against Auburn with 16 carries for 74 yards and a touchdown.

"Any time he takes the field, there is a need for him to have the opportunity to carry the football," Miles said. "I think that adds to a defense's checklist."