Lane Kiffin signs new contract with Mississippi

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Matt Bush/USA TODAY Sports
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OXFORD, Miss. — Lane Kiffin has signed a new contract to remain at Mississippi, the school announced.

Details of the deal were not released. The 47-year-old Kiffin has gone 23-12 in three seasons with the Rebels, who lost four of their last five games to finish the regular season at 8-4.

Ole Miss had its first 10-win regular season in 2021 and is headed to a bowl game for the third straight year.

“Coach Kiffin is establishing a program that can sustain success and contend for championships,” said Keith Carter, the school’s vice chancellor for intercollegiate athletics. “We are investing in our football program like never before.”

Carter cited a “greatly increased salary pool for assistant coaches and support staff,” a $45 million renovation of the Manning center and “tremendous momentum in NIL.”

“We will continue to equip Coach Kiffin with these and the other resources necessary to compete and win at the highest level and build on the accomplishments of the last three seasons,” he said.

Kiffin was regarded as a top candidate for the job at Auburn, which hired Hugh Freeze from Liberty on Monday.

The Rebels have gone over 600 total yards in 20 games under Kiffin, something Ole Miss teams had only done 16 times before his arrival.

The Rebels rank in the top 10 nationally in eight different offensive categories, including rushing yards and touchdowns and total yards.

“With the support from our collective and a new state-of-the-art facility, we will be able to build off what we have achieved so far and offer more opportunities to our student-athletes,” Kiffin said.

Lane Kiffin staying at Ole Miss with ‘a lot of work left to do’

Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports
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Mississippi coach Lane Kiffin says he has informed school officials he will be staying at Ole Miss, putting an end to speculation that he was the leading candidate to fill the head coaching vacancy at Auburn.

“Same as I said last week: I’m staying here and we have a lot of work left to do,” Kiffin told The Associated Press in a voice message.

Kiffin added he has not signed a contract extension with the school.

The 47-year-old Kiffin is 23-12 in three seasons as Rebels coach. No. 20 Mississippi finished its regular season 8-4, losing four of its last five, including a 24-22 loss to Mississippi State.

Auburn was playing at No. 8 Alabama in the Iron Bowl, and its coaching search figured to heat up soon after its season concluded.

Auburn fired coach Bryan Harsin earlier this month and has gone 2-1 since under interim coach Carnell Williams, the former star running back for the Tigers.

With Kiffin off the market, Auburn is eyeing a former Mississippi coach to be its next coach.

A person familiar with the search told the AP that Auburn is interested in Liberty coach Hugh Freeze. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because Auburn was not making details of its search public.

Freeze coached at Ole Miss for five seasons before leaving in disgrace in 2017 after the school discovered he used a university cellphone to call an escort service.

He landed at Liberty and has gone 34-14 in four seasons with the Flames.

Arkansas rockets past No. 20 Ole Miss behind Sanders’ 3 TDs

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas’ Rocket Sanders rushed for 232 yards and three touchdowns, including a 68-yarder on the opening drive of the second half, in a 42-27 rout of No. 20 Ole Miss on Saturday night.

The Razorbacks had a 35-6 halftime lead, and the Rebels’ 21 fourth-quarter points made the game appear closer than it was.

Sanders averaged 9.7 yards on 24 carries, helping Arkansas (6-5, 3-4 Southeastern Conference) snap a two-game skid and become bowl-eligible. He gained 153 yards in the first half.

Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson returned from his injury, going 17 of 22 passing for 168 yards and three scores. Matt Landers added two touchdown receptions for the Hogs.

Ole Miss (8-3, 4-3, No. 14 CFP) moved the ball and had chances early. But holding penalties nullified two touchdown passes from Jaxson Dart. The Rebels lost a fumble, were forced to settle for two field goals on promising drives and missed a field-goal try.

The Rebels had two 200-yard rushers – Quinshon Judkins (214) and Zach Evans (207) – but still trailed by 36 points at one point.

Arkansas linebacker Drew Sanders picked off a Dart pass, setting up Sanders’ 8-yard scoring run just before halftime for the 35-6 cushion.

THE TAKEAWAY

Ole Miss: The Rebels were outclassed in the wake of a tough 30-24 loss to Alabama, but they can’t let the setback linger since bitter rival Mississippi State looms.

Arkansas: The Razorbacks looked like a different team, especially on offense, after being upset by Liberty and dropping a tight game against LSU.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Ole Miss will almost certainly tumble out of the Top 25.

UP NEXT

Ole Miss: Hosts Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl on Friday.

Arkansas: Visits Missouri on Saturday.