Lane Kiffin watched from home on Monday night following a positive case of COVID-19, but the Ole Miss coach had to love the way his defense played in a 43-24 victory over Louisville to open the season.

The Rebels held the Cardinals to a 9-for-21 showing on third and fourth down, and got 2 turnovers. Cardinals QB Malik Cunningham struggled, particularly early in the game, and finished 22-for-37 for 191 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

After the game, Kiffin spoke with reporters after the game about how the defense changed from 2020’s disappointing showing.

“They played how we are supposed to,” Kiffin said. “Obviously we completely changed schemes from what we did a year ago, and I had not talked about it on purpose and waited for this game. You know, whatever you want to call it, this three-down and 2 linebackers and everybody else is DBs, it’s similar to some stuff that we played last year, Arkansas and Iowa State plays it.”

Until opponents adjust to it, and depending on how they do, the Rebels will enjoy the success.

“You know, just really thought it gives people problems, so in the off-season went to it and players bought into it and it paid off, made some explosive plays and saw a lot of guys running down the hill hitting people,” Kiffin said.