Lane Kiffin sought advice about Tennessee’s football program from former Ole Miss quarterback Archie Manning before becoming the Vols' head coach.
“I knew he knew a lot about the job and the school,” Kiffin said. “I just wanted to get his thoughts and feelings on what needed to happen here to make Tennessee able to make a run at a bunch of championships.”
Manning’s son, quarterback Peyton Manning, starred at UT from 1994 to 1997. The elder Manning said he was more than willing to help Kiffin.
“There wasn’t any doubt when I saw the staff that Lane was putting together (they’d be successful),” Archie Manning said this week on the News Sentinel’s radio show, The Sports Page. “I know a little something about what it takes at Tennessee.
“It’s a little different as far as recruiting. I can remember when Peyton went there. That freshman class he went with, there wasn’t many kids from Tennessee in that class.”
Manning also offered his thoughts on UT assistant head coach Ed Orgeron’s tenure at Ole Miss, which lasted from 2005 to 2007.
“It’s pretty obvious when you look at what (Ole Miss) did last year, he recruited most of those kids so he did a good job recruiting,” Manning said. “Unfortunately we just couldn’t win any games (when Orgeron was coach). Maybe we were close. I don’t know. But we just weren’t beating anybody.”
Not Second Citizens: Despite a lackluster showing against Memphis, Kiffin said he has no choice but to play UT’s defensive reserves.
“We have to play them because we’d all feel sick if (safety) Eric Berry or (defensive end) Chris Walker gets hurt in a game like that when we’re up by that many points,” Kiffin said.
Incidentally, playing those players sends a message to prospects considering UT.
“They saw guys go in and said ‘Boy, they do need a lot of help.’ ” Kiffin said.
Kiffin reminded prospects - not so subtly - that the Vols will be replacing several contributors after the season.
“We’re not losing a bunch of high draft picks necessarily but we’re losing a bunch of guys that are very productive,” Kiffin said. “There’s a great opportunity to come here and play right away.”
Vlad’s View: Offensive guard Vladimir Richard seemed as if he had heard enough about Ole Miss’ highly touted defensive line.
“I feel like they haven’t seen an offensive line like us,” the senior said. “So we just have to come out and play our physical style of play.”