'Good win. Not perfect.' Everything Lane Kiffin said after Ole Miss football's 59-3 win

Nick Suss
Mississippi Clarion Ledger

OXFORD − Ole Miss football dominated Central Arkansas 59-3 on Saturday, but Rebels' coach Lane Kiffin wasn't ready to call it perfect.

The Rebels (2-0) jumped out to a four-touchdown lead in the first quarter and cruised throughout the game even when the backups came in. Central Arkansas only mustered 233 yards on 71 plays (3.3 yards per play) while the Rebels exploded for 510 yards of total offense and scored seven touchdowns in eight red zone trips.

Still, Kiffin said there is room for progress on the Rebels' offense as quarterbacks Jaxson Dart and Luke Altmyer continue to battle for playing time and on defense as the team starts to face tougher competition and goes on the road for the first time.

Here's everything Kiffin said after Ole Miss football's blowout win.

RB RICHESMaking sense of how Ole Miss football should distribute carries among dynamic RBs

GRADING DARTWhat Jaxson Dart did (and didn't do) well in his first Ole Miss start

Everything Ole Miss football coach Lane Kiffin said Saturday

Opening statement:

Much better feeling than a week ago. I think as a team, as a coach, you really like to finish well. You have that feeling if you don't when you come off, even in wins. So it's really cool to see a lot of people play and make plays like the interception and seeing the backups score there at the end. A lot of those guys work really hard and don't get a chance to play. I commend our fans that stayed. The student section, that group that stayed, it was a really cool. It was a long game, especially when they started calling all those holding penalties. Good win. Not perfect, but any time you win 59-3, there's a lot of good things.

Have you seen enough to name a starting quarterback?

We'll have to go watch the film. I feel bad for Luke because he was injured and he's so competitive that he stayed in. You could see on the interception obviously there was an issue there. We'll go back and look at the film and see what we think.

How good was it to see Jonathan Mingo's big-play ability on display?

It was good. We probably were a little different in the second half than maybe normal. We were throwing the ball. No disrespect but what we needed was not hand the ball off and get some confidence in our passing game and see the receivers play with our quarterbacks. That hasn't been great through a game and a half, so that's why we probably played those guys a little longer than normal.

Mingo, it was great to see him make plays. Malik made some plays and he dropped one too. So it was good stuff but let's see if we can improve. I think that you probably what I told these guys last night: After one game with them, it's a very talented group. There's tons of talent out there. We probably look physically better than in the two years we've been here just getting off the bus or in warmups. But that doesn't mean we're going to be great. We've got a lot of work to do.

Is there any update on Luke Altmyer's injury status?

It wasn't something where medical pulled him, but he was hurt. I asked him about putting him back in there in the second half. He just said he would go, but he knew he wasn't 100%.

You challenged the special teams last week. What was your reaction to their response?

It was great to see. I didn't think we played well in Week 1. We didn't play with energy and effort we wanted to. They really responded. It was great to see, because when you've got new quarterbacks and you lose an elite quarterback like we have, everybody's got to play well around them. That's not just the offensive players. That's the defense and special teams. And it's going to get harder as we go on the road. So we need to go run the ball, play defense and special teams.

How do you evaluate Jaxson Dart's showing compared to last week?

I thought he was doing really good. He had one series where he threw the slant in the dirt. But I thought he did some good things. Got us three points in the two-minute drive leading into the half. That's good. He's still young.

From the eye test, what were your thoughts on the defense?

I thought they played really well again. They played very physical and aggressive and downhill. We haven't really been tested, but our stat guy with the rat poison says we're the longest defense in the country with less than 21 points given up, seven straight games or something. I don't really like telling them that.

Was today's red zone performance the way you envision Michael Trigg being used in the offense?

I foresee bigger. He's played bigger than that in scrimmages. There's some inconsistency there, but he's a young player. He needs to play more consistent because you can see the potential there. I do like that on his last touchdown he kind of played harder and with more urgency in the second half there.

Are you surprised with how much early success Quinshon Judkins has had?

Yeah, and I don't usually say that about any of these guys because we have high expectations. I knew he was special, but his vision, we knew he was physical, but his vision is really unique. We've got three special guys. It's not too often that you end a game going in with a back that was first-team All-AAC two years ago. It's a special room.

Did you see anything from Luke Altmyer that was promising long-term?

I thought he warmed up well tonight, he prepared really well. He got more practice as the No. 1 than Jaxson because we made that decision Thursday night. I thought he did well in practice, prepared well and did some good things.

What were you expecting from Jaxson before the game?

I really didn't have expectations on that. I just said it's on me. I have to have a feel for it and just see. It wasn't a play count or a half or any of that.

Contact Nick Suss at nsuss@gannett.com. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicksuss.