Despite a promising performance from the outside looking in, and a recent #20 ranking in the AP and Coaches Poll this week, Ole Miss head football coach Lane Kiffin was the first to point out that certain things have to be addressed after watching Monday’s game from the Olivia and Archie Manning Athletics Performance Center. Kiffin elaborated on a pair of issues when meeting with the press following Wednesday’s practice. Ole Miss wide receiver Dontario Drummond and offensive lineman Orlando Umana also joined Kiffin in the media availability.
“Penalties, way too many penalties. Crucial penalties. That cost us a lot of yards and points. Defensively, to finish the game better. We had two fourth downs where we weren’t aligned right that were TDs. We’ve got to finish better,” Kiffin said. The Rebels had two touchdowns that were called back while two targeting penalties sidelined Lakia Henry and Mark Robinson for the second half of Monday’s game.
The Rebels also surrendered two fourth-quarter touchdowns with a convincing lead. Despite that, there were many bright spots this past Monday. A few of those being Dontario Drummond’s 177 yard game on nine catches, Snoop Conner’s two rushing touchdowns despite being fourth on the team’s depth chart, multiple strong Ole Miss debuts and Deantre Prince’s interception in his Rebel return after spending a brief stint at Northeast Mississippi Community College.
Now, the Rebels look to make the most of a quick turnaround in order to prepare for Austin Peay. The Governors are coming off a 30-20 victory over Chattanooga this past Thursday and are not too far removed from their best season in program history in 2019. Kiffin pointed out just hard they play despite being overmatched Saturday. Saturday will also be the first time Kiffin will fully experience the Ole Miss gamely experience as head coach. In Wednesday’s presser and a social media address video released afterward, Kiffin implored fans to pack the Grove and Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
“Really hope our crowd comes out. Hope people don’t say, ‘We’ll wait until SEC games.’ Having a crowd is impactful to your performance. It impacts players and recruits. We need people to come out. Everyone wants a top 25 program, so let’s have an atmosphere like one,” Kiffin said in the presser.
Kickoff for Saturday’s game against Austin Peay is set for 6:30 PM CST and can be viewed on ESPN+. Saturday’s game will also be a Military Appreciation game, honoring service members on the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Video is courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics.