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'He Continued to Improve': Lane Kiffin Details Why Jaxson Dart is Rebels Starting Quarterback

The Ole Miss head coach was made available to the media on Monday.

OXFORD, Miss. -- The Ole Miss Rebels have their starting quarterback, and they will take on their first big test of the season when they welcome the Kentucky Wildcats to Oxford on Saturday.

Rebels head coach Lane Kiffin was made available to the media on Monday in his weekly press conference, and he recapped his thoughts on last Saturday's sloppy win over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane after watching the film over the weekend.

"I thought we did some really good things in the first half, especially offensively," Kiffin said. "Really did some things for the first time on defense that we haven't done. It doesn't matter what you've done before. Every week is independent of the previous week, and every half is."

Kiffin has been vocal about his team coming out "flat" in the second half at times this season, and that appeared to be the case on Saturday. He is preaching to his players that regardless of how many fans stay after halftime in a lopsided game that they have to continue to execute.

"Regardless of what you come out to before the game or halftime, you can't let that affect you," Kiffin said. "There's home field advantage for a reason. Players have to fight that."

One of the biggest stories from Saturday's win is that Kiffin has officially named a starting quarterback, going with transfer sophomore Jaxson Dart. After a quarterback battle that began in the spring and ran through the first three weeks of the season, the Ole Miss head coach broke down why he chose to go with Dart moving forward.

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"I really like that he didn't have the one disaster play [on Saturday]," Kiffin said. "That's growth. He had that in previous games. He managed the game well at the end. We have high standards with that position, we sometimes forget how young they are.

"I think he continued to improve. He got out of some bad habits, which is nothing to do with where he was before. He's just a young quarterback. His growth in the last few weeks has been more than his growth in all the time here by far."

Kiffin and the Rebels will kick off against Kentucky at 11 a.m. CT on Saturday in Oxford. The game will be televised on ESPN.


You can follow John Macon on Twitter at @JMakeGillespie.

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