Replacing Engram

When freshman tight end Evan Engram was lost for the season with the high ankle sprain Hugh Freeze was quick to say he didn’t have another player like Engram at the position.

More to the point, he doesn’t have another athlete with Engram’s skill level.

Engram right away locked onto a position shared by three seniors a year ago and became a weapon in the passing game that Ole Miss had not seen in quite some time.

Not having a player with the same skill level doesn’t mean that Freeze has quit trying to do the same things, and listening to Bo Wallace yesterday it sounded as though there was some tinkering going on in the off week.

“I think you’ll see this week us move some guys around and try to get mismatches and matchups that we would have gotten with Evan. We have guys that are able to do it, and hopefully we can create some of those mismatches that Evan did.”

While Wallace expresses confidence in his teammates’ athleticism no single player currently tabbed as a tight end jumps out as a guy who can impact the game in the same manner as Engram, who had 20 catches for 265 yards and three touchdowns over seven games, five of them starts. Wallace had gotten really comfortable finding Engram in the seam and stretching the field.

There’s only been one other catch by a tight end this season, that a 3-yard touchdown to Nick Parker from Barry Brunetti.

Freeze himself has talked about the need to be careful with his tight ends and not ask them to do too much.

It will be interesting to see what players are moved around to try and create those mismatches. Remember, Mark Dodson looked pretty good running with a short pass against Idaho. More likely you’ll see a receiver line up in that position on certain plays.

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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