1974 Orange Bowl - LSU vs. Penn State (Legend of Mike Miley) | TigerDroppings.com

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bdnc
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1974 Orange Bowl - LSU vs. Penn State (Legend of Mike Miley)


The 1974 Orange Bowl ended a promising season for LSU. The Tigers started out 9-0 led by a loaded defense and QB Mike Miley before falling to Alabama, Tulane, and Penn State.

Notables for this game were Penn State’s John Cappelletti, who came into the game as the ’73 Heisman trophy winner and LSU’s Mike Miley. Miley was a super-talent and by today’s standard was a freak. A prolific talent out of Metairie’s East Jefferson High School, Miley was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds but choose instead to play for LSU. Just to give you an idea of the talent this kid possessed, Miley was a switch-hitting shortstop, who could go yard, drafted in the first round, yet was a highly recruited quarterback that had college coaches like Bear Bryant drooling.

Though LSU would lose this game, the Tigers lead in total offense 275 – 185 and first downs 18-9. LSU entered the game a 7-point underdog to Paterno’s undefeated Nitty Lions. As usual, LSU was loaded on defense with the likes of Warren Capone, Bo Harris, Gary Champagne, Steve Cassidy, Kenny Bordelon, Thielen Smith, and notable pros A. J. Duhe and Mike Williams (first black player). LSU would limit Heisman winner Cappelleti to 50 yards, in spite of losing Champagne and Harris early in the game to injuries.

LSU had switched to more of an option-type offense this same year to counter the success of the wishbone, and to take advantage of Miley’s running. But in big games, LSU would be plagued by mistakes and fumbles. To complicate matters, McClendon had an automatic substitution system, instead of substituting on a need-basis. This may have worked on lesser teams but when faced with better teams, it failed. LSU and Miley could never gain the offensive consistency they needed to go along with its great defense. No more evident of this failed strategy was the Alabama game when McClendon replaced Miley early (as usual) in the game with its second-string QB Broussard, whose first play-pitch was fumbled deep inside LSU territory. Alabama then would score its first touchdown forcing LSU to play catch-up the rest of the game. That game was a night game in Tiger Stadium and was nationally televised. Both teams were 9-0. On a national stage, LSU was facing arguably the best team in the country with its own phenom in Miley. Then for no reason Miley is taken out the game, go figure that one.

Miley was more suited to today’s spread offense as he had a great arm and quick feet. With the option-offense, LSU typically ran two plays before throwing on 3rd down. This defeated all that Miley had to offer. Miley was more suited to throw when unexpected with the option to run. And that’s exactly what he did at EJ, making him a highlight reel. Miley, a junior spurned his senior year and the Tigers signing and playing shortstop with the California Angles. Miley’s frustration with the LSU offense and McClendon’s substitution policy lead squarely to him leaving the team (my opinion). His tragic death in ’77 ended a promising career in the Major Leagues. Airline Playground in Metairie today is name after Mike Miley.


LINK



This post was edited on 3/3 at 7:18 am



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Slapouttiger
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alabama
Member since Jun 2011
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re: 1974 Orange Bowl - LSU vs. Penn State (Legend of Mike Miley)


That was the year the Tigers lost to Tulane for the first time in 25 years. That year was the beginning of the end for Charlie Mac





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Beltway Bengal
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Potomac, Maryland
Member since Feb 2004
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re: 1974 Orange Bowl - LSU vs. Penn State (Legend of Mike Miley)


A nice write-up, but one of your key points is incorrect. LSU did not install the Veer for the 73 season, but planned to do so for 74. Mac believed it was particularly suited to Miley's skills.

When Miley left for pro baseball, we had to turn to the late Carl Otis Trimble. He was brilliant at times, but also struggled many times. The 74 season was a tremendous disappointment and did start a run of frustrating years.






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choupiquesushi
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yaton rouge
Member since Jun 2006
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re: 1974 Orange Bowl - LSU vs. Penn State (Legend of Mike Miley)


Miley was the last 1st round baseball draftee out of high school to show upnat LSU his freshman year...


EJ has not won a playoff football game since he was there...






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TupeloTiger
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Tupelo,Ms.[via Bastrop,La.]
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re: 1974 Orange Bowl - LSU vs. Penn State (Legend of Mike Miley)


I remember this well. I was living in B.R. in '73 and '74. It made me sick to lose to Tulane. It was a rivalry then. Most recruits that did not go to LSU, went to Tulane then. La. Tech's heyday was just over a couple of years earlier with Terry Bradshaw. Mike Miley was good, very good.





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Pop
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Member since Feb 2013
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re: 1974 Orange Bowl - LSU vs. Penn State (Legend of Mike Miley)


Ahhh! Triple threat Trimble - Stumble, Fumble and Fall!





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TigerTreyjpg
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Monroe, LA
Member since Jun 2008
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re: 1974 Orange Bowl - LSU vs. Penn State (Legend of Mike Miley)


quote:

EJ has not won a playoff football game since he was there...


Just. Wow. I did not realize that. As a little kid growing up in Metairie (think 1976), I can remember EJ vs. Rummel actually being a rivalry.






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chity
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Chicago, il
Member since Dec 2008
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re: 1974 Orange Bowl - LSU vs. Penn State (Legend of Mike Miley)


Nice write up bdnc.

Didn't Miley die in a car crash or am I getting senile?






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bdnc
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Member since Dec 2011
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re: 1974 Orange Bowl - LSU vs. Penn State (Legend of Mike Miley)


quote:

A nice write-up, but one of your key points is incorrect. LSU did not install the Veer for the 73 season, but planned to do so for 74.


thanks, i’ll make the correction






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bdnc
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Member since Dec 2011
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re: 1974 Orange Bowl - LSU vs. Penn State (Legend of Mike Miley)


quote:

Didn't Miley die in a car crash or am I getting senile?


yes he did, i believe he was visiting LSU.






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austintexastiger
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Austin, Texas
Member since Aug 2006
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re: 1974 Orange Bowl - LSU vs. Penn State (Legend of Mike Miley)


i was at that game and took some footage with my super 8 camera/film

LINK






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vjp819
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South Sec. 414 / Alex Box Sec. 210
Member since Nov 2003
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re: 1974 Orange Bowl - LSU vs. Penn State (Legend of Mike Miley)


quote:

Didn't Miley die in a car crash or am I getting senile?


yes hit an oak tree near the corner Highland Rd. and Rodney Dr. Early morning hours.






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ptra
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Member since Nov 2006
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re: 1974 Orange Bowl - LSU vs. Penn State (Legend of Mike Miley)


quote:

LSU had switched to more of an option-type offense this same year to counter the success of the wishbone, and to take advantage of Miley’s running. But in big games, LSU would be plagued by mistakes and fumbles. To complicate matters, McClendon had an automatic substitution system, instead of substituting on a need-basis.


Under Mac in those years, LSU ran a power I and always had an option component to his offense and always played two QB's. Even Bert Jones ran the option. Fast forward to 4:12 of this Youtube LINK and you will see him run the option against ND for a TD.
What Mac did was no surprise to Miley as it was the same offense and substitutions prior to his arrival.






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bdnc
LSU Fan
Member since Dec 2011
479 posts

re: 1974 Orange Bowl - LSU vs. Penn State (Legend of Mike Miley)


quote:

Under Mac in those years, LSU ran a power I and always had an option component to his offense and always played two QB's. Even Bert Jones ran the option. Fast forward to 4:12 of this Youtube LINK and you will see him run the option against ND for a TD.
What Mac did was no surprise to Miley as it was the same offense and substitutions prior to his arrival.


Good point about Jones but given your premise, “What Mac did was no surprise to Miley,” many an LSU player came to LSU because they were LSU fans, even though it didn’t have everything they wanted, coaches, system, facilities, etc. Either way, my point is this; Miley’s talent was never fully realized with the given system, which eventually led to him leaving.






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ptra
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Member since Nov 2006
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re: 1974 Orange Bowl - LSU vs. Penn State (Legend of Mike Miley)


Or it could have been that he was selected as a number 1 draft pick for the second time since high school (Cincinnati was the first in 71) and he wanted to play baseball.





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bdnc
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Member since Dec 2011
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re: 1974 Orange Bowl - LSU vs. Penn State (Legend of Mike Miley)


that could be so, only those close to him would know / i think had he won on the big stage, Alabama on National TV, or the Orange Bowl, he would have been tempted to stay. Baseball could wait.





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TemplarTheSaint
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The Vatican
Member since Oct 2011
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re: 1974 Orange Bowl - LSU vs. Penn State (Legend of Mike Miley)


quote:

That was the year the Tigers lost to Tulane for the first time in 25 years. That year was the beginning of the end for Charlie Mac


Steve Foley (Greenie QB from Jesuit) beat us every way imaginable. Went on to play Strong Safety for Denver for an eternity.






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DaSaltyTiger
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Alexandria/Pineville, LA area
Member since Dec 2004
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re: 1974 Orange Bowl - LSU vs. Penn State (Legend of Mike Miley)


I remember watching Miley play. Offense was very ill suited for Miley. Damn, I would love to have had someone like him these past four years.





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tigernchicago
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Illinois
Member since Sep 2003
3892 posts

re: 1974 Orange Bowl - LSU vs. Penn State (Legend of Mike Miley)


quote:

Steve Foley (Greenie QB from Jesuit) beat us every way imaginable. Went on to play Strong Safety for Denver for an eternity.


Terry Looney was the greenie QB that beat LSU in 1973. Foley must have been hurt as he was the team leader in stats. But Looney was the QB for TU that night.






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bdnc
LSU Fan
Member since Dec 2011
479 posts

re: 1974 Orange Bowl - LSU vs. Penn State (Legend of Mike Miley)


quote:

Terry Looney was the greenie QB


That’s correct - - - Back in the day, Tulane did garner some of the top Louisiana talent. That team was a worthy opponent. LSU, coming off the defeat to Alabama was lethargic and just plain not ready.






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