April 16, 2014
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss football team went through its final spring practice here Wednesday afternoon at the Joe P. Park Practice Facility prior to its annual Black and Gold game which will be held this weekend at Carlisle-Faulkner Field at Roberts Stadium.
The Golden Eagles' final practice was held in full pads, giving the team one final chance to prepare for the squad's final chance to shine in front of both the Southern Miss coaching staff and its fans in the annual spring contest in getting ready for the 2014 season.
Second-year coach Todd Monken said earlier this spring that this football team was going to become more physical and the coaching staff certainly didn't back off that philosophy in the team's 14th scheduled practice of spring drills.
In fact, Monken was excited about how well the team had been able to stay fairly healthy with all the different drills that they went through its workouts to improve the team's physicality.
"We've been lucky that with as physical as we have been we really didn't lose anybody, which is what you are afraid of," said Monken. "Ultimately, you are going to lose players anyway so if you aren't a mentally tough team or a physically tough team with some sort of resolve then it's not going to matter. We have that and are continuing to develop it."
For Saturday's spring game, Monken said that the Golden Eagles will run a basic game to finish spring drills.
"We divided up the teams and basically split the starters in half, putting 11 on one side and 11 on the other," said Monken. "There is no real special format. We are just going to play. We won't do any special teams, but will do field goal and PAT and will just move the ball for punts and kickoffs.
"We will play base and see who will fly around and make some plays. On Saturday, we won't worry about scheme. We will just play football and see who can play."
Monken also went on to say that he wanted his team to play on Saturday like the product that he wants it to look like - which is lining up correctly, playing hard and giving themselves a chance to be successful.
"That is really what it is about," added Monken. "It is about recruiting good players, developing them and coaching better. That last part only comes after you get guys lined up and you play them hard with energy, attitude and body language. We are getting there. It is hard to always have that with younger players. They don't have that yet. In any sport, the first year is hard. We are developing that and we are going to continue to build and get better as a football team. I look forward to seeing that on Saturday."
Admission to the spring game is free and kickoff is set for 1 p.m., at The Rock.
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