Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Rebel Yell: Masoli, Ole Miss Journey to 'Bama

NEW ORLEANS - SEPTEMBER 11: Jeremiah Masoli  of the Ole Miss Rebels looks to pass the ball against the the Tulane Green Wave at the Louisiana Superdome on September 11, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Ole Miss defeated Tulane 27-13. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
The No. 8 Alabama Crimson Tide will return to action this weekend against the Ole Miss Rebels. 'Bama (5-1, 2-1) will look to rebound from a tough loss at South Carolina in which the Tide played very “tired” and undisciplined football.

The Ole Miss Rebels (3-2, 1-1) will look to pull the upset and also maintain team stability and momentum.

The entire nation watched as the Rebels were embarrassed by Jacksonville State during the first weekend of the college football season.

However, the Rebels have rebounded nicely and will look to give Alabama a second loss in as many weeks.

Coach Houston Nutt will lead the Rebels on the sidelines, but former University of Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, will direct the Rebels on the field.

Masoli, who put up impressive numbers during his time at Oregon, has been “hit or miss” thus far at Ole Miss.

Masoli has thrown for 823 yards and six touchdowns, but the Ole Miss quarterback has also thrown five interceptions.

The addition of Jeremiah Masoli to the Ole Miss football team has been a “positive,” but many people have questioned Masoli’s ability to perform against the high caliber defensive talent found in the SEC.

The Ole Miss quarterback will certainly have the opportunity to silence his critics with a big game against Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

NEW ORLEANS - SEPTEMBER 11: Brandon Bolden  of the Ole Miss Rebels is chased by Dominique Robertson  of the Tulane Green Wave at the Louisiana Superdome on September 11, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
On the ground, the Rebels are led by Brandon Bolden. The Ole Miss running back leads the team in rushing (518 yards) and has accumulated a total of five touchdowns thus far in 2010.

Bolden is a “power back” who is certainly not afraid to deliver contact in order to gain extra yardage.

The second leading rusher for the Rebels is none other than quarterback Jeremiah Masoli.

Courtesy of his mobility, Masoli is able to use his legs to gain yardage when the pocket collapses or receivers are blanketed down field.

Thus far in 2010, Masoli has 262 yards on 50 rushing attempts…including three touchdowns.

Outside of Bolden and Masoli, expect Ole Miss to utilize Enrique Davis and Jeff Scott in the running game. Davis and Scott have combined to score four touchdowns this season.

Once again, as is often the case in the SEC, the Alabama secondary will have to handle an impressive crop of receivers.

One of the biggest “eyesores” involving the Alabama defense has been the lack of discipline in the secondary. The Crimson Tide have talented players on defense, but the lack of “order” and numerous missed assignments have plagued the Alabama secondary…especially against quality opponents.

The Ole Miss receiving unit is led by Markeith Summers. Thus far in 2010, Summers has amassed a total of 242 yards and has 11 receptions to his credit. Two of those receptions resulted in touchdowns.

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 02: Head coach Houston Nutt of the Mississippi Rebels during the AT&T Cotton Bowl on January 2, 2010 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Other offensive weapons at the wide receiver position include Melvin Harris and Jesse Grandy.

Harris has nine receptions on the season for 170 yards and two touchdowns, while Grandy has 10 grabs for 142 yards and one touchdown.

The safety valve for Jeremiah Masoli is running back Brandon Bolden.

Not only is Bolden the leading rusher for the Rebels, he’s also tied for the team lead in total receptions (11) and fourth on the team in receiving yards with 124.

The chances of Ole Miss defeating Alabama in Tuscaloosa are rather slim, but the Rebels are certainly not a team to be taken lightly.

If the Alabama team (defense especially) take the field Saturday night with the same lack of focus and discipline they displayed against South Carolina, the Rebels should be able to keep the game reasonably close.

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