As the No. 1 Tigers prepare to head to Ole Miss, coach Gene Chizik said the team’s focus is on opposing quarterback Jeremiah Masoli.
“He’s extremely talented, extremely dangerous with both his arm and his ability to make things happen with his feet,” Chizik said. “A lot of his plays that you’ll see he’s extremely effective—it’s the break in the pocket, getting out in space, and either at that point, choosing to run the ball or hitting some of those big targets he has at receivers.”
Chizik said another part of Masoli’s threat is his ability to react under pressure.
“Any sight of trouble, they take the ball to the perimeter because he can,” Chizik said. “We’re doing our best to pull him up and trying to take away some of what we call these windows that he’s able to create for himself where he can see. That’s going to require some push up the middle and trying to contain him on the perimeter with our ends. That’s a tall order because he’s really good at it.”
The Rebels (3–4, 1–3 SEC) enter the game after a 38–24 loss to Arkansas hampered by rain delays. Though Masoli threw for 327 yards, including three touchdowns, coach Houston Nutt said his team’s overall performance resulted from a lack of offensive consistency.
“Not having the same starting offensive front from week to week has been tough,” Nutt said. “Injuries have put us behind. Chemistry is everything at every position, but especially at the offensive line.”