Ole Miss football coach Lane Kiffin apologized Monday for saying, “Get your popcorn ready,” then tossed his headset in an interview ahead of Saturday’s game in Alabama.
Kiffin made the comment to CBS side reporter Jamie Erdahl, then tossed the headset to a cameraman as he prepared for the opening kick-off at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The incident quickly went viral.
Kiffin said Monday that his comment was not 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 at Oxford, producing 647 yards, the most Alabama had ever allowed.
“I just heard someone screaming in the locker room and someone said that,” Kiffin said at his weekly press conference. “I don’t even know why it came out and I actually said to” [offensive coordinator Jeff] Lebby, I put on the headphones and said, “I just said something really stupid. You better score a lot of points.”
Ole Miss trailed 28-0 at halftime and only scored halfway through the third quarter of a 42-21 loss. At halftime, Kiffin said he told Lebby, “Looks like we didn’t plug in the microwave, buddy.”
Kiffin later saw the foreplay incident and reached for Erdahl.
“When I found out afterwards that it looked rude, which it did, I contacted Jamie and made sure she knew it wasn’t on purpose,” said Kiffin. ‘My apologies for that. It’s not done on purpose at all. However, it looked like it. I’ve seen it.’
Kiffin said he didn’t know Erdahl planned to ask another question before throwing the headphones away. He also retweeted an Erdahl tweet on Monday which showed the Alabama mascot carrying a box of popcorn and adding the comment, “That’s funny!!!”
No. 17 Ole Miss Hosts No. 13 Arkansas on Saturday.