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Lane Kiffin on going against Nick Saban: “Maybe this is our last time”

Lane Kiffin and Nick Saban talk at midfield before the game
Photo comes by Crimson Tide photos

He pokes fun at him on Twitter, but Lane Kiffin genuinely appreciates what Nick Saban did for him.

No one in college football wanted any part of Kiffin after his failure at the University of Southern California, but Saban allowed him to upgrade Alabama’s offense. Kiffin spent three years on Saban’s staff as an offensive coordinator from 2014-16, helping the Crimson Tide to three Southeastern Conference Championships and a College Football Playoff National Championship. He returned to the SEC in 2020 as the head coach of Mississippi and has given Saban some challenging matchups in three years.

RELATED: Lane Kiffin gets really pissed off if anyone other than him jokes about Nick Saban

Kiffin’s got his best opportunity to beat Saban today at Bryant-Denny Stadium; however, he took a moment on SEC Network to respect the 71-year-old for what he did for his career.

“I was in a very challenging difficult time … kind of a really rock bottom and I have so much appreciation for what Nick Saban did for me,” Kiffin said. “He took an opportunity on me and helped me through that. I think until you hit rock bottom in your life, and rebuild yourself from there, you don’t figure yourself out. I give him a lot of credit.”

He credits Saban for restoring his career, but Kiffin takes joy in competing against him.

RELATED: Lane Kiffin calls out Nick Saban for spreading rat poison

“We are very excited for this opportunity today,” he said about Ole Miss facing Alabama. “You never know how many more you got, maybe this is our last time. We will be very excited to have this opportunity today, and so much respect for Coach and the Alabama football program.”

Kiffin has some national media pundits picking Ole Miss to beat the Tide.

CBS will have the call on the matchup at 2:30 p.m. CT.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith. 

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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