Emmanuel Johnson running a drill on Thursday.
The Golden Eagles worked their normal two hour, 45 minute workout in full pads at the Joe P. Park Practice Facility with second-year coach Todd Monken continuing to get a handle on who will likely get starting assignments for the season opener, Aug. 30, at Mississippi State.
"We are getting closer to figuring out who (is in) the two-deep, meaning who do we trust to be in the game and who gives us the best chance to play good football," said Monken. "We will go from there. It is hard because there are no preseason games. There is still some gray with a lot of young players we have. You have to go with the information you have and go with it."
Two jobs that are likely settled for the 2014 season for the Golden Eagles are the place kicking and punting spots.
Senior Corey Acosta has nailed down the spot at place kicker, while sophomore Tyler Sarrazin looks to have the inside advantage on the punting duties. After practice, Monken was extremely pleased with the camp that Acosta has put together.
"He has had a great fall," said Monken. "So much better. I am so happy for him and I am happy for us. It was a frustrating year for him and us. He has had a good camp. I don't know if he has missed a field goal yet or an extra point."
The Golden Eagles also worked through some special teams periods during the workout Thursday and it gave Monken a chance to step back and observe his team work on that phase of the game.
"I just figured I have to take it easy a little bit," said Monken on observing the special teams periods. "There has to be some part of practice where I am not out of my gourd. There is a part of it where you have to just sit back and watch. That is not easy for me. It is not easy to sit back and watch when you are not wired that way. I'm wired to coach, teach, get after guys and get them going. It is not easy to sit back and watch.
"I am trying to be better at that at certain parts of practice not just for my own health, but for our team as well. To be able to have our coaches' voices come through instead of just mine all the time."
The Golden Eagles continue to get their preparations in for the 2014 season on Friday, when they take to the field for a solo practice at 8 a.m.
Southern Miss football single game and season tickets are also available by going online at SouthernMissTickets.com, 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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