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Rebels’ health a priority for Coach Kiffin during bye week as Ole Miss begins preparations for Alabama

Rebels’ health a priority for Coach Kiffin during bye week as Ole Miss begins preparations for Alabama

OXFORD, Miss. While Lane Kiffin and his Rebel squad continue their excitement with the 31-28 victory over Texas A&M at Kyle Field on Saturday, the Ole Miss head coach seems more excited about the lack of an opponent this weekend.

“Really good timing for a bye,” Kiffin said at his Monday press conference. 

Sometimes they can come at a bad time when you don’t necessarily need them as much. We’re playing with a lot of injured players that this will be very significant and hopefully, if we can get them back, can help us all over.

Lane Kiffin on the bye week

This bye week could not come at a more crucial time, with the Alabama Crimson Tide rolling into Oxford on November 12th. This matchup could end up determining who represents the West in Atlanta for the SEC Championship, so Kiffin’s priorities for this open date are rest and health.

It’s so late in the season, so this is more about getting guys healthy. There will be a lot of players not in practice and in the training room trying to get back. [It’s] kind of like our common theme unfortunately every year.

Coach Kiffin

Judkins and Evans

While Kiffin’s sights are on the future of this Rebels team, he praised many of the offensive successes from Saturday against the Aggies, including a birthday performance for the ages by freshman running back Quinshon Judkins.

“When you play well and you win games and statistics look really well in an area like running, those are going to happen,” Kiffin said about Judkins winning SEC Freshman of the Week. “Q [Quinshon], like I said, that was pretty cool on his 19th birthday to have 34 carries.”

Judkins’s 34 carries led him to 205 rushing yards and one touchdown. His performance, while also eclipsing 1,000 rushing yards for the season, vaulted him into some Heisman talks. 

Judkins was not the only running back that had a productive day. 

Junior Zach Evans added 75 yards on the ground to contribute to the Rebels’ 390-yard rushing day. His physical play has complemented Judkins’ production very nicely.

“You can tell he’s not fully healthy, but he pushed through and made some big plays,” Kiffin said. “I think that sideline run, running the guy over, which we just showed to the team, was a lot for our sideline in the road game.”

Preparing for Alabama

The successes that the Rebel offense had against the Aggies will be hard to replicate against a talented Alabama team in two weeks. Even with the focus on guys getting healthy, Kiffin stressed that the preparation for Alabama will start as soon as possible.

“We’ll start as soon as we leave here,” Kiffin said. “We just met with the players and let them go, so we’ll start on that ourselves with Alabama and work on it all week.”

Kickoff versus the Alabama Crimson Tide is set for 2:30pm on Saturday, November 12th at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. This showdown for potential supremacy of the SEC West is the SEC Game of the Week on CBS.

(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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