LSU coach Les Miles said his team remains confident as it works to avoid just the second set of back-to-back losses in his eight seasons.
The ninth-ranked Tigers lost at Florida 14-6 last week and meet No. 3 South Carolina on Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.
“I think our players recognize that nobody is going to get this corrected but us,” Miles said Wednesday morning during the weekly Southeastern Conference coaches teleconference. “Practice has been very good. We’ve not changed. It’s the same course, to improve. They have the right attitude and they’re responding well. We’ve had a loss or two here. We know how to respond.”
LSU is especially focused on improving its offensive production. Against the Gators, the Tigers did not score touchdown, were shut out in the second half and had just 42 yards and one first down running the football.
“It’s the thought process you have when you wake up with and it’s the thought process you have when you go to bed,” Miles said. “I think our coaching staff is doing exactly what it needs to do. We’re working at it, there’s great effort at practice. The offense wants to contribute and we hope to get it fixed so it can.”
Miles said the players don’t have any less belief in their ability to succeed.
“Our team has not lost confidence,” he said. “I don’t know if a loss of confidence is something that happens after one game. Confidence is something you have to have. You have to play with your stinger, if you will.”
The loss last week was the Tigers’ first regular-season loss since a defeat against Arkansas in the last game of the 2010 regular season.
“We’re looking forward to getting back on track,” Miles said. “It has been a long time since this program has lost a game in the regular season. There is a sting that is felt and a real want to redirect and get back on track.”
It will be a challenge to get back on track against the 6-0 Gamecocks, who have one of the most balanced teams in the SEC. Like LSU, South Carolina has two of the best defensive ends in the country.
A spotlight will be on Carolina’s tandem of Jadeveon Clowney and Devin Taylor and LSU’s tandem of Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo.
“I think their defensive ends are as talented as any in the country,” Miles said. “I certainly would compare their ability with the very best defensive ends in the country.”
The Gamecocks have one of the most productive running backs in the country in Marcus Lattimore, and Connor Shaw leads the SEC in passing efficiency and he’s his team’s second-leading rusher.
“(Shaw) gets the ball in the hands of the guys who make it work,” Miles said. “He’s a very, very mobile quarterback. That opens things up for him to do the things he needs to do. With Marcus Lattimore and the many talented guys around him it just makes it work.
“He makes good decisions and gets the ball out of his hand. He’s not going to stay in the pocket for any length of time. If it doesn’t look like the play is opening up in a timely fashion he’s going to get out of there. He moves the chains.”
Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier seems to have his most serious SEC title contender in his eight seasons.
“What he’s done at South Carolina is really recruit well,” Miles said. “They struggled early on (in Spurrier’s tenure) with their quarterback, but now that they’ve ironed that out they’re a much improved football ream. They’re as talented as the best teams we’ve played.”