Ole Miss football coach Lane Kiffin on Monday apologized for saying, “Get your popcorn ready” and then tossing his headset in an interview prior to Saturday’s game at Alabama.
Kiffin made the comment to CBS sideline reporter Jamie Erdahl and then tossed the headset toward a cameraman as he prepared for the opening kickoff at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The incident quickly went viral.
Kiffin on Monday said his comment wasn’t premeditated and that he got caught up in the emotion of the game, which marked his first trip back to Alabama since serving as Crimson Tide offensive coordinator under Nick Saban from 2014 to 2016. Ole Miss scored 48 points against Alabama in last year’s game in Oxford, and produced 647 yards, the most Alabama had ever allowed.
“I just heard someone yelling in the locker room and someone saying that,” Kiffin said at his weekly news conference. “I don’t even know why it came out and I actually said to [offensive coordinator Jeff] Lebby, I got on the headsets and said, ‘I just said something really stupid. You better score a lot of points.'”
Ole Miss fell behind 28-0 at halftime and didn’t score until midway through the third quarter of a 42-21 loss. At halftime, Kiffin said he told Lebby, “Looks like we didn’t plug the microwave in, buddy.”
Kiffin later saw the pregame incident and reached out to Erdahl.
“When I found out afterwards that it looked rude, which it did, I contacted Jamie and made sure that she knew that was not on purpose,” Kiffin said. “I apologize for that. It was not done on purpose at all. Looked like it, though. I saw it.”
Kiffin said he didn’t realize Erdahl still planned to ask another question before he tossed the headset. He also on Monday retweeted an Erdahl tweet that showed Alabama’s mascot wearing a box of popcorn, adding the comment, “Now that’s funny!!!”
No. 17 Ole Miss hosts No. 13 Arkansas on Saturday.