Engram's Efficiency

Evan Engram admitted Monday that classes the first day back after the Rebels defeated Alabama were different than normal.

“Exciting,” said the Rebels tight end. “A lot more fun than usual.”

But he says the players have had to let go of the victory and focus on Texas A&M. The fans, now that’s a different story.

“Definitely the fans are hanging on to it longer than we are supposed to,” Engram said. “I was talking to my friends about it Monday morning. They were still excited. But we’re ready just to keep (the winning) going. I feel like as players it won’t be that difficult. We celebrated Saturday. It was exciting for us; great win. But we want more.”

There was a lot of talk, photos, and videos of the goal posts coming down as well as their travels through campus and town. Engram said the thing kept showing up. Both of them.

“It found me honestly. I kept seeing it everywhere,” he said of the large yellow metal poles. “That was pretty cool how they kept it going. I saw a picture on twitter. It was at somebody’s apartment. It was following me around.

“I saw it come down. I saw it on the field. I saw it in the Grove. I heard it was on the square. And I’ve seen pictures. I can’t go anywhere without seeing it really.”

The Rebels are ranked No. 3 in the latest Associated Press poll, along with fellow instate Southeastern Conference member Mississippi State. Engram said it’s all good, but it’s really none of the team’s concern.

“It’s cool. It really doesn’t matter to us. We’re going to practice like we’re the No. 1 team,” he said. “We do that every week no matter what the coaches or AP poll has. We’re going to prepare like we’re the best team with the best coaches. All that other doesn’t really matter. We’re just going to keep within ourselves and worry about us.”

Engram currently ranks fourth on the team in receptions with 17 for 246 yards. He’s averaging 14.5 yards per catch with a long one of 50 yards. But he doesn’t have a touchdown yet.

He is on the first Ole Miss team in 52 years to start 5-0 and the first in 50 years to be ranked as high as third nationally.

Alabama is over and now they move on to Texas A&M. The Aggies have been a top 10 team most of this season and are hungry to bounce back from their first loss of 2014.

“It helps us to be more on top of things and putting Saturday’s game in the trash,” Engram said of how solid A&M is, and that the contest is another SEC Western Division showdown. “A&M is a really good team and they’re going to come out ready to go. So definitely them being a tough opponent just makes the road tougher. But if we can get through it like I think we can, it will make the win even sweeter.”

Engram said losing to the Aggies the past two years by three points each time has been disappointing, although he wasn’t here for the first one. He’s only a sophomore.

“We always show up to play against them,” he said. “We’ve played them two years in a row really close. Last year and the year before I got here. It definitely adds to our confidence (that the games have been close). Maybe the third time’s a charm. We’re going to go in there ready to get a win.”

It’s been pointed out the Rebels play better as the games move on, and that in the fourth quarter they are often at their best.

“It’s just a matter of timing for the offense,” Engram said. “Sometimes we hurt ourselves or their defense is playing really well. The coaches keep us going. They make good calls and we’re ready to execute. It shows the character of our leadership. It shows the character of our composure. It shows a lot just being able to win games in the fourth quarter. Especially in this conference you need that fourth quarter success. It’s good that we’ve had that fourth quarter magic.”

The Ole Miss offense seemed to open up more in the second half against the Crimson Tide and was able to throw the ball down the field better.

“I think the middle definitely,” Engram said of the offense making some adjustments. “Laquon (Treadwell) was winning out wide. I don’t think they really had an answer for him. I guess there was some miscommunication with the safeties across the middle a couple of times. Just stretching the field vertically. We have so many weapons across the board. We feel like we can throw the ball anywhere on the field. I just think stretching the field was the main key. We feel like we can get the ball anywhere we want to with Bo (Wallace) and the receivers locking in and getting open. So we definitely feel confident down the field.”

On the other side of the ball, Engram was asked if he could have caught the ball for a touchdown that was intercepted by Senquez Golson to preserve the Ole Miss victory against Alabama.

“I don’t think anybody in the country would have beaten Golson,” he said. “He wanted that ball so bad. I’m glad he’s on our side. Nobody in the country was going to take that ball from him.”

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