Lane Kiffin wasn’t able to be on hand for the Ole Miss season opener on Monday night after testing positive for COVID-19 late last week. But, just because he wasn’t on the sidelines doesn’t mean the Rebels played poorly.
In fact, Ole Miss raced out to a 26-0 halftime lead over Louisville behind a high-powered offense and an impressive effort on the defensive end. Star quarterback Matt Corral completed 13-of-20 passes for 252 yards and added a rushing touchdown in the first half to put the Rebels well ahead in their season opener.
Kiffin loved what he saw on both sides of the ball on Monday, but was acutely aware that his team was playing so well even in his absence. He joked about the Ole Miss’ showing during an appearance on the broadcast at halftime.
“I’m just gonna stay here from now on. Maybe I can get Covid for the whole year,” Kiffin told Molly McGrath, as the Rebels held a 26-0 advantage.
Lane Kiffin to @MollyAMcGrath at halftime about how impressed he is with how Ole Miss has played tonight without him: “I’m just gonna stay here from now on. Maybe I can get Covid for the whole year.”
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) September 7, 2021
It’s encouraging to see Kiffin make a joke during an otherwise frustrating time for him. Thankfully, he only has mild COVID-19 symptoms and should be back with his team as soon as this next week.
The Rebels might not have needed Kiffin on Monday night, but they will need their head coach back on the sidelines once the SEC schedule ramps up in a few weeks. Ole Miss should be competitive in the conference with Corral under center and a much-improved defense.
So long as their leader is on the sidelines calling plays and making adjustments, the Rebels should feel good about the season ahead of them.
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