Update 12:15 a.m. Milton makes the odd decision to try and run for a touchdown from 21 yards out with three seconds left, and the game is now over. Ole Miss wins 31-26, but the loss won’t end on the field. There will be serious repercussions from what the fans did.
Former Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin, who left after one season in 2009, tells ESPN’s Cole Cubelic after the game that Tennessee is “a great place with great fans.” He does so while holding the neon golf ball he was hit with from the stands.
Kiffin was pelted again while leaving the field.
Update 12:07 a.m. After a terrific 14-yard first down run from Hendon Hooker, the Vols quarterback was injured and has been replaced by the former starter Joe Milton III. The score is 31-26 Ole Miss with 18 seconds left, UT out of timeouts, and the ball on the Ole Miss 33-yard line.
Update 12:04 a.m. The game has resumed more than 20 minutes later, and according to the broadcast team of Tom Hart and Jordan Rodgers, the fans are still throwing things on the field during play. No penalties were given on the field for the action of the fans, and according to the SEC both athletic directors would have had to agree to end the game. The game officials did not have that authority.
Fans of the Tennessee Volunteers began throwing whatever they could find on the field after a 4th and 24 for Tennessee gained 23 yards, and for all intents and purposes ended the game.
The hallowed ground of The T was covered in plastic bottles, cups, and even mustard according to sideline reporter Cole Cubelic.
Cole Cubelic reports Tennessee fans have thrown “multiple vape pens, beers, and a whole bottle of mustard” onto the field. Tennessee should forfeit the game.— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) October 17, 2021
While discussing what would happen with the officials, Mississippi head coach Lane Kiffin was hit with a golf ball from the stands as well.
The Tennessee band and cheerleaders have left the field under duress.
The Tennessee dance team and band exiting the field with stuff still being thrown on the field by fans. pic.twitter.com/wnsmqiGHs5— Justin (@hobokenjustin) October 17, 2021
You can bet SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey will be fining Tennessee here, and it will be for more than the usual “storm the field” fines the league doles out on a regular basis.
For a proud program with a great tradition, and one that had its first sellout since 2017 this evening, this is a terrible look. Feelings about Lane Kiffin aside, there is absolutely no place for this in sports anywhere. Law enforcement also has access to cameras, and you would think they’d be interested in finding those responsible.