LSU's Miles: Wish I had done better vs. Alabama


LSU's Miles: Wish I had done better vs. Alabama

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) LSU still feels the sting of its loss to top-ranked Alabama and probably won't forget the setback anytime soon.

Tigers coach Les Miles spent much of his weekly media luncheon Monday dealing with situations which popped up in his team's 21-17 loss to the Crimson Tide on Saturday.

``We won every statistical category, but the score,'' the coach said. ``That's unfortunate. I told the team I wish I would have done a couple of things better.''

The defeat all but mathematically eliminated the ninth-ranked Tigers from winning the Southeastern Conference Western Division championship. LSU has a chance - albeit a slim one - to represent the West in the title game if it somehow manages to end in a three-way tie for first place with Alabama and Texas A&M.

For that unlikely scenario to happen Alabama would have to lose to the Aggies and Auburn, which hasn't won a SEC game this season. Of course, LSU has to beat its final three opponents - No. 22 Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Arkansas.

The Tigers players had two priorities this season - get a measure of revenge for their 21-0 loss to Alabama in last season's national title game and return to the national championship game in January.

Now, barring a totally unexpected series of results, there will be no titles for this LSU team.

``You can still have a championship style of effort,'' Miles said. ``Having a championship style of football team is still our need and want. We still have a chance to do some significant things.''

One of those significant achievements would be an appearance in a BCS bowl game, possibly the Sugar Bowl. But LSU would even need some help for that to happen, including one more loss for both Georgia and Florida, who are ahead of the Tigers in the BCS standings.

``Understand we have a good football team,'' Miles said. ``In a few ways, Saturday (against Alabama) proved that. We have to play like that the rest of the way and see how things come out. Ending up in a BCS bowl certainly can happen. That's a possibility.''

LSU must close the regular season with a three-game winning streak. In the loss to Alabama, Zach Mettenberger had his best game of the season by throwing for 298 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions. Moreover, Jeremy Hill rushed for 107 yards.''

The Alabama game ``was our most complete game on offense,'' Miles said. ``Mettenberger and the receivers had great chemistry on his throws and the receivers coming out of their breaks. We rushed the ball OK. It could have been better.

``Our football understands that it didn't get it done against Alabama. But, let's play like that again. Throw for 300 yards and run for 200 yards. The defense has to play with the same intensity and eliminate the mistakes. We improved, but we need to keep improving.''

They're get the chance Saturday against a staggering Mississippi State team.

The 22nd-ranked Bulldogs have experienced a rough past two weeks with lopsided defeats against Alabama and Texas A&M. The Bulldogs had won their first seven games. Last season, LSU struggled to a 19-6 victory at Mississippi State.

``We have a 24-hour rule,'' Miles said. ``We watch (Alabama) film (Monday) and then we're done with that one. We'll take the positives and move on. If we play like that in the next game, I'll be happy. I'm glad we're playing a good team. That's what our football team needs now.''

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3 reasons the Caps beat the Stars

3 reasons the Caps beat the Stars

The Washington Capitals had not beaten the Dallas Stars at home since 2006, Alex Ovechkin's second season in the NHL. That streak ended on Tuesday in a 4-3 Caps win.

Here's how the Caps were finally able to down Dallas in Washington.

Oshie still hot

After going 19 straight games without a goal, T.J. Oshie has been red-hot of late with four goals in his last four games. He scored Washington’s first goal in what would become a three-goal period for the Caps as they battled back from a 1-0 deficit into a 3-3 tie through 40 minutes. Oshie also added an assist as he won a power play faceoff that John Carlson fed to Alex Ovechkin for the goal.


Ovechkin victimizing his favorite target

You knew Ovechkin would score given he was playing against one of his favorite targets. With his second period goal, Ovechkin now has 22 goals against Kari Lehtonen in his career, tied with Henrik Lundqvist for the most goals he has scored on any netminder. Lehtonen has not been in the Eastern Conference since the 2008-09 season. When he goes to sleep at night, Ovechkin is who he sees in his nightmares.

The Carlson-Klingberg duel

Carlson and John Klingberg entered Tuesday’s game each with 59 points, tied for the league lead in points among defensemen. Carlson downplayed the matchup both before and after the game, but it was clear that both players were playing at another level all game long. While both players tallied two points on the night, you have to give the win to Carlson as he had the most significant point, a game-winning goal in the third period.


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Redskins make contract offer to pass rusher Pernell McPhee, per report


Redskins make contract offer to pass rusher Pernell McPhee, per report

Free agent pass rusher Pernell McPhee visited the Redskins on Monday, and by Tuesday night a report emerged that Washington offered the veteran outside linebacker a contract.

Last week, Trent Murphy signed with the Buffalo Bills and things remain uncertain between the Redskins and Junior Galette. That means the organization has a need for an edge rushing linebacker, and that's exactly the role McPhee can play. 

A 29-year-old that played the last three seasons with the Bears, McPhee posted 14 sacks while in Chicago. Prior to his time with the Bears, McPhee was a solid contributor on some good Ravens teams. 


His best season in Baltimore came in 2014 when he posted 7.5 sacks. That's also the last season McPhee played a full 16 game schedule. He's missed 12 games over the last three years in Chicago. 

McPhee could provide the Redskins with solid veteran depth at outside linebacker, and he's also considered a plus defender against the run. With Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith cemented as the starting outside linebackers, if signed, McPhee would pair up with Ryan Anderson on Washington's second unit. At 6-foot-2 and 275 lbs., McPhee carries more weight on his frame than either Kerrigan or Smith. 

Pro Football Focus gave McPhee a strong grade for the 2017 season. He notched a +11.5 and ranked 13th out of 46 outside linebackers graded. For comparison, Broncos star Von Miller ranked 1st at +57, Kerrigan ranked 8th at +22.9 and Galette ranked 10th at +16.2.

It's unclear what a move for McPhee would mean between the Redskins and Galette, but it's hard to imagine it helps.

Free agent Johnathan Hankins also visited Washington on Monday, and while he plays an interior defensive line position different from McPhee, it's also unclear what this offer would do to any negotiations between the Redskins and Hankins. 

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