Entering his 11th season as Tigers head coach, expecting the unexpected with Les Miles is the norm, but once again, the Mad Hatter managed to catch the media completely off guard.
Late appearances to his weekly press conferences are no surprise, but as the clock approached 1:00 p.m. Monday, the rumors began to circulate. The words "stroke" and "migraine" were reported, but in the end, the only thing sidelining Miles was too much coffee.
"Whatever it was, it was absolutely too much," said Miles. "It didn’t seem like too much. It just kind of went down easy."
Miles said he took six months off of drinking the popular brewed beverage before working it back into his diet and now realizing again that it doesn’t get along with him. A local conspiracy theorist might suggest Monday’s stunt was a way to draw attention away from naming sophomore Brandon Harris as the starting quarterback against McNeese State this weekend.
"Absolutely, you bet," said Miles when asked if Harris would take the first snaps. "Unless something in the back end of this week, for some reason, takes place. But right now, that seems like a forgone conclusion."
The way Miles approached the rest of the questions asked about Harris does leave doubt to the long-term status of the Tigers’ starting quarterback. You could also question how short the leash will be.
"He hasn’t until he has," Miles responded when asked when Harris solidified that he would take the first snaps. "Let’s get through the week and get it all done. Let’s see where we all stand. Let’s not be premature in any way."
There’s a chance we see both Harris and Jennings against the Cowboys Saturday, but no matter who’s in the game, they’ll have the support of their teammates.
"A leader doesn’t have to be a starter or someone who plays a lot," said wide receiver Travin Dural. "It’s just someone who leads by good example. So it really doesn’t matter if it’s Brandon or Anthony, being that they’re both quarterbacks. Just having both of those guys trying to lead and trying to do the right thing is something that we look forward to those guys doing."
Kickoff for Saturday’s game is set for 6:30 p.m. and will air on SEC Network. 9Sports will premiere this season of 9Sports Extra following 9News at 10 on WAFB with studio analyst and former Tiger quarterback Rohan Davey.
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