Ole Miss head football coach Lane Kiffin met with the media on Monday as the team prepares to take on No. 13 Alabama on Saturday.
Ole Miss opens league play at 3-0 and ranked No. 15 after a 48-23 victory over Georgia Tech this past weekend.
“It’s a good start to the week. I think guys understand the magnitude of this game, understand we made a lot of mistakes last week and there’s a lot of things we need to improve on,” Kiffin said. “We’re going into an extremely hard place to play. It’s an ultra-talented football team, so we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.”
Coming into the fourth week of the season, the Rebels are returning to full strength as players return to the practice field.
“It’s good that we looked a little better health-wise out there today. It’s good to get Tre [Harris] out there and [Caden] Prieskorn out there,” Kiffin said. “I’m sure Jaxson [Dart] feels good about that.”
Heading into this week’s matchup, the Ole Miss defense has to prepare for three different quarterbacks as Jalen Milroe, Ty Simpson and Tyler Buchner have all played this season.
“That’s a unique challenge,” Kiffin said. “Normally it’s two [quarterbacks], not three. That’s challenging because obviously one of the three is very different from the other two. But we’ve got to be ready for whoever plays.”
On Monday, Alabama head coach Nick Saban announced that Milroe will start.
Kiffin added that the defense has to go to work this week and get better. “We did not play very good Saturday.”
Against Georgia Tech, the defense allowed 23 points and 13 in the fourth quarter.
“I thought Georgia Tech did a good job. I could be wrong, but I think they’re going to be good offensively throughout the year,” Kiffin said. They were number one in the ACC coming in through two weeks. They’re much improved. Their coaching staff has really, schematically, done a good job. They took the Texas A&M quarterback and he looks like a brand-new player. I think they’re going to move the ball on a lot of people, but we’ve got to play better.”
Alabama comes into the weekend with a 2-1 record after defeating South Florida 17-3 on Saturday and falling to then-No. 11 Texas 34-24 at home the week before.
“Anytime you’re trying to do that with different quarterbacks, that’s a work in progress. I’m sure they’ll work it out,” Kiffin said. “Previous games don’t mean anything year to year or week to week. Every week is different. Just because these guys struggled down in a non-conference game and they’re not used to playing in some weather issues means nothing about the way that they play in the SEC at home.”
Ole Miss and Alabama kick off at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and can be seen on CBS.