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OXFORD, Miss. — Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin took his turn Wednesday afternoon on the SEC Football Coaches Teleconference, discussing the upcoming game against Tulane, Rebel players he hopes to have back in the lineup Saturday, and the run-pass mix of his offenses.
In his opening statement, Coach Kiffin reminded folks of what they’ll see when the Green Wave arrives at Vaught-Hemingway. “This team is really good,” Kiffin began.
“They play with a lot of energy. They’re really well coached. A lot of good quality depth. Very good offensive and defensive schemes. I said before, when you watch them you feel like you’re playing an SEC team. There’s a reason it went down basically to the last minute of the game versus Oklahoma at Oklahoma.“
Coach Kiffin on Tulane
Kiffin went on to specifically address the physicality of Tulane and what he notices about their defensive front and overall unit.
“(I notice) how hard they play. They rotate a lot of guys on their whole defense. They play really hard. I think that (platoon defense) paid off for them later in the OU game. They fell behind early, but I bet they would say they played better in the second half because they weren’t worn out.“
Coach Kiffin on the physicality of Tulane’s defense
On the teleconference, Coach Kiffin was asked about safety Jake Springer’s status for Saturday. The Navy transfer played lights out against Louisville but wasn’t on the field and didn’t dress out for the home opener against Austin Peay. “We hope that Jake plays,” Kiffin said Wednesday. “He had a really good opening game, so hopefully he’ll play.”
In Monday’s press conference, Coach Kiffin did indicate starting center Orlando Umana would be available for the Tulane game. Umana also missed last week’s game with Austin Peay.
It never seems to fail that folks think of a Lane Kiffin offense as pass-happy….and while the Rebels do throw the ball prolifically, they also have quite a ground game. In fact, Ole Miss led the SEC in rushing yards per game in 2020.
Coach Kiffin was asked about the tendency for people to think they are much more pass-oriented team.
“I do think that…whatever, it doesn’t really bother me, that there’s a perception that we — or team’s that I’ve coached –throw the ball. So, I don’t really know why that’s the case. We led the SEC in rushing last year. At Alabama, Derrick Henry led the country in carries. Devin Singletary led the country in carries at FAU on one of the top five rushing teams in the country. I don’t really know where that comes from, but I just always think it’s good to be balanced,” Kiffin explained.
Through the first two games of the season, the Rebels are averaging 599.5 yards per game of total offense, including 337.5 yards through the air and 262.0 yards on the ground. Ole Miss is also ranked tied at No. 5 for points per game, at 48.5.
Tulane is ranked No. 3 in points per game, sitting at 52.0 per contest.
Ole Miss and Tulane are set for a 7 p.m. CT kickoff Saturday from Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN2.
Here’s the full audio of all of the SEC Football Coaches.
(Feature image: Josh McCoy(
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 has covered Rebel sports for numerous outlets. In addition to working for The Rebel Walk, Evelyn is a sports writer for a newspaper in Texas.