Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin says pregame 'popcorn' comment was 'really stupid'

·3 min read

Lane Kiffin got caught up in the moment.

Before Saturday’s showdown with No. 1 Alabama, the Ole Miss head coach instructed viewers to “get your popcorn ready” during a pregame interview with CBS’ Jamie Erdahl. After making the comment, he looked into the camera, tossed his headset onto the field and jogged back to his sideline.

Naturally, it was the latest Kiffin moment to blow up on social media. And it wouldn’t look too good after the game — a game the Rebels lost 42-21.

Asked about that moment on Monday, Kiffin told reporters that he got caught up in his emotions and quickly realized that he “said something really stupid.”

“That was not premeditated. Sometimes you just get caught up in emotions, and I just heard something, some yelling in the locker room and someone saying that. I don’t even know why it came out,” Kiffin said. “I actually said to (offensive coordinator Jeff) Lebby, I got on the headset and said, ‘I just said something really stupid. You better score a lot of points.’”

Mississippi head coach Lane Kiffin, left, and Alabama head coach Nick Saban laugh as they talk before an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)
Mississippi head coach Lane Kiffin, left, and Alabama head coach Nick Saban laugh as they talk before an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

Erdahl was set to ask Kiffin another question when the coach dramatically stormed off. On Monday, Kiffin said he didn’t realize that wasn’t her last question and he reached out to Erdahl to apologize.

“They were calling for kickoff return, there’s 30 seconds on the clock and the refs are calling for us. I didn’t know there was another question,” Kiffin said. “When I found out afterwards that that looked rude, which it did, I contacted Jamie and made sure she knew that was not on purpose. I apologized for that. That was not done on purpose at all. It looked like it, though. I saw it.”

Kiffin said he quipped to Lebby at halftime — when Alabama had a 28-0 lead — that it looked like “we didn’t plug the microwave in.”

Alabama also made sure to have some fun at Kiffin's expense by dressing mascot Big Al in a popcorn costume during the second half. 

To his credit, Kiffin thought it was funny like the rest of us did. 

Ole Miss was 3-0 and ranked No. 12 entering Saturday’s game in Tuscaloosa. Following the loss, the Rebels dropped to No. 17 in the Associated Press Top 25.

Kiffin’s group will now turn the page on Alabama and turn its attention toward a visit from No. 13 Arkansas. With early-season wins over Texas and Texas A&M, Arkansas has been one of the bigger stories of the season so far. However, some of that momentum halted over the weekend when the Razorbacks were blown out 37-0 by No. 2 Georgia.

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