Keep an eye on the tight ends when Ole Miss and Arkansas meet in Fayetteville Saturday afternoon.
The Hogs love to run, but when they’re not, they love to throw to the tight ends. That’s especially true on third downs.
Sophomore tight end Hunter Henry (6-5, 250) is the team’s second-leading receiver with 30 catches for 417 yards and two touchdowns.
In Arkansas’ 17-0 win over LSU last week quarterback Brandon Allen was 16-for-27 passing for 169 yards. Nine of his completions went to Henry, including his longest which covered 29 yards.
Henry has been targeted on third down 18 times this season. Thirteen of those have resulted in first-down catches.
Henry caught a 17-yard touchdown pass in Oxford last year cutting an Ole Miss lead to 13-10 in the second quarter.
A.J. Derby (6-5, 255), the Hogs’ “other” tight end, is the team’s No. 3 receiver with 21 catches for 290 yards and three touchdowns. He had four catches for 77 yards and a 54-yard touchdown against Alabama.
There’s no question the Hogs will look for Henry. Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze may look for sophomore Evan Engram more than he has recently.
The Arkansas game was one of five games missed by Engram last year after he sustained a high ankle sprain against LSU in late October.
Right now Engram has 27 catches for 410 yards and two touchdowns. His diving catch at the right front pylon against Tennessee was a highlight moment and far from his only one of the season.
At 6-3, 227 he has wide receiver skills, and it wouldn’t be a complete surprise to see Freeze use Engram a bit differently since this will be the Rebels’ first SEC game without Laquon Treadwell.