Miles keeping LSU focused on Oregon

BATON ROUGE – After taking a day off from practice on Wednesday, fourth-ranked LSU went back to work on Thursday with a two-hour workout indoors as the Charles McClendon Practice Facility as the Tigers continue to prepare for next week’s season-opener against third-ranked Oregon.

LSU and Oregon open the 2011 college football season on Sept. 3 in Arlington, Texas in the Cowboys Classic. The game will be televised nationally on ABC and carries a 7:12 p.m. kickoff.

Following Thursday’s practice, LSU coach Les Miles discussed junior wide receiver Russell Shepard, who was ruled in-eligible and will miss at least the Oregon game.

“Russell Shepard has run afoul of some NCAA regulations,” Miles said. “I can only tell you that the things that were done there were innocent. They were issues of protocol, but they’re serious enough for him to have been ruled ineligible. We’ll seek reinstatement and hope that goes well. I can tell you the issue was a nondescript interview with an NCAA per-son about a series of issues. It was there that he answered honestly. The violation was Russell ran afoul of protocol.”

Miles said that despite some of the recent issues that the Tigers have had to deal with, his team continues to do a good job of preparing for the Oregon game.

“We’re not ignoring Oregon,” Miles said. “When we step across that white line and take the field, we leave everything on the exterior behind and focus on football. We did that for Hurricane Katrina and Rita and for Gustav and we’re doing it again.”

“I think our team is trying to take one step at a time and do the right things. They come to practice with a great attitude and they’re fighting hard to get things right but they’re people and it takes some time.”

The Tigers will practice again on Friday and Saturday before taking Sunday off. Monday starts the first official game week of the season for the Tigers as Miles will take part in his weekly press luncheon followed by practice that afternoon.

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