Lane Kiffin says despite missing key players, Ole Miss didn't use excuses to deliver Outback Bowl victory
Only hours after Ole Miss announced a new contract extension for coach Lane Kiffin, the Rebels delivered a 26-20 victory in the Outback Bowl over Indiana, an upstart team in 2020.
“To come away with a win against a top 10, 11 team in the country,” Kiffin said after the game. “We said look around the country, there are teams that are stepping up with players out, there are teams that are making excuses about they don’t have players, we wanted to be that team that stepped up. It was awesome to see and really cool for our guys. Seniors who’d been here four or five years, hadn’t been to a bowl game, really special.”
Kiffin noted that the contract news reflects that he and the program are “just getting started.”
Kiffin said he was proud of his defense for stepping up, and he knew it was needed because the Rebels’ offense couldn’t deliver 60 points.
“This is a really good defense,” he said. “And you’re down a lot of players and you know it’s going to be a struggle so it was great to see the defense play like they did.”
John Rhys Plumlee’s play helped Ole Miss, which was down to four scholarship receivers, Kiffin said, as he may multiple highlight-reel plays.
“For a guy to only play one week at receiver, come in, drop the first one, but the third down play was awesome,” Kiffin said. “There was pass interference and he caught it, and then the big play after that. Remarkable kid to be able to do that. You just can’t do that, this isn’t like Pop Warner, we’re in major college football playing a top 10-ranked team. You just play receiver for one week and go in and make plays is really special.”