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Ole Miss' Lane Kiffin: Current Alabama Team Harder to Prep for Than 2009 Squad

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistOctober 5, 2020

FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2015, file photo, Alabama head coach Nick Saban, right, looks on as offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin calls a play on the sidelines during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Wisconsin in Arlington, Texas.  Saban is taking a real gamble, even more than the onside kick he called in last year's national championship game, by switching up offensive coordinators a week before this year's title game. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)
LM Otero/Associated Press

Lane Kiffin almost stunned the Alabama Crimson Tide in 2009 as the head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers but said preparing for Saturday's matchup as the Ole Miss coach will be more difficult than before that 12-10 loss. 

"They aren't going to line up all day under center in the I-formation and hand it off and score only four field goals with Julio Jones, Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson and an NFL offensive line," Kiffin said, per Chris Low of ESPN. "This team is way harder to prepare for."

Kiffin also praised offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian's play-calling and head coach Nick Saban's ability to evolve as an offensive leader.

Kiffin is familiar with Alabama beyond his time at Tennessee.

He was the offensive coordinator for the Crimson Tide from 2014 through 2016 during a span that saw them win a national championship and make the College Football Playoff three consecutive years.

The Ole Miss coach also recognized how the 2009 Alabama team would tend to "grind it out, slow. People could keep scores closer. Now, they just kind of blow everybody out, just a totally different style of offense."

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So far this season, the Crimson Tide have a 19-point win over Missouri and a 28-point win over nationally ranked Texas A&M.

As for Ole Miss, it is 1-1 with a loss to Florida and win over Kentucky, but the defense is a concern. It allowed 51 points to the Gators and 41 points to the Wildcats, and such a performance in Saturday's matchup will be a recipe for a blowout loss.

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