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Lane Kiffin discusses mixed bag from quarterback competition

Griffin McVeigh08/09/22
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Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin

When Lane Kiffin accepted the Ole Miss job, he inherited Matt Corral as his quarterback. Corral wound up being one of the best in the SEC, leading the Rebels to the program’s first 10-win regular season, a Sugar Bowl, and eventually selected in the 2022 NFL Draft. Quite the resume when comparing Ole Miss quarterbacks.

Now, the head coach seems to be missing Corral during Ole Miss’ quarterback competition. Jaxson Dart and Luke Altmyer are competing for the starting job, and Kiffin thinks both are still struggling to get going. He said Dart and Altmyer have done some good things but still look young before reminiscing on what Corral brought to the table last year.

“I know I sound like a broken record but they do some things really well and at times, they look young again,” Kiffin said. “Everything in life is about what you just saw. Not trying to say I am smarter than other people but you take for granted what you have for life in all areas sometimes.

“I kept telling our guys last year, ‘guys, these throws. Ain’t too many people making these throws.’ Your used to every throw in there and not just miss. Takes some getting used to having a new quarterback and losing a veteran that was an elite arm talent.”

The standard for Kiffin will clearly be Corral, who threw for 3,349 yards, 20 touchdowns, and threw just five interceptions. He also rushed for over 600 yards and added 11 touchdowns.

Now that he is having to work with Altmyer and Dart, Kiffin is going to have a tough decision on his hands before the season opener. He has already seen Altmyer in live game action, replacing Corral when he got injured in the Sugar Bowl against Baylor.

Dart, on the other hand, is transferring in from USC after playing in six games for the Trojans. He was only able to pull off two wins while throwing for 1,353 yards, nine touchdowns, and five interceptions. While many thought he would run away with the competition, he has yet to distance himself from Altmyer.

Kiffin has a few more weeks to get the quarterback position fixed and even when the regular season begins, two more before playing a Power Five opponent. Having a quality quarterback is such a crucial part to the head coach’s offense that he will make sure whoever he picks is ready to roll.