April 15, 2014
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - After weather pushed back one of the final days of spring practice, the Southern Miss football team returned to practice at Carlisle-Faulkner Field at M.M. Roberts Stadium to begin final preparation for the annual Black and Gold Spring Game.
With three days off since the last practice and frigid temperatures in the Hattiesburg area, the Golden Eagles practice lacked the intensity and effort that head coach Todd Monken expects from his players.
"Too many days off," Monken stated after practice. "We scrimmaged Friday. We gave guys off Saturday, Sunday and then the weather yesterday forced us not to go. It is just way too many days off."
In addition to the time off, Monken attributed the lower energy level to not being in full pads. The team wore shoulder pads, helmets and shorts as NCAA regulations limit the number of days a team can practice in full pads.
"Today was one of the days you couldn't go to the ground," Monken explained. "We took the lower [pads] off. We just aren't mature enough yet to understand that if we take either the shoulder pads off or the lowers that the effort stays the same. We don't go to the ground but our effort and attention to detail stays the same."
With just one more practice day before the scrimmage, Monken emphasized a need to continuously get better and not waste opportunities.
"Bottom line is we've got to get better. It starts with every day we come out. Since we haven't gone to a bowl game in two years, we have missed out on nearly 30 bowl practices. We can't waste days."
The Black and Gold Spring Game will be held on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. at The Rock. The game will be part of Eagle Fest, a three-day weekend of events and admission to the scrimmage is free.
Prior to the game, the Southern Miss Department of Athletics is sponsoring its third annual Future Golden Eagles Football Camp, Saturday, April 19, at The Rock from 11:00 a.m., until 12:00 p.m. The free camp is open to children ages 4 through 12. Registration for this event begins at 10:30 a.m., and will take place at Gate 1 on the northwest side of The Rock. Children are encouraged to wear Athletic shoes and clothing. No previous playing experience is required in order to take part in this camp.
The Southern Miss football coaching staff and players will provide instruction for various football drills throughout the camp.
Parents will be able to watch their children take part in the camp from the West Side Stadium seating.
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