BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Les Miles has never lost three straight at LSU's head coach.
The Tigers, who returned to practice Monday after a weekend off, must win at Texas A&M on Thanksgiving Day to stop their current slide at two games and enhancing their postseason possibilities.
"We are not desperate for a win," sophomore defensive tackle Christian LaCouture said. "We just have to go out there and play LSU football and we'll be OK. We have to treat this as a one-game season. Whatever we have to do correct things, we'll do."
LSU's current two-game skid is only its second since Les Miles became coach in 2005. The only occurred in 2008 when Ole Miss and Arkansas beat the Tigers at the end of the regular season.
Now, LSU will try to avoid its first three-game losing streak in 15 seasons. The Tigers are 2-0 against the Aggies since they joined the Southeastern Conference two years ago.
Yet the 2014 Tigers have not won since late October, when they upset Ole Miss 10-7. Since then, LSU has had two open dates with loses to Alabama and Arkansas in between.
"I can tell you there has been some wearing on the program," Miles said. "I can also tell you that everybody is handling it in a very straightforward manner. They are working hard at it. We have lost a game and our guys understand the things they need to do to get that (winning) feeling back."
LSU's last two defeats have come in different ways. The Tigers lost a lead in the final minute against Alabama before falling 20-13 in overtime. The following week, LSU was thoroughly outplayed in a 17-0 defeat at Arkansas.
The Tigers need a victory in the regular-season finale against Texas A&M or in their bowl game to secure an eight-win season for the 15th consecutive year. Such a streak is the longest in the country.
"The opportunity to have a series of 15-straight 8-victory seasons is something that our football team would enjoy doing," Miles said. "The players want to work hard and get things going. The great thing about it is the program in which I operate is full of real quality character people."
LSU is set to appear in one of six bowls with SEC ties: the Belk, Liberty, Music City, Outback, Taxslayer and Texas bowls. Conference officials will decide which one after the final College Football Playoff rankings come out on Dec. 7.
"I would like this team to be identified as one that continued to get better and obviously one that finished the season in a completely correct way," Miles said. "This team is a young enough team which really wants to improve. It is not ready to put next year in the near vision.
"It appears to me that this group wants to play well in this game. They're not really ready to go on from there. I enjoy that focus."
There is the possibility that Michigan coach Brady Hoke will be fired at the end of the season. On two previous occasions, Miles had conversations with Michigan officials about the head coaching position there. But Miles dismissed the notion that he might have his eye on that situation now.
"I have given little or no thought to any other jobs," said Miles, when asked specifically about the Michigan situation. "I am so comfortable with my team and what we're doing. I do not read the paper. I certainly respect and love Michigan and wish them the very best."
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Posted on Tue, November 25, 2014
by BRYAN LAZARE, Associated Press