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Second Half of Football Camp Continued Tuesday

Aug. 12, 2014

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HATTIESBURG, Miss - As Southern Miss now enters the second half of its fall football camp, the focus begins to narrow towards the team's regular season, which starts Saturday, Aug. 30, at in-state rival Mississippi State.

This is an important week for Southern Miss coach Todd Monken and his staff as they begin the process of making choices on who will most likely play when the Golden Eagles meet the Bulldogs for the first time in 24 years for the season opener.

"We have to figure out what our two deep is," said Monken about the importance of this week. "We start next week (prepping for Mississippi State). You've had two weeks (for summer) and we've had spring (practice). You've got to start moving forward.

"Who is going to play against Mississippi State, because they have to get all the reps (in practice). During the first week of camp, we try to get everybody reps and get all three groups going at once. This week, you pare it down. At that point, you have to move on. Not that it is permanent, but you have to start moving in that direction (toward the beginning of the season.)"

Monken also reiterated after Tuesday's practice at the Joe P. Park Practice Facility, that he liked what he saw from Saturday's first intrasquad scrimmage. One of those good things from that scrimmage was the play of sophomore running back George Payne (Mobile, Ala.), who unofficially rush from 108 yards on 11 carries with a pair of touchdown runs and is important to the success of the team's running game this fall.

"We have Jalen (Richard), George and then two freshmen (Ito Smith and Tez Parks)," said Monken. "George has to take steps forward, which I thought he did Saturday night."

This year Monken has turned over the offense to a new coordinator in Chip Lindsey. The first-year Golden Eagle coach spent last year on Auburn's staff and also coached current starting quarterback Nick Mullens in high school in Hoover, Ala.

"He believes philosophically as I do," said Monken of Lindsey. "Just being at Auburn for one year and seeing the contrasting styles and bringing some of those ideas (with him here). I don't know how much all of it fits, but just makes you think about what are we doing offensively and where are we headed moving forward."

The Golden Eagles return to action with a pair of practices on Wednesday, their fourth of fall camp, with the first one starting at 8 a.m. Southern Miss will also work at 7:30 p.m., with the second practice.

Southern Miss football single game and season tickets are also available by going online at, as well as calling 1-00-844-TICK (8425) or by visiting the Pat Ferlise Athletic Center weekdays from 8 a.m., until 5 p.m.

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