Josh Heupel and Lane Kiffin share Tennessee football offense

By on July 20, 2021 0

HOOVER, Ala. – The day had to come.

Tennessee has changed soccer coaches so many times in the past 14 years that a former coach and a current coach had to necessarily share the same site at some point. This happened on Tuesday during the SEC media days.

Former Vols coach Lane Kiffin, entering his second season at Ole Miss, and Tennessee freshman coach Josh Heupel took to the radio and took turns speaking to print and electronic media. .

The differences between the two are obvious.

Heupel has a high scoring offense and a low key personality. Kiffin can spark controversy as easily as an offense.

Heupel’s only head coach position before Tennessee was in central Florida, which did not gain recognition for success as a Power 5 program. Kiffin had been head coach of the Raiders, Tennessee and California. of the South before being hired by Ole Miss. And as an offensive coordinator in Alabama, he’s received as much attention as some head coaches.

Kiffin played differently from Heupel at an SEC desk. In fact, he was different from all the other coaches.

His tongue-in-cheek humor serves him best face-to-face and on Twitter. But he was the most entertaining coach to take center stage in the first two days of the media meeting.

ANALYSIS:5 things we learned from Tennessee football and Josh Heupel at SEC Media Days

RIVALRY:Tennessee coach Josh Heupel on Alabama football: “You come to Tennessee to play games like this”

CAN YOU REPEAT THAT PLEASE?:From Kirby Smart to Lane Kiffin, the most embarrassing questions of Day 2 of SEC Media Days

Florida media familiar with Heupel will tell you he doesn’t have a big personality, but – without blowing – will add, “he will score.”

Tennessee fans should be content with that.

If Heupel did not dazzle the media, he showed humor.

Orlando Sentinel sports columnist Mike Bianchi asked him what he misses most about Orlando.

“I miss you, Mike,” Heupel replied.

Heupel’s opening comments probably didn’t differ from UT’s other freshman coaches. He highlighted Tennessee’s footballing tradition and referred to the “iconic Power T” on several occasions.

University of Tennessee Director Caoch Josh Heupel addresses the media during the SEC Media Days at the Hyatt Regency in Hoover, Alabama on Tuesday, July 20, 2021. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]

Heupel didn’t point out that an SEC championship game was part of UT’s 2007 tradition. He also didn’t mention the NCAA investigation, which could lead to penalties. Why would he do it? He’s trying to sell the program.

You are not selling the program by whining about the newbie players who have transferred. You talk about the quality transfers that have joined the program. Heupel was so complimentary of Michigan transfer quarterback Joe Milton, I began to wonder if Milton could win over three other contenders in the quarterback race.

Considering that Milton didn’t join Tennessee until after spring practice, I expected Harrison Bailey, Hendon Hooker and Brian Maurer to have a better chance of starting. But Heupel passed Milton off as a future candidate for the Heisman Trophy – a strong arm, a precise passer, a running threat and “got back on the offensive” quickly.

Kiffin has a Heisman Trophy contender for quarterback at Matt Corral, who joined Kiffin here.

With Kiffin’s play call and Corral’s passing, Ole Miss scored 48 points over Alabama last season. The Rebels also scored 42 on Kentucky, 54 on Vanderbilt, 59 on South Carolina and 48 on LSU.

While Kiffin doesn’t downplay Corral’s enormous potential, he also points out that his quarterback played poorly last season at times, adding that he needs to be more consistent and protect the ball better.

Unlike his cohorts of cohorts, Kiffin did not deliver prolonged publicity for his program. He apparently preferred to answer more questions.

When a member pointed out that Alabama coach Nick Saban said quarterback Bryce Young was set to earn $ 1 million in support money, Kiffin was genuinely stunned.

“This number blew me away,” Kiffin said without changing his expression. “You didn’t prepare me for this (looking at his media relations manager from across the room). It’s amazing.

“He’s won a million bucks and hasn’t started a game yet. Wow, I don’t even know what to say to that, but good for him.”

Kiffin later had Young in mind when asked about Ole Miss, running back Jerrion Ealy.

“I’m still blown away by this Bryce Young. This guy’s already won a million bucks? That’s good, man.

“He doesn’t need to play against us then. I mean, it’s mind blowing.

As Kiffin walked away, a sports reporter turned to me and said, “He’s the MVP of media days.

I couldn’t argue.

Tennessee fans wouldn’t be surprised at this. I’m sure they didn’t expect their current coach to equal their former coach in this context.

They can only hope that Heupel’s offensive will have the same impact in Tennessee as Kiffin’s on Ole Miss.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He can be reached at 865-342-6284 or [email protected] Follow him on:

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