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Ole Miss HC Lane Kiffin Shares Brief ‘Early Report’ on Penn State

Photo by Ole Miss Athletics

Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin doesn’t know much about this year’s Penn State team.

He didn’t pretend to during Sunday’s pre-Peach Bowl joint press conference with PSU HC James Franklin.

It’s easy to see why that’s the case.

Kiffin and Franklin are kinda busy during football season. So it’s pretty much impossible for Kiffin to keep track of what Penn State does and vice versa. 

But what Kiffin does know is that Penn State’s good. Like Kiffin’s team, Franklin’s squad finished the regular season 10-2, with its only losses coming to powerhouses. Penn State lost to a team that’s in the College Football Playoff (Michigan) and a team that came within a touchdown of making the playoff (Ohio State), as did Ole Miss (Alabama, Georgia). 

Kiffin and his staff will have almost a month to prepare for Penn State, but already, Ole Miss knows how good PSU’s defense is. 

“I don’t really — I kind of say this all the time. I think you guys think that we watch more football on Saturdays than we do,” Kiffin said. “When we don’t play teams with common opponents and we don’t watch their film for breakdown purposes, I don’t really get to watch much football. So I don’t get to see great teams like Penn State in other conferences play.” 

“I got an early report from my personnel people that phenomenal players, great starters on defense.”

There’s a chance Penn State’s defense isn’t at full strength. Along with the possibility of injuries and other unfortunate events that could happen at any time, it’s not unusual to “opt out” of a bowl game in 2023. 

Defensively, Penn State players such as defensive ends Chop Robinson and Adisa Isaac, as well as cornerback Kalen King all figure to be early-round NFL Draft choices, so time will tell what they decide. 

Kiffin joked that he’d rather not see Penn State’s top defensive talent. 

“I was hoping Coach Franklin was going to announce they’re opting out,” Kiffin said. “That would help us with that, too. So that’s all I know. 

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