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Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin holds weekly press conference ahead of contest with Gators

Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin holds weekly press conference ahead of contest with Gators

OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss football head coach Lane Kiffin met with the media Monday to recap the Rebels’ fall camp and preview Saturday’s season opener against No. 5 Florida. A transcript of the press conference can be found below. (Courtesy of Ole Miss Media Relations)

Opening Statement…
“Mock Game Saturday, we won, so that was good. Defense played really well. No third down conversions, and I think eight sacks. Offense was up and down. Did not play as well as we would like, especially in the second half. So, we had a few turnovers, some special teams execution issue, but, just reminds us we’ve got a lot of work left to do.”

On offensive turnovers…
“More consistent quarterback play. You know, it wasn’t a bunch of fumbles. We’ve been pretty good with ball security. It has been interceptions and usually it has been the quarterback. Sometimes maybe a tipped pass or something like that, but these are either inaccurate throws or poor decision making. So, we’ve gotta get back to playing like we were initially, because the first scrimmage they were both really good.”

On Otis Reese’s eligibility…
“Unfortunately, we still do not have an answer. We have not gotten an answer from the NCAA, and it’s got to go to the SEC after that. So, you know it kind of makes it difficult. You know because of trying to plan and figure out—same with Deane Leonard—here’s two guys that would potentially be starters for us that we don’t know what to do and we’re trying to practice. We really only have two practices left, really, Tuesday and Wednesday so sure be nice to know.”

On emotions of Saturday’s game…
“I don’t think I’m a real emotional guy on things. I don’t think it will be any real different for me. But I do think that, very happy for a lot of people who put a lot of effort for this to happen. Starting with the commissioner, then the athletic directors, presidents, chancellors, just to get it ok’d, and then all the people, medical people and everything around here helping. A lot of people have done a lot of stuff to get to this point, so very grateful for that.”

On COVID-19 status…
“Yeah, we are now two weeks in a row with zero (positive tests), so we’ve been very fortunate here. Especially these are the two most important because you would obviously be out for the opener. Nobody got it so hopefully will be three weeks in a row.”

On having COVID-19 active protocol members…
“We do not (have any).”

On having a full roster…
“We still have a lot of guys coming back here you know right on the border of injuries, hamstring type injuries and things. So, we were still really down at some positions especially receiver and offensive line, so we’ve got to get these guys backs here and hopefully they will be tomorrow.”

On John Rhys Plumlee’s role if he’s not the starting QB…
“I mean that’s tough to answer. I mean one of them is going to start and there’s a good chance both of them will play.”

On Tavius Robinson
Well he’s got a really big ceiling and got here late from a weightlifting standpoint. You know he’s a little behind that way. Would have really enjoyed to have him for a whole spring and all that. So he’ll obviously play a lot but I think he will continue to improve more than the normal player throughout the season.”

On justice and potential demonstrations…
“Yeah we have an idea of what we are going to do, and it will be pretty neat when you guys see it. The schedule now is as long as it goes to plan is to do something with Florida, yes. Both teams are on the same page.”

On the defense…
“I think defense early was hit with COVID, especially in the secondary. So, they’ve continued to improve. We did not play well that first scrimmage at all and really have played better every single week. So, and Saturday was really good. The quality of the opponent is not an SEC opponent, but they did about as good as you can.”

On Sam Williams
He’s doing really well, still some conditioning work to be done. You know just with time. Well we talked about Robinson and this will be someone that continues to improve through the year, you know just from missing some time.”

On playing Florida…
“I think team speed, they’re always fast and always have been. Especially at skill. You look there’s a lot of games where last year people aren’t scoring a lot of points against these guys. They held a lot of people down; I want to say under 24 points. There’s a big challenge there and you know our first game with having no spring practice there’s going to be challenges for everyone.”

On Daylen Gill
“Probably as good as anybody when it comes to someone that hasn’t played before, you know making an impact in scrimmages and playing. So you know we’re really excited about him.”

On COVID-19 logistical adjustments…
“We’re making sure the meeting room is bigger than normal over at the hotel. We are staying (in Oxford) now, which I guess in the past, they didn’t. We have more busses than normal also.”

On true freshmen playing Saturday…
Cedric Johnson, Marc Britt, Henry Parrish, potential of Eli Acker and Kentrel Bullock.”

On Marc Britt…
“He’s doing well. Another like we’ve talked about guys that will improved, having missed time. He was out for a while but has really done a good job being thrown over there at the last minute like that. He was (on a path to seeing playing time at receiver). He would have seen time on either side, I don’t know where he’ll end up long term.”

On Deion Sanders…
“Due to the fact we’re kinda still in training camp, I did not know that. You just informed me of that. Don’t get to watch a lot of TV or hear a lot of information. So congratulations to him that’s awesome.”

Evelyn Van Pelt
Evelyn Van Pelt

Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn’s love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship. Evelyn created the Rebel Walk in 2013 and has served as publisher and managing editor since its inception.

About The Author

Evelyn Van Pelt

Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn's love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship. Evelyn created the Rebel Walk in 2013 and has served as publisher and managing editor since its inception.

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