No. 14 Ole Miss (8-2, 4-2 SEC) will play at Arkansas (5-5, 2-4 SEC) Saturday in Week 12 (7:30 p.m. EST, ESPN).
Arkansas offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Kendal Briles served in the same capacity under Kiffin at Florida Atlantic in 2017.
Charlie Weis Jr. replaced Briles in 2018 at FAU.
Kiffin hired Weis Jr. as Ole Miss’ offensive coordinator during the offseason, replacing Jeff Lebby, who went to Oklahoma as the Sooners’ offensive coordinator.
Lebby served as offensive coordinator under Josh Heupel at UCF before joining Kiffin’s staff.
In October 2021 ahead of the Ole Miss-Tennessee game, Kiffin discussed why he implemented Baylor’s veer and shoot offense while serving as head coach at Florida Atlantic.
The veer and shoot has also provided success for Heupel as a head coach at Tennessee and UCF.
“I saw it very close watching the Washington-Baylor bowl game that was in the 60s,” Kiffin told Vols Wire on the SEC teleconference last season.
“I just was kind of enamored with it for awhile and started to study some of it and use some it at Alabama.
I just said, ‘Alright, if I get a head job again, this is what I want to do’.
“It really is amazing — the system — and credit to Art Briles because all three of those teams are the top rushing teams in the country.
You look at the SEC, where some people listening to us are saying, are great rushing teams, and they’re really not.
I give a ton of credit to Art Briles.”
The three teams Kiffin was referring to is Ole Miss, Arkansas with Briles and Tennessee with Heupel calling plays as the Vols’ head coach.
Kiffin discussed the three team’s offenses again Wednesday and highlighted how they have grown apart from the true veer and shoot scheme Heupel is continuing to execute at Tennessee.
“There is a difference in the offenses and have kind of evolved in different directions,” Kiffin told Vols Wire on the SEC teleconference.
“I think all three snap the ball fast, have similar mechanics of how it’s run from a tempo standpoint, but I think the systems have kind of grown apart.”
Mesh and more compact formations, combined with wide splits and tempo, have been used more with Ole Miss, Arkansas and Oklahoma under Lebby compared to Heupel and Tennessee.
As Tennessee’s head coach, Heupel executed mesh on a fourth-down play at Florida in 2021.
Next are examples of mesh executed in Ole Miss, Arkansas and Oklahoma’s offenses that are not used with Heupel’s offense at Tennessee.