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Monday Press Conference: Everything Coach Lane Kiffin Had to Say About Egg Bowl

Monday Press Conference: Everything Coach Lane Kiffin Had to Say About Egg Bowl

OXFORD, Miss. — (Release) Ole Miss football head coach Lane Kiffin met with the media Monday afternoon to break down the Rebels’ expedited practice week ahead of Thursday’s Egg Bowl matchup with No. 15 Mississippi State. A transcript can be found below.

Opening statement…
“Strange schedule this week; full practice today, putting all of the situations into one because today is our only real day of practice. It’s challenging is what it is. Very good opponent coming up, extremely tough place to play. It’s a very loud, foreign place that makes you have challenges on offense to have to play in a place like that. Best passing offense in the country, one of the best rush defenses in the country also. That gives you a lot of problems. They’re very multiple, have a lot of really good, long, strong players on defense.”

On what enables Mike Leach’s offenses to continue to find success without needing to make adjustments each year…
“It really is amazing and kind of goes against what you’d think. There’s a thought out there amongst a lot of people, including coaches, that in the SEC people kind of figured them out and slowed them down throughout part of the year. Obviously that wasn’t the case because now they’re right back to where they started a season ago like that LSU game. They lead the country in passing offense. It really is amazing because you would not think that it could be so simple, and they do.”

On if he noticed anything that changed for Mississippi State that turned their season around a couple weeks ago…
“I don’t know them that well or the order of their games and all that. I just know their quarterback’s been playing really well, their receivers have made a ton of plays, and for whatever reason it seems that they start slow sometimes. I went back and checked the Louisiana Tech game, and they just put together these unbelievable comebacks. They just had another one against Auburn. It really has been amazing.”

On how he’s addressed the team on keeping their emotions in-check for this big rivalry game…
“Yeah, we talk to the guys when we’re closer to the game so it’s fresher in their mind where they need to control their emotions. This is the type of game where you can’t afford to make those types of mistakes.”

On how the team is handling travel for the game and if they’re staying here on campus the night before…
“I guess it’s too far. I’d like to just because I’d prefer it over staying in a hotel. I guess the travel then would put us too close to the game, so we’re still going to do a ton of stuff here Wednesday and then basically go over there, sleep, and then go to the game.”

On how much time he was able to spend on Saturday’s game with it being a short week…
“We still did a lot and the staff went through it early Sunday morning. Players came in and went through it maybe a little quicker than normal, but I just don’t believe that there’s too much even though there’s basically zero carryover between the opponents schematically. Still gotta make sure you’re watching the effort and blocking and tackling and the big plays.”

On his relationship with Mike Leach and if the toxicity of the game has gone down since both coaches’ arrivals…
“You know, I don’t think I knew about the toxicity as you referred to it. I’ve heard about it here or there but, someone said it the other day that it doesn’t really make sense to me or Leach now that we get along. Maybe we were brought here to bring us all together. We don’t just hate people because they go to a certain school. I like him, I’ve always liked him. He’s funny, he’s done a great job wherever he’s been, and I do think it’s amazing how he’s really not evolved. Usually if you don’t evolve or don’t keep up with the game, you’re fired or you get passed by. That’s why people who you grew up with around organized football aren’t really around much anymore for the most part. Somehow he came up with something a long time ago that keeps working.”

On what he’s expecting from Ole Miss fans in terms of traveling to Starkville…
“I don’t know that, so I’m not really sure. We didn’t travel very well to our own game last week, so hopefully we travel to away games better.”

On how much preparation is going into the potential for it to be a cold rain game…
“Well we only really had one real practice which was today, so we did use a wet ball for the individual skill players on offense. We actually have at times, for whatever reason, played pretty well in situations that were similar. We’ve had some where the weather didn’t happen as much during the game. I don’t know, people will tell you if you throw the ball 70 times that you probably don’t want it to rain, so maybe that’s in our favor.”

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--and continued as she watched Katie receive three degrees from Ole Miss, culminating with her Pharm D. in 2012. Evelyn, a member of the FWAA, USBWA and the NCBWA, 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.

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