Masoli’s challenge | Ole Miss Sports

Jeremiah Masoli talked about his excitement for seeing an SEC defense several weeks ago. The Rebels were getting ready to face Vanderbilt at the time.

Some would argue Masoli is seeing an SEC defense for the first time this weekend at Alabama.Kentucky was a step up, but when folks in other parts of the nation talk about SEC defenses they talk about physical play up front and speed all over.

“They’re a physical bunch, real fast, everything you want in a defense they have,” Masoli said. “It will be a real challenge for us.”

And a challenge for Masoli individually to contribute big plays in the run game, hit his receivers and most importantly – continue to play turnover free football. He did that for the first time at Ole Miss in the Rebels’ last game.

“Any time you go against the top dog it’s a big test,” Masoli said.

Alabama players are aware of Masoli’s ability to avoid pressure and scramble for big plays. Masoli is the Rebels’ No. 2 rusher with 262 yards and three touchdowns. He averages 5.2 yards a carry.

The Tide used freshman Blake Sims, a 6-foot, 195-pound athlete from Gainesville, Ga., to give the Masoli look in practice this week.

“Having athletes like Blake carry out that role makes a big difference. We should be used to it by game time,” Alabama linebacker Nico Johnson said.