It’s official. The Grove Bowl is back, and Lane Kiffin is the conductor.
Ole Miss football will conclude its spring football season with the Grove Bowl this weekend at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Head coach Lane Kiffin announced the format for the teams, which are very similar to how previous scrimmages have gone.
The first-team offense and second-team defense will be on one team, while the second-team offense and first-team defense will be on another. After those positions were decided, the remaining players and staff were divided in a draft format. Kiffin mentioned that both the first-team offense and defense will face each other during the game, but the format is still unclear.
This scrimmage marks the first time many of the players have ever been in front of a full capacity crowd and will also be the first time that Vaught-Hemingway Stadium has had more than 25% capacity in almost two years. There hasn’t been immense pressure or full capacity stadiums of fans cheering . The Grove Bowl is expected to bring in a huge crowd this weekend and could be a way to narrow down lineups before fall camp later in the summer.
“I think the only difference is just to see if kids get nervous. It’s a little more like a game, obviously, with some crowd and more build-up to it, anxiety,” Kiffin said in a press conference.. “So, I think that sometimes you can see that with guys you haven’t played before to see how (they perform). Some guys just play better in an atmosphere like that, and some guys struggle. I think that’s the difference.”
While the spring game is usually a great way to understand what the next season will look like, it will be harder to grasp what lineups will look like come September, due to the large amounts of injuries on the team. Each position group is struggling, but the offense has specifically been struggling. When asked about progress and accomplishment during this spring season, Kiffin remarked on not being exactly where he would like to be.
“I feel like defensively we have,” Kiffin said. “A lot of new players and new looks with those guys. Offensively, I feel like we haven’t just because of all the injuries. Especially with the skill guys. We’re just hindered in the next progression step for (quarterback) Matt (Corral), but it is what it is.”
Kiffin will also throw out the first pitch on the baseball field versus LSU on Saturday, April 24 at noon before the Grove Bowl begins at 4:00 p.m. Gates open for fans at 3:00 p.m.
Fans are required to wear face coverings upon entering the stadium and while in transit, however face coverings are not required while at respective seats. Admission for the intrasquad scrimmage is free and will also be broadcasted live on SEC Network+.