Oct. 11—OXFORD — In some ways Saturday night will be a homecoming for Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin. And, in others, it's just another road game in a tough SEC venue.
The No. 13 Rebels (4-1, 1-1 SEC) travel to Knoxville to face a resurgent Tennessee (4-2, 2-1) program. Kiffin served as the Volunteers' head coach in 2009, leading the team to a 7-6 record and a bowl game appearance. He left after one season to become the head coach at Southern Cal.
It will be the first time Kiffin has faced the Volunteers as a head coach since the departure.
While he admits that under most circumstances this game might have a bit more emotion to it, there are a few factors that dampen it. One is the fact it's been more than a decade, and the second is that he's faced former teams before as an assistant.
While serving as offensive coordinator at Alabama from 2014-16, Kiffin faced both USC and Tennessee.
"There's two things here. One, it's a long time ago. And two, we've done this thing," Kiffin said. "Since USC, gone and played against USC. Played against Tennessee and played against Alabama. It's not like, 'Hey all of a sudden you're going back to a place you used to coach.' And again, went there twice at Alabama."
Kiffin had plenty of nice things to say about his time as Tennessee's head coach, however, saying his home in Knoxville might have been his favorite and that the community still means a lot to him.
"The people. Really enjoyed the people there," Kiffin said. "Still in contact with a number of them, and we'll see some of them Saturday."
Kiffin's decision to leave the Volunteers after one season didn't go over particularly well with much of the Tennessee fanbase. Fans actually protested and burned mattresses in the street following his press conference, per 10 News.
When asked if there were any places of interest he wanted to visit while in Knoxville this weekend, Kiffin laughed.
"Yeah, that won't happen," he said. "I don't think that's probably a good idea."
Source : https://news.yahoo.com/lane-kiffin-handling-trip-back-010100251.html374