By Chris Branch | LSU Student
LSU coach Les Miles might need a private escort when he leads the Tigers onto the field this weekend in Oxford, Miss.
Foreign confines haven't been kind to "The Hat" this season, specifically when he jogs onto the turf. In LSU's season opener against Oregon, Miles sprinted toward the incorrect sideline before realizing his mistake and backtracking.
His next fumble came before LSU's grueling 9-6 victory against Alabama, where he attempted to pass racing Crimson Tide cheerleaders as LSU entered Bryant-Denny Stadium. Miles stumbled onto the grass and ducked for cover as the team charged toward the sideline.
"It appeared to me that the field was strewn with excess band members and people with flags and maybe even the occasional mascot or two," Miles said. "As I made my way through, again, what appeared to be a minefield of people, unbeknown to me there was a contact between one of our players and a cheerleader. Male, I might add. That male cheerleader kind of clipped me from the side as I was running fullspeed."
Miles welcomed the friendly surroundings of Tiger Stadium the next week, as LSU pummeled Western Kentucky, 42-9, and Miles made the journey to the sideline unharmed.
LSU senior cornerback Ron Brooks, who is often one of the first players out of the tunnel, said he's not worried about the head coach's safe travel.
"Things happen," observes Brooks. "Turf monsters get you sometimes."
Junior center P.J. Lonergan dismissed the notion Miles needed help getting to the sideline.
"We do not worry about him," he said with a chuckle. "He'll lead us out, he's our leader, and we'll follow him."
Miles, though, is still wary of the perils in front of him on a weekly basis.
"I just want to you know that you best be ready. You better have your land legs ready to roll because you're going to get it," Miles said. "I need to take note of that and either come out way late, after they've cleared the field, or enter at my own risk."