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Golden Eagles Begin UCF Preparation on Tuesday

Oct. 9, 2012

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss returns to Conference USA play this week and they began preparations for C-USA East Division rival UCF on Tuesday at the Joe P. Park Practice facility.

For the Golden Eagles and head coach Ellis Johnson, returning to conference action may be a mental refresher for the squad and Johnson echoed that sentiment following the practice.

"I hope (it's a refresher), mentally," said Johnson. "The main thing we are focused on as a coaching staff is continued improvement. To have a 0-5 start and still have a lot of things to shoot for, I hope is a mental pick-me-up."

True freshman Anthony Alford and redshirt freshman Ricky Lloyd combined to go 19-for-36 for 243 yards against No. 25 Boise State last week and have split repetitions in practice this week.

Johnson said following practice that if all things remain equal, the true freshman Alford would take the first snap in Orlando on Saturday.

"The play was not that different the other day - it was the ball security," Johnson added. "That's the only reason we're leaning that way. If practice was totally different for one or the other, we'd probably go with the other guy. If they both have a good week, he'll probably (get the start). We just want to make sure both have good practices."

Southern Miss holds a 6-1 advantage over UCF in the overall series and has won the previous four matchups between the two schools.

Saturday's game is set for a 6 p.m. kickoff and will be aired on CBS Sports Network with James Bates and Aaron Taylor calling the action. The game can also be heard on the Southern Miss IMG Sports Network with John Cox and Vic Purvis.

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