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Eagles Go Through Second Scrimmage Saturday Night




Aug. 16, 2014

Sophomore Nick Mullens threw for 227 yards with three touchdowns and freshman Ito Smith had over 100 all-purpose yards here Saturday night as Southern Miss went through its second scrimmage of fall camp at Roberts stadium.

With the completion of the scrimmage, the Golden Eagles find themselves two weeks out from their season opener, Aug. 30, at Mississippi State. For second-year Southern Miss football coach Todd Monken, he likes where his team is at this point heading into the season.

"It just feels better," said Monken of his squad as compared to this time a year ago. "It feels like we have a better plan, like our guys get it. We are older more experienced. It felt that way tonight, at least offensively. It is hard for me to say defensively because I am so dialed into that part of it.

"If you play hard and you play for each other and you don't turn it over and you don't give up big plays, you have a chance to win. That is what I think we are moving towards. I see more of that every day."

Mullens hit touchdown passes of 14, 25 and 40 yards, going 14-of-19 passing, while Smith rushed for 55 yards and added 69 receiving yards, including a 65-yard scoring pass from senior Cole Weeks.

Sophomore George Payne collected 42 yards on 16 carries and junior Jalen Richard added 31 yards on 12 rushes for the ground game.

Junior transfer Casey Martin led the receiving corps with six catches for 95 yards including a 14-yard touchdown grab.

On defense, senior Nic Bekkers and sophomore Ja'Boree Poole each had 1 ½ sacks, while Xavier Thigpen added one. Both Elijah Parker and Rakeem Nunez-Roches added a ½ sack each.

Freshman Jeremy Sangster blocked a punt during the scrimmage, while redshirt freshman Trae Collins added a fumble recovery.

The scrimmage also gave the Golden Eagles an extended look at their special teams play while also giving them a chance to continue to firm up their depth chart for the season opener against the Bulldogs.

"We have a pretty good idea," Monken said about the team's two deep following the scrimmage. "The biggest thing was how much we did special teams tonight to figure out who is going to help us. I know our older guys want to play on special teams, but who are the younger guys who can be a core special-teams guy to take that hit off of our older guys (as we head into the season)."

The Golden Eagles will take Sunday off from practice, before returning to action Monday for their final two-a-day session of fall camp.

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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