LSU coach Les Miles said those making allegations in Sports Illustrated of academic fraud at Oklahoma State, or improper payments to players from boosters, "weren't there long enough to figure it out," because they were dismissed from the program.

Payton downplays his role in whatever success the Saints may have this season, but his players tell a different story.

New Orleans' revamped defense under new coordinator Rob Ryan applied regular pressure on Matt Ryan and kept Atlanta's talent-laden offense in check long enough to give head coach Sean Payton a 23-17 triumph in his regular season return from his bounty ban.

No longer does a Les Miles-coached LSU have to rely on suffocating defense and a punishing power running game to win.

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