Football

SEC Football Media Days: LSU intends to improve on bungled clock management

Will work on two-minute drill for 45 minutes each practice

By MICHAEL CASAGRANDE

Special to the Ledger-Enquirer

HOOVER, Ala. — No way is LSU going to bungle another late-game situation due to clock management failures.

The disastrous ending in a November loss at Mississippi included one of the worst handlings of a ticking clock. Then, another case of mismanagement doomed the Tigers in a 19-17 loss to Penn State in the Capital One Bowl.

That’s not going to happen again, said LSU coach Les Miles.

When two-a-day practices start in August, Miles said, his team will work on the two-minute drill for 45 minutes at each practice.

“It’s never been given that kind of emphasis certainly at our place,” Miles said. “We just feel like the teaching of the situation and the understanding of the situation is more important.”

Jordan Jefferson, the quarterback who played a part in both clock issues, said he has grown a lot since last year.

“My wisdom has gotten better from my failure in certain games, and I’m looking to be a leader for these guys,” he said.

New mascot

The process of selecting a new mascot at Mississippi is reaching an end, but don’t expect much input from football coach Houston Nutt.

“The next mascot?” he responded to a question on the matter. “You know what, I haven’t been worried about that too much. We’re Ole Miss Rebels. That’s what I go by. There’s, again, a lot of passion. Our students are going to handle that.”

The Ole Miss Mascot Selection Committee’s website states it received more than 13,000 votes on its first poll that included alumni, students and fans. The top five options, to this point, are a horse, land shark, Hotty and Totty, a lion and a bear.

Preseason poll

There were no major surprises in the SEC preseason media poll as Alabama landed on top of the West Division and the overall championship voting. Florida is expected to make it three straight Gator/Tide SEC Championship Game showdowns by running away with the East.

Even Vanderbilt picked up a stray first-place vote in the East, although it picked up the least amount of overall votes. In the West, Auburn was picked third while only Mississippi State didn’t get at least one first-place vote, although Mississippi was picked to finish last overall.

In the all-conference voting, Alabama has a league-high 12 players on the first or second teams, followed by Florida’s 10 selections. Auburn and Georgia have six members, the third highest total.

Media participation

A year after breaking records, attendance was down at this year’s event.

The 873 reporters participating in the three-day affair is the second-highest total in its 26-year history. Only last year’s 923 topped the 2010 crowd.

Participation for the preseason media polls hit an all-time high with 177 voters, who used a new computerized ballot.

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