Week 6 of the college football season has not disappointed. We can credit Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin for some of that. Break out the popcorn.
The No. 13 Rebels were able to hang on for a 52-51 win against No. 17 Arkansas in what may go down as the game of the year. There may be competition from other conferences, but at least for the SEC, it’s going to be hard to top.
It was a stressful one for Lane Kiffin. His offense was as magical as one could hope. After failing to rise to the occasion against Alabama last week, quarterback Matt Corral and the Ole Miss offense looked electric this week. The defense, however, did not. Kiffin said as much in his post-game interview.
“Well, our quarterback’s unbelievable,” Lane Kiffin started. “Made a great play to No. 13 Braylon (Sanders.) We managed to play as bad as defense as you physically possibly can to keep the crowd around to the last play. We won. Finally, we can go have some popcorn.”
One of the reasons why Lane Kiffin is one of the most popular coaches in football is his self-awareness. After telling fans to get their popcorn ready last week and then failing to score point in the first half, the Rebels were unstoppable against Arkansas.
However, as Kiffin mentions, the Razorbacks matched Ole Miss score for score. While some would look to credit the Razorbacks offense like the Rebels, Kiffin is obviously more focused on how his team underperformed.
When the reporter asked him about how the defense got a stop on the final play (which we’ll talk about in just a second,) Kiffin didn’t budge on his assessment.
“You can make it positive, we didn’t really stop them. They just happened to go for two.”
Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss Hold off Arkansas on Game-Deciding Two-Point Conversion
Zero seconds left and one play that will decide a winner and a loser. Football doesn’t get much better than that.
Arkansas and head coach Sam Pittman had seen enough. After a combined 103 points scored between the two offenses, the Razorbacks went for the jugular. But it simply wasn’t to be.
Arkansas quarterback K.J. Jefferson rolled out looking to make a play, which he made many. But the Rebs were all over it defensively, flooding the endzone on the rollout play and also getting some quick pressure on Jefferson. It was a valiant effort, but the pass never really had a chance.
You can’t blame Pittman for telling his offense to go get two more yards and a win. Every time they needed to make a play on Saturday, they delivered. That was, of course, until this final play.
Which is where you can raise questions. The Arkansas rushing offense is one of the best in the country, and with just two yards to go, you would think they’d turn that way. But instead, they mixed it up and it resulted in back-to-back losses for the Razorbacks.