The Associated Press
BATON ROUGE, La. —
Les Miles generally likes to enforce what he calls a “24-hour rule,” referring to the time he gives his players to reflect on their last game before moving on to the next one.
This week, Miles said he gave his players 48-hours to digest their dramatic 44-41 loss to Georgia last weekend, hoping it’ll help them bounce back at Mississippi State this Saturday night.
“This is a program, like most college programs, where the players really need to have victory when they get to the end of the week,” Miles said Monday. “This will not be a difficult week for us to get our eyes open to how quality the opponent is.”
After falling in the rankings from No. 6 to No. 10, the Tigers take on a team against which they’ve had a lot of success, winning 20 of the last 21 games, including 13 in a row.
And Miles isn’t letting his players forget how much is still at stake.
Even though LSU dropped its first game of the season to a Southeastern Conference opponent, it can still win the Western Division without any help.
“I’ll make reference to the big picture,” Miles said. “More than anything, it’s the short term. The most important need is to get us squared away and looking forward to this next team.
“On a Saturday like we just had, everybody will recognize that all the things we want to do are still in front of us,” Miles continued. “There’s no reason at this point in time to approach things any differently.”
LSU has won two national championships and four SEC titles in the BCS era. Only the 2011 Tigers team didn’t lose a game in the regular season. That LSU squad then was defeated by a one-loss Alabama team in the national championship game.
The Tigers won the national title under coach Nick Saban in 2003. That LSU team lost to Florida during the regular season.
Miles’ 2007 national championship squad dropped two regular-season games — both in overtime — against Kentucky and Arkansas.
The players are well aware of recent history in which one-loss teams won both the SEC and national titles. Alabama won both crowns a year ago after falling to Texas A&M.
“The mindset after the Georgia game was that game didn’t make or break our season,” said senior wide receiver Kadron Boone, who caught two touchdown passes last Saturday. “We just have to be ready to go back to work. If we play our cards right, we may see (Georgia) again this season.”