Sophomore jack-of-all-trades Mico McSwain is getting yet another opportunity to get on the field.…
Monday Press Conference
Coach O's Opening Statement: "We are ready to get back to work after a much-needed open date. We'll get back to work today and we are anxiously awaiting the game with LSU. It's a great rivalry. We know that and understand what it means to our school.
"LSU has a very good defense, one of the best in the nation. We will ahve to do a very good job of scheming against it. They are very strong up front. They have a great DL, fast linebackers and one of the best safeties in the nation. We know a lot about LSU, but we understand their defense and feel we will be very-well prepared.
"On offense, they have the best receiving corps we will gace in Dwayne Bowe, Craig Davis and Early Doucet. We will ahve to do a great job of pressuring JaMarcus Russell and also covering excellent receivers. When they do catch the ball, we have to tackle them right away.
"We are ready to get to practice and ready to get to work."
Q: Being from Louisiana, what does LSU mean to you?
Coach O: I have a lot of family and friends in Louisiana. I signed with LSU. When you grow up there, you want to go to LSU just like you want to go to Ole Miss when you grow up in Mississippi. It meant a lot to me. They have a great school, a great program and a great tradition. I highly respect their program and their school.
Q: Is it special to you going down there?
Coach O: Yes, it will be fun, but this game is not about me being from Louisiana. It's about my team. Ole Miss versus LSU is enough. That's all you have to say. It will mean a lot to the team because we have a lot of guys from Louisiana on the team and their families will be there. We hear it's a rowdy stadium. (laughs) We will be ready for it.
Q: Have you seen a difference in Russell from last year to this year in terms of maturity?
Coach O: It's hard to miss him - he's so big. He throws the ball very well, but he has committed some turnovers. In the last three games, he's been making some big plays with his feet as well. We will have to be able to get him on the ground.
Q: What will your O-Line have to prepare for this weekend, in particular DT Glenn Dorsey.
Coach O: They are all very quick, strong and active. They move around a bunch and are probably the best DL in the country as far as getting off the ball. We are going to have to do some things to neutralize them up front, some double teams and such. We can't allow the penetration we have allowed against them in the past. But I do believe we have a lot of experience on our staff against LSU and we can come up with a great gameplan.
Q: With some Miami coaches on your staff now, what did they take from the Peach Bowl last year when LSU whipped Miami handily?
Coach O: A lot of respect. They zone blitzed Miami the first 19 snaps of the game. I know exactly what they are going to run, but we don't know exactly when they are going to run it. It's not only knowing what they are going to run, you have to be prepared for the speed they bring. We have to do a good job of preparing for their speed.
Q: You have talked about finishing strong. What does that mean to you?
Coach O: We have to take it one game at a time and go down to Baton Rouge and give our best effort. We will go down there to win the game. We will go down there to play well, give it our best effort, continue to improve and to win. We want to have another good road showing, like we did against Alabama. We want to build on that.
Q: Can you sum up the cornerback play this year?
Coach O: Everyone knows we have not had a good year there. We have been very inconsistent.
Q: Is Dexter McCluster going to be ready for LSU?
Coach O: I don't think he will be ready. He thinks he is, but I don't. We are going to be very cautious with that deal. We will not put him in a bad situation.
Q: What will a win mean to you?
Coach O: It would mean a turnaround and a step in the right direction against a very good team on the road.
Q: Can you talk about the OL improvement and discuss Andrew Wicker some?
Coach O: Andrew is our team captain. The light has come on for him. The new style of offense we use, in which we pull and run powers, has fit him well. He's a good athlete. The most improved thing about him is his attitude. He wants to win, he wants to play well and he wants to be a team leader.
Q: How do your DBs match up with LSU's WRs, individually?
Coach O: We don't match up with them individually very well. We will have to play our best game there and do some things on defense to help them out. We will have to pick and choose the times we want to go man and the times we want to give them some help.
Q: Is there a defensive lineman for LSU who stands out to you?
Coach O: #72 (Glenn Dorsey). I watched them all up front. I know their line coach - he does a good job. I think Dorsey is one of the most dominant DL in the country.
Q: Is BenJarvus healthy and what does he mean to the team?
Coach O: He means the world to us. He haas made a great contribution to our team and is the backbone of our offense. We want the ball in his hands, he's very tough and he makes plays when you need them most. He is as healthy as a good back is going to be toward the end of the season. What has happened in recent week is that he has worn down a little in the end of games, but hopefully the week off has mended his aches and pains.
Q: Talk about PK Joshua Shene's progress?
Coach O: He's very confident, as confident as a freshman could be. The first couple of times he went out there, his mechanics were a bit shaky because he was a little nervous. But I think now he believes he can kick the winning field goal in any stadium. The field goal at Alabama really helped his confidence.
Q: LSU employs a lot of screens and the spread offense a lot.
Coach O: They run screens, reverses and throw the ball more than you would think. They want to use their speed at wideout. They have found their RB in Keiland Williams, who we recruited, who has had a couple of real good games. Speed is the name of the game with them. JaMarcus is a good thrower. They want to spread you out and get the ball to those receivers in one-on-one situations.
Q: Talk about LSU's depth.
Coach O: They have a lot of it. I followed Nick Saban closely when I was at USC. We recruited against him a bunch and he put up back-to-back number one recruiting classes. Those guys are now older and we are facing them. We have recruited a lot of your men who have gone to LSU and I believe they would be starting for us and now they are on the second and third teams at LSU. They have recruited very well there and that translates into a lot of depth on their football team.
Q: How has Mike Wallace done?
Coach O: He's shown a lot of confidence lately. He's our fastest receiver and has shown the ability to catch the ball, lately. His blocking has gotten better and he's matured as a young man.
Q: What is the status of Andrew Wicker and Chris Bowers?
Coach O: I think Wicker is fine, but Chris is probably out for the season.
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