Lane Kiffin picked up some lessons from his wide receiver Braylon Sanders. After Ole Miss’s 31-24 controversial win Saturday, Volunteers fans chucked water bottles at Rebels head coach. Most of the flying debris didn’t get near the 46-year-old. But one bottle managed to get past his phalanx of security, and Kiffin snagged it with one hand and continued on into the tunnels.
Fans started throwing things on the field while the game was still going, so Lane Kiffin knew it was coming.
With under a minute left in the fourth quarter, Tennessee’s quarterback Hendon Hooker connected with his tight end Jacob Warren on a fourth and 24. It was very close to a first down, and depending on the spot — it could have been. But officials said he was short and gave the Rebels got the ball. It effectively ended the game.
Vols fans hurled whatever they could find onto the field after the questionable call, ESPN said. They chucked beer cans, water bottles, an entire bottle of mustard, vape pens, golf balls, and whatever was at hand. Officials had both teams meet in the middle of the field to avoid getting hit, which delayed the game for more than 20 minutes.
“It’s an emotional game, and fans are emotional. But you never expect something like that, to see all that stuff come flying out of the stands,” Lane Kiffin told ESPN. “I got hit with a golf ball, but at least whoever threw it was smart enough to throw a dirty range ball.”
After the game, Kiffin made his impressive catch as fans threw more water bottles at him. At least, Kiffin hopes that was water.
“There were a number of bottles with some brown stuff in them,” Kiffin said. “I’m not sure what it was. It probably wasn’t moonshine. They probably wouldn’t waste moonshine on me.”
Tennessee’s athletic department issued an apology to Kiffin after the game.
Tennessee’s Anger Towards Lane Kiffin Started Years Ago
The anger from Tennessee fans didn’t start with the questionable call Saturday night. It goes back more than a decade. Lane Kiffin was named as head coach at Tennessee in 2009. He promised to return the program to its former glory days. After a 7-6 season that showed flashes of what could be, he abruptly left to take the head coaching job at the University of South California.
Kiffin’s assistant at the time, Ryan Bollinger, said it happened without notice. The university and players Kiffin recruited were left stunned.
“It happened all of a sudden,” Bolinger told Vols Wire. “Lane did not come to the convention until that morning for the coaches meeting and flew back that day. There was an SEC coaches meeting. That night when he got back to Knoxville is when all of that happened. I saw him one second and the next thing you know, bam.”
Lane Kiffin has been a curse word with Vols fans ever since.