Florida Atlantic head coach Lane Kiffin used Twitter to make a joke about why his team gave up a late safety during Friday's 30-25 win against Marshall that helped the Thundering Herd cover the point spread.
Responding to a tweet from hip-hop artist Lil Mook about conceding the safety, Kiffin said he "didn't want to cover because of too much rat poison."
Per ESPN.com's David Purdum, a Florida Atlantic spokesperson said Kiffin was making a joke.
Kiffin also explained to ESPN.com's Chris Low (via Purdum) that he was making a joke and had no knowledge of the point spread until he got back home after the game.
"Someone sent me the funny tweet that I was supposedly trolling everyone by taking a safety to not cover, and as a joke, I retweeted it adding the rat poison line and put a shoutout to our players for earning a well-deserved weekend off," Kiffin said. "If that's a story, it must be a slow news day. Roll Tide tonight."
Purdum noted Marshall entered the game against Florida Atlantic as a 6.5-point underdog. The Owls would have covered the spread if they didn't give up a safety with eight seconds left when punter Ryan Rickel ran out of the back of the end zone on a fourth-down play with the ball snapped from their own 24-yard line.
Per Shandel Richardson of the Sun-Sentinel, Kiffin said the coaching staff called for Rickel to take the safety rather than risk having Marshall block the punt and potentially tie the game.
Kiffin also appeared to make a reference to a comment given by Alabama head coach Nick Saban, who Kiffin worked for as the offensive coordinator from 2014-16, after Saban told reporters last month all the good things his team hears about itself from the media are like "rat poison."
In his first season as Florida Atlantic head coach, Kiffin already has the program bowl-eligible with a 6-3 record. The Owls haven't played in a postseason game since the 2008 Motor City Bowl.