By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Sophomore Nathan Stanley will start at quarterback for Ole Miss, but walk-on transfer Jeremiah Masoli will play when the Rebels open the 2010 season at 2:30 p.m., today against Jacksonville State.
Friday, the NCAA subcommittee on appeals overturned Tuesday’s decision by the body that left the former Oregon star ineligible.
In a hastily called news conference, Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt expressed appreciation for the decision by the appeals committee and confirmed that Masoli will get in the game.
“He won’t start. Nathan Stanley deserves to start,” Nutt said.
Specifics after that were less clear.
“I can’t put the number of plays on it, I just know he’s going to play,” Nutt said. “I just don’t know how many plays. We’re going to let that take care of itself.”
Masoli did not attend Friday’s news conference. He did attend Tuesday, expressing hope and faith in the appeals process.
Nutt described Masoli as “basically in tears” when sharing the news with his mother.
Masoli practiced with the team this week, but the repetitions in the team drills went almost exclusively to Stanley and junior college transfer Randall Mackey.
With his future unclear, Nutt began to scale back Masoli’s work last week.
He will not be going into today’s game blind, having been through the Rebels’ offensive system for the better part of four weeks.
He showed an ability to make the right reads and big plays in the team’s second scrimmage, the last open to media.
“He hasn’t practiced much the last couple of days. But he’s practiced all the way up until this point, really. So he’ll get to play,” Nutt said.
Masoli was 20-6 as a two-year starter at Oregon, guiding the Ducks to a win in the Holiday Bowl two years ago and a narrow defeat against Ohio State in the Rose Bowl last year.