Ole Miss football coach Lane Kiffin appeared as a guest with Paul Finebaum on “The Paul Finebaum Show” on Friday as the show aired from The Grove in Oxford, Mississippi.
Finebaum asked Kiffin several questions about Tennessee fans throwing items on the field at the Ole Miss football game in Knoxville on Oct. 16.
Kiffin said he never felt in any real danger for his safety, and he repeatedly said that only a handful of Tennessee fans were involved.
But when it came to the cops involved, Kiffin wasn’t as forgiving.
Kiffin said when items started being thrown on the field that he told his players to keep their helmets on to help avoid anything hitting them in the head.
“Players keep your helmets on and I kind of moved about 5 yards off the sidelines,” Kiffin said. “There were some cops behind me, which by the way, they didn’t do a very good job.”
Kiffin then started talking about how he had police officers surrounding him as he walked off the field at the end of the game, and just as he reached the back of the end zone, a bottle comes toward him. Several of the police ducked, but Kiffin put his right arm in the air to grab the bottle.
“Because when I was walking off, I had the cops that are supposed to protect you,” Kiffin said. “They throw a bottle. The cops duck, and I grab the bottle. So I was kind of down on our cops.”
“Were they your cops or their cops?” Finebaum asked Kiffin.
“I think they were a mixture,” Kiffin replied.
Finebaum laughed at that then said, “They definitely had speed, though.”
“Yes,” Kiffin said.
Kiffin compares Neyland Stadium to Roman Colosseum
Earlier in the conversation with Finebaum, Kiffin compared what occurred at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville to the Roman Colosseum.
“There was no prep for that,” Kiffin said. “It’s kind of like the Roman Colosseum movie where everybody turns on you. (Ole Miss quarterback) Matt (Corral) joked, ‘I felt like in ‘Gladiator‘ where they do the thumbs down.’ And everyone was cheering when he was hurt. So as you know going there, it’s passionate fans there.”
Corral was injured with 4:24 left in the fourth quarter, and backup quarterback Luke Altmyer had to come in the game for a play.
College football Week 8 preview: Picks, bold predictions led by Pittsburgh-Clemson ACC showdown
“When all that was going on and walking off the field and they’re throwing stuff and yelling stuff, just show love back and spoil them with kindness or whatever it is,” Kiffin said. “They’re just passionate, and it was just a rare situation. Then again, that was a small percentage of the Tennessee fans, so by no means was that everybody in the stadium at all. They’re awesome, passionate fans. That place was rocking from the beginning, from warmups.”
Ole Miss plays LSU at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Erik Hall is the lead digital producer for sports with the USA Today Network. You can find him on Twitter @HallErik.
This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Lane Kiffin: Some cops at Tennessee game ‘didn’t do a very good job’