Ole Miss-Tennessee serves as one of the most highly anticipated games for Tennessee Football in a while, and a big reason why is Lane Kiffin's return to Knoxville for the first as an opposing head coach since he left Tennessee.
Kiffin departed from the Vols in January 2010 to take the USC head coaching job. Since his firing from the Trojans in 2013, Kiffin has bounced around to Alabama as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, to Florida Atlantic as head coach and now to Ole Miss as the Rebels' head coach for the past two years.
During Kiffin's Monday press conference, he touched on what the return to Knoxville means to him personally.
"There's two things here, one, that's a long time ago, and two, we've done this thing," Kiffin said about the return. "Since USC, I have gone and played against USC, played against Tennessee and I've played against Alabama, so it's not like all of a sudden you're going back to a place you used to coach at. Again, I went [to Knoxville] twice at Alabama. Awesome place. I said something in some article last week about houses where we lived and they asked, 'what was your favorite house and where you lived?' I said the house in Knoxville. They said 'why?' And I said it was a great house and a great set up with the river, but the people. I really enjoyed the people there. [I'm] still in contact with a number of them and will see some of them Saturday."
Continuing on, the former Tennessee coach made note of the challenge Saturday night in Neyland will present to his Ole Miss team.
"We're getting ready for a challenging place to play," said Kiffin. "It's on schedule to be their first sellout in years so it's a very loud place, especially at night, and their team's playing extremely well with two conference blowouts in a row, lighting up on offense. This is going to be extremely challenging."
As Kiffin mentioned, Neyland Stadium is expected to host a sell out crowd when the Rebels come to visit and will also feature a "checkered Neyland," the first time Tennessee has done so since 2017's Tennessee-Georgia which ended in a blowout loss for the Vols.
The game will be played on Rocky Top at 7:30 p.m. on October 16 as the Tennessee Vols (4-2, 2-1 SEC) take on the Ole Miss Rebels (4-1, 1-1 SEC).
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