KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — In a packed Neyland Stadium, checkered orange and white, UT faced off against the Ole Miss Rebels in a hectic game. The real chaos, however, came from the stands.
With just 54 seconds left on the game clock, spectators started throwing bottles, trash and even a golf ball at the Ole Miss sidelines and more pointedly at former UT coach Lane Kiffin.
The interruption caused about a 20-minute delay in the game while those in the splash zone on the field evacuated and officials tried to clean up the mess.
The game eventually resumed, and the Vols had a last-second chance to win the game but fell by five points. In the post-game press conference, head coach Josh Heupel started by addressing the display.
“First, I just want to acknowledge for the few fans, what transpired at the end and disappointed on how the game ended as things were being thrown from the crowd, but I know that’s very few of our crowd members. For most of the football games, that was an unbelievable atmosphere to see Vol Nation show out the way they did.”
Other UT and SEC officials weighed in after the game concluded, with UT Chancellor Donde Plowman saying she was “astonished and sickened” by the Vols fans who were a part of the disruption.
Vols Athletic Director Danny White put out a statement as well, saying in part, “[The fans] created one of the best live sporting atmospheres I’ve ever experienced – but what transpired in the game’s final minutes was unacceptable.”
It is unclear as of yet what repercussions will come from the SEC, but UT Athletics and UTPD are trying to identify fans that participated.