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Transcript of Lane Kiffin’s Press Conference Ahead of Auburn

Head coach Lane Kiffin at his Monday press conference Courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics

Ole Miss head football coach Lane Kiffin met with the media Monday to preview this Saturday’s road game at Auburn. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. CT at Jordan-Hare Stadium and on ESPN. A transcript can be found below.

Opening Statement

Good to get back out on the field today. The guys had a lot of energy and I think they’re really excited for this matchup. Very challenging place to go play and team to go play. We struggled with them early here and ended up winning last year. New challenge to go try to win on the road there. I think we’ve, as a program, won once there in 20 years. It’ll be exciting to have this opportunity to go in there and play a complete game, which we’ll need to do to win. They’ve got really good players, good coaching. This year, like a lot of years, they’re a different team at home. Don’t start taking into account last week and how that score was and what that means for this week, that won’t mean anything.”
 
On Jordan Watkins’ status:
“We anticipate him playing.”
 
On his relationship with Auburn head coach Hugh Freeze:
“I haven’t been around him that much. A few times over the years. My brother, when he coached here. Really appreciate how he treated my brother. I’ve had nothing but good interactions the few times I’ve seen him. SEC Media Days, and then obviously against Liberty when they played here (in 2021), so that’s about it.”
 
On what was emphasized over the bye week:
“Tackle better on defense. Working on pass defense in the back end and keeping the ball in front of us and limit explosive plays. On offense, the run game and being consistent with that, and third downs.”
 
On what the film of Auburn’s defense vs. LSU did to help:
“I don’t look at that, LSU does that to everybody. Like I said after we played them, that’s got to be, them and Washington, the best offensive personnel in the country and hardest to defend. They pretty much score and move the ball on everybody. I think Auburn plays really well on defense. They’re really well coached. They play really hard, and a lot of people have struggled to move the ball against them.”
 
On what he saw in the offseason from Daijahn Anthony to think he could help the team:
“He has a really good size-to-speed ratio and movement skills of what top players have. Sometimes some of these guys will just try to fit in. They’re really good players, but size-to-speed ratio maybe they don’t really look like NFL guys. He does. I think he’s got really good leadership skills and he’s made some good plays for us.”
 
On comparing this era of SEC football to when he was at Alabama and Tennessee:
“I don’t know that it’s tougher. I think the SEC has been tough for a while. I can’t speak for him (Hugh Freeze), but when I came in it was really tough. You’re playing Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, Steve Spurrier, so I think for me at least, both times it’s been really tough. Great players and great coaches that you play against.”
 
On the parity in the SEC:
“I do (agree that there’s parity). I don’t have the exact answers as to why. I don’t watch all the games, but the scores seem like that, there’s a lot of parity and upsets. Even the marquee teams, seems like there’s some teams hanging around with them longer than you’d expect. I’m not really sure why that is. People will say it’s the portal, and I’m sure if you asked Alabama and Georgia they’d say it’s because they lose players in the portal, especially second team guys and depth. I don’t know that you can make that argument because they also go add great players too in spots that they need help at. I’m not too sure why that is, my guess would be it’s not coaching, it’s not just from the portal, I would think that a lot of the times it’s quarterbacks, quarterback play. I think being able to watch some games, and see the Pac-12 this weekend. You know, people talk about the Pac-12 being the best conference, and how does that happen when they’ve kind of been down for a while? Look at the quarterbacks, look at quarterback play, is why that argument, to me, comes up.”
 
On why Auburn is a different team at home:
“I don’t know that answer. The analytics support it certainly. You can see our record there. We like breaking records. Someone said if we win this game it’s the first back-to-back wins against Auburn in 71 years, so that’s a pretty exciting thing to be able to do. I just think that place, having played there here, having played there at Alabama, just sometimes has kind of some magical things happen at it. Games are always sold out, the fans seem to be into all the games from the beginning on, and they seem to play better there, especially at night if you look at the stats over the years.”
 
On Auburn’s defense:
“I think that they coach really well. They don’t do a ton of things, but they do them really well. Their defensive coordinator was at Baylor when we played them, did a great job against us then. I think that it’s more to the simple effect of schemes, meaning not do as much but do it really well. Coach it really hard, play physical, and tackle really well. They have really good players too that were left there.”
 
On the difficulty of preparing for two quarterbacks:
“It is what it is. The quarterbacks are a little bit different. Thorne moves around a little bit better than I think people initially thought. I think that he’s throwing the ball really well this year and done some really good things. They’ve just missed some things, whether guys aren’t making the plays or just missed on some deeper balls, they just haven’t hit those plays but I think Thorne’s done some great things.”
 
On Caden Prieskorn dealing with the loss of his father:
“Yeah he’s here, he’ll play. Like I said before, that’s a very tough situation for anybody to go through, let alone in the season. He has some other personal things going on too, so I just really commend him for what a man he is and how he’s handled all of it and fought through it. This was not new information, he’s known this for a while, which obviously makes it even more difficult to deal with, with his father’s condition. He’s really a stud.”
 
On if he expects a receiver to break out in the second half of the season:
“I can’t predict that. I would certainly like to see that happen. They haven’t gotten a lot of chances, but Zakhari Franklin and Braylon Brown and Ayden Williams have all had really good bye weeks. I’d really like to see us give them more opportunities and they seize those opportunities when they happen.”


Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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