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Lane Kiffin knows mistakes made against Tulsa bring opportunities for Rebels to learn

Lane Kiffin knows mistakes made against Tulsa bring opportunities for Rebels to learn

Rebels eager to turn mistakes from Tulsa game into opportunities to learn

OXFORD, Miss. Although Ole Miss won the game, there were a number of things that went awry for Lane Kiffin’s squad this past Saturday against Tulsa. But with a matchup against No. 7 Kentucky looming this week, the urgency for these mistakes to be fixed has been compounded.

The Rebels’ 35-27 victory over the Golden Hurricane may have been the most frustrating win of the season for Kiffin, but his message to his team is clear — with mistakes come opportunities to correct them and get better.

“You cannot expect just because you score 35 points and have a bunch of yards in the first half that the second half is going to go that way,” Kiffin said.

Like anything here, we try to take negatives and turn them into teaching lessons, and that was a really good one.

Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin on the Tulsa game

Saturday was the first time this season the Rebels were held scoreless in any half. Likewise, the Rebel defense finally showed some humanity, giving up 457 total yards to Tulsa, including 262 on the ground.

In spite of these areas of concern, Kiffin did place some importance on recognizing the positive aspects of the game.

As frustrating as parts of the game were, it is better to be frustrated but see pieces where we played really special on offense, played really special on defense, and special teams. We’ve got a chance to be really good, but a lot of things have to happen.

Coach Kiffin

While his team struggled on the field, Kiffin noticed another issue surrounding the home-field advantage that his team expects. As the Rebels took a 35-17 lead to the half, the stadium seemed to empty as if the game were over, posing a problem beyond his own control.

Kiffin explained just how important seeing fans in the stands is for his team and its confidence, as the crowd plays a crucial role in his team’s success.

“When you come back out [from halftime] and you run out the tunnel and it looks like a high school game being played in a college stadium, you can’t let that affect you,” Kiffin said. “There is home-field advantage for a reason.”

While Kiffin noted that there is only so much he can do to attract fans to games, he was adamant that his team focus on themselves and not on fan turnout and support. This is even more important with Kentucky coming to town, the first top ten team to visit Oxford since then-No. 2 Alabama in 2020.

“The players have to fight that. We worry about what we can control, and that is getting our players ready to play.”

Kiffin’s Rebels look to improve from last week while also extending the team’s home winning streak to 13 games as they open SEC play at 11 a.m. this Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

(Feature image credit: Josh McCoy, Ole Miss)

Trevor Terminie
Trevor Terminie

Trevor is a senior at Ole Miss pursuing a degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Sports Communication and Promotion. He has previous experience covering sports for another site, including a variety of Ole Miss sports. Growing up in New Orleans, La., he has the Pelicans and Saints running through his blood. He also grew up in an LSU family, but his love for Ole Miss continues to grow. Trevor hopes to cover sports back in his hometown after college. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

About The Author

Trevor Terminie

Trevor is a senior at Ole Miss pursuing a degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Sports Communication and Promotion. He has previous experience covering sports for another site, including a variety of Ole Miss sports. Growing up in New Orleans, La., he has the Pelicans and Saints running through his blood. He also grew up in an LSU family, but his love for Ole Miss continues to grow. Trevor hopes to cover sports back in his hometown after college. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

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