By Adam Brown
The Ole Miss Rebels step into the Caesars Superdome on Saturday night to take on the No.7 Baylor Bears in the 88th Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Head coach Lane Kiffin met with the media on Friday.
“We’re honored and blessed to be here,” Kiffin said. “Obviously there’s a great tradition in the Sugar Bowl and for us to be back here speaks a lot to our players and assistant coaches.”
Ole Miss is coming in with a 10-2 overall record on the 2021 season.
“We have a great matchup with (Baylor) coach (Dave) Aranda and an extremely well-coached team,” Kiffin said. “(Baylor) plays very physical and does not make many mistakes so it’s going to be a very big challenge for us. “
This season, Ole Miss does not have any players opting out to not take part in the bowl game.
“A lot of that has to do with the culture and the players,” Kiffin said. “When your quarterback (Matt Corral) would be the most obvious opt-out, you know he never even thinks about it. The players know that and he has played through injuries when he could have not played in games.”
Kiffin added that the culture has come a long way when looking at last year the team had a few opt-outs.
Ole Miss has come a long way under Kiffin and his staff in just two seasons. In 2019, the team finished with a 4-8 record and in the last two years, Kiffin has a 15-7 mark at the helm. That adds to the culture of the program.
“At our last job at FAU they had won three games and then won 11 games our first year so we were able to see that excitement,” Kiffin said. “It’s exciting to be a part of as opposed to just being on the top stain on the top. Is working your way up.”
Baylor comes into the Sugar Bowl as the Big 12 Champions with an 11-2 overall record on the season.
“How physical they play, very disciplined and they’re so well-coached and you just don’t see many big plays against them,” Kiffin said. “Which makes it hard to beat. (Aranda) basically has created a team like his defense always have been.”
Ole Miss and Baylor will kick off at 7:45 p.m. CT and can be seen on ESPN.