Tide Eager For Test From Bosa

Alabama's offensive line wants to take on the best, and they'll get exactly what they asked for when they line up against Joey Bosa.

While the legend of Joey Bosa grew to the point that he’s arguably the most recognizable current starter on the 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes, it still took an in-person meeting for some Alabama players to learn about the guy they’d be going up against.

That happened on the awards circuit, where Bosa was nominated for the Lombardi and Bednarik awards and ran into Crimson Tide wide receiver Amari Cooper.

“I really hadn’t heard of him until Amari told me about him,” Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon said on Monday. “He was at the award (shows) and was telling me how big he was, and how he filled out his whole suit. I watched film on him. He’s good. He does the right technique all the time. We have to focus on him and the whole D-line to get us going.”

The task of stopping Bosa will largely fall to Austin Shepherd. The Alabama right tackle said that he expects Bosa, who moves around some but spends most of his time on the left side of the defensive line, to spent the majority of the game across from him instead of facing off against Bama’s true freshman left tackle, Cam Robinson.

In the same way that Ohio State’s offensive line wanted a piece of Michigan State defensive end Shilique Calhoun, a popular preseason Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year selection, members of the Alabama offensive line are excited to test themselves against Bosa.

“One of the best defensive linemen I’ve watched on film,” Shepherd said. “He’s still young, so he definitely has room to grow. Sky’s the limit for him. I’m excited to play. It’s a huge challenge for me and I love challenges, so I am excited.

“I love the games where I have to play against the best players on the D-line. That’s just who I am. I just want to prove myself.”

Alabama plans to keep tabs on the talented sophomore, but the way he moves around won’t affect the way the linemen try to deal with what has been regarded as one of the best defensive lines in the country.

“It doesn’t matter. We’re going to block how we block,” Shepherd said. “We don’t try to center it around one person. I think our offensive line is good enough that we can block whatever they put at us, so we’ll just go out there and play.”

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