A scrum between the teams came after Ole Miss’ Dayton Wade fumbled early in the fourth quarter and Texas Tech recovered. There was pushing and shoving between players, and Ole Miss wide receiver Jordan Watkins was given a personal foul penalty.
After the game, which Ole Miss lost 42-25, Kiffin said the penalty should have been on Texas Tech’s Dimitri Moore, who is No. 11 for the Red Raiders, instead of Watkins, who wears No. 11 for Ole Miss.
“They announce our 11, which is Jordan Watkins, who wasn’t in the fight. It was their 11 that was fighting 71 [Ole Miss lineman Jayden Williams], and everybody knew because their own coaches were yelling at the guy,” Kiffin said.
“There was a racial slur involved; that’s not the point of what we’re talking about, [it’s] about the spitting part. I brought our own 71 up to the officials, right or wrong, you see him crying? He’s not crying, not because he got spit on, it’s because something was said.”
Asked to clarify whether a Texas Tech player used a racial slur toward one of his players, Kiffin said he wasn’t sure.
“I’m not going to, because I did not hear it, [I’m not going to] say that that happened for sure that he gave a racial slur to our player,” Kiffin said. “I was told that that was said in that [incident], but I did not hear that. So that would obviously be a giant issue.”
Moore and Williams are both Black.
Kiffin said he got so upset during the game because he didn’t believe it was fair that his player got a penalty that he thinks clearly should have been on someone else.
“I’m going to defend our players when a kid spits on them and is accused to a national audience that it’s him,” Kiffin said. “So Jordan has to deal with this.”
Texas Tech coach Joey McGuire was not asked about the incident, but Kiffin said he spoke with him about the spitting after the game.
“If you actually watch over there, one of them’s kind of laughing because he got off,” Kiffin said. “He’s screaming at the player, they’re losing their mind on him. … I talked to their head coach afterwards. He was like: ‘Crazy officiating out there.’ I go: ‘Yeah, that was really bad on that one that your guy spit and our guy got the penalty.’ He was like: ‘Yeah, I know.'”