Practice No. 2 in the Books for Southern Miss Football
The team utilized a two-hour, 45-minute workout at the Joe P. Park Practice Facility as the temperature elevated from the previous rainy day.
Still the Golden Eagles enjoyed a solid day of work in which second-year coach Todd Monken liked being in the sunshine as they continue to get ready for the season opener, Aug. 30, at Mississippi State.
"A lot better and a lot warmer, which is a good thing," said Monken. "Yesterday there was a little bit of rain and I thought the initial (part of practice) was good, but it showed being gone almost a week. You leave after you've been working all summer. Today, even though it was a bit warmer, the sun was out and I thought our energy was better.
"We had some guys make plays. The defense stripped the ball a couple of times. Young running backs can't do that, but I was fired up today. There were really a lot of good things going on today."
As camp continues for the Golden Eagles, one of the specific positions that the Golden Eagles are concentrating on is at the offensive line. Following practice, Monken told the media that this is a group that needs to be on the same page, pulling in the same direction and expected them to do that.
One reason why is sophomore Cameron Tom (Baton Rouge, La.), who is expected to start at center this season after playing right tackle a season ago in which he was a member of the C-USA All-Freshman Team.
"He is going to be really good at center and he's going to be special there," said Monken. "That is why we moved him there. We tried other options in the spring. We tried some other guys and I think it's potentially easier to hide your right tackle than it is your center. So he is going to be great there. He is super smart. The only thing he never did before was talk. Now he's got to talk."
One of the things the Golden Eagles worked on during the spring was their physicality. Monken expects that during fall camp and wants to see that area improved.
"If they'll compete, it will get physical," said Monken. "Any practice you have been in, if you get guys to like competition and the scrapping of it, it is going to get physical. You'd rather have to tell them to tone it down. You have some real issues if you have to tell guys to pick it up. I want to tell guys `stop tackling' and `stop tugging at each other' and fighting and scratching and clawing. It is a competitive sport. That is what you want to see, but you also want to take care of each other. There is a fine line. But I want to see guys compete."
The Golden Eagles return to the practice field Sunday morning at 8 a.m.