Go Eagles!
 
Days
 
Hours
 
Mins
 
Secs
 
Todd Monken Weekly Press Conference

Nov. 18, 2013

Opening statement...
"This week we've got Middle Tennessee coming into town. They had a bye week last week but they've been playing well. Coach (Rick) Stockstill has done a great job. It's his eighth year there and he's done a great job recruiting and has assembled a great staff. Defensively, (Co-Coordinators Tyrone Nix and Steve Ellis) have done a tremendous job. Coach Nix was here when I was at Oklahoma State. About 10 years ago, I think, we played in the Houston Bowl. He's done a great job. (Offensive Coordinator Buster Faulkner) does a great job with their offense. It will be a real test. We're excited to be back home again and we are looking forward to playing a really good Middle Tennessee team."

Asked what was planned to honor seniors in final home game...
"In most instances you introduce your seniors, have their families there. They've meant so much to Southern Miss Athletics and done a lot here. You try to honor that and their families in appreciation for what they've done."

On relationship built with current seniors in just one year...
"Whenever you take a job, the plan is you end your career there. I've said that many times. Those guys are going to be Golden Eagle alumni and you anticipate them coming back and being a big part of your program moving forward. It's been tough. There's no question it's been tough on those guys. It's not the way they wanted to end their career but they've meant a lot in terms of mentoring some of our younger players. They'll be a big part of our program moving forward."

On challenges presented by Middle Tennessee's defense...
"Defensively, they're not afraid to challenge you on the perimeter. They're not afraid to get up and play man and force your guys on the perimeter to execute, route-run and separate. That's one thing. They do a really nice job mixing their coverages and effecting the quarterback and they play awfully hard. That's the biggest thing."

Asked if there were plans to "switch up" the Southern Miss defense in preparation for Middle Tennessee...
"There's no way to switch it up. You can tweak some things but we've got to do what we do and do it better. Middle Tennessee poses a number of problems for a defense. They've got an experienced quarterback who can run and throw. They've got good skill guys in the backfield and on the perimeter. It's going to be a real challenge but you can't just change things up, just switch week-to-week. You've got to do what you do and continue to do it better. Can we simplify some things? Sure. Do we have a number of guys playing that have been in and out of the lineup? Of course, but we've got to continue to do what we do and do it better."

Asked if fast-paced nature of the college game has magnified the team's injury woes...
"It poses problems for all teams around the country in terms of having enough personnel to be able to rotate around and play guys on both sides of the ball; to be able to feel good about all of your skill guys and be able to match up. That's hurt us at times but we've got to do a better job with our first group that gets out there. That's where we're headed. We faced a number of different teams and they've had varying schemes ... It still comes down to doing what you do and doing it better, playing with great energy, attitude and body language, playing possessed, getting aligned, getting your assignments down and playing good football. You see different structures but good defenses are simple, sound and they play their rear ends off."

On public support shown to him by Southern Miss Director of Athletics Bill McGillis...
"You always appreciate the support you are given by your immediate boss. Ultimately, I understand my job. I get it. Our job is to win football games. At the end of the day, I think he understands where we're at and what we're trying to build moving forward. I appreciate that but I know my job and that's to win football games."

On Middle Tennessee's propensity to create turnovers...
"That's the No. 1 stat in winning football games is turning over or creating turnovers. Nowadays, yardage is an overrated stat. With all of the teams in our league that play fast - and they play fast, they are going to run a number of snaps - it's unfair to them when you try to look at stats. They do a great job and, when they challenge you, they try to effect the quarterback. They've been up in some games and forced teams to throw it. They're very active, very athletic and very well coached. We've got to do a great job of trying to run the football and keeping the game within range to where we don't put ourselves in harm's way. That's been our biggest issue."

Asked what his message to the seniors is as they prepare for their final home game...
"You've got a couple junior college guys who will play their last game and you've got your seniors. The bottom line is how do you want to go out? How do you want your last game to be remembered here at home? It will be sad, I'm sure, for a number of them. It's hard to see it coming. There always seems to be one more week. The message is, 'You've got two more weeks. This is your last home game. Let's make the best of it.'"

Asked if there were any personnel changes this week...
"Not that I anticipate, no."

On the positive relationship between true freshman quarterback Nick Mullens and redshirt senior quarterback Allan Bridgford...
"That's common. Most places I've been, the quarterbacks are good about that. You rarely find where your quarterbacks aren't willing to help the next guy. You spend so much time together. Allan's been through it. Allan's been through all the ups and downs of playing the position, now at two different schools. It's hard not to like both of them. Their personalities are very similar. They're very smart, very passionate about the game. It's easy to get along."

Asked if seeing the end of last week's Auburn-Georgia game made him wonder why breaks such as the one that gave Auburn the late win haven't yet happened for Southern Miss...
"That was a great play. You get it up in the air and you never know. The problem is you have to be in fourth-and-18 and going for it and just throw it down the field 50 yards. We're not in that position right now ... We've got to create our own breaks. That's what you have to do. You put yourself in a position where that can happen. The reason that happened is because one play made a difference in the game."

On the play of redshirt junior defensive lineman Adam Williams...
"He is a guy who got injured last year and ended up having to get the year back. He's been a tremendous help in terms of our front. He's a steadying force. He's a good football player that, when healthy, really can make a difference."

Asked what steps redshirt freshman wide receiver Kyle Sloter, initially a quarterback, had taken to earn an increased role in the offense...
"All he did was work hard and then we had a lot of attrition. Those are the two things that developed. He put himself in a position for us to trust him to have him in the lineup. It's really a simple game. If you can block, protect, throw, catch, run, it's really simple on offense. We've made it awfully hard so you're looking for guys that get it from an energy standpoint and an effort standpoint and that's what he's done. He's put himself in a position that we can count on him to play good football."

On clarifying a statement he made in last Saturday's postgame press conference that followed the Florida Atlantic contest regarding the status of the team...
"I never said we were in trouble. I said 'You're in trouble.' I said, 'You're in trouble if you ever become a guy that quits.' I didn't say, 'We're in trouble.' I said, 'The moment that you become that and you allow that to be anything you're about,' and I said, 'There's a lot of things in life you want to be called,' 'that you can live with,' excuse me, 'quitting's not one of them.' I don't care what you do. You can call someone a lot of different things but, if you're a quitter by nature, you're never going to be successful in life. You're going to have pitfalls. You're going to have things that don't go your way ... That's all I was getting at ... I can't speak to every player but it's nothing I believe in and it's nothing the guys we're moving forward with have. I haven't seen it. People can say they see what they think they've seen. I haven't seen it. I've seen our guys play hard. I've seen them play with energy. It just hasn't gone our way. We've got to continue to build, play better, coach better and do it better. That's the bottom line. I wasn't making any reference to our team or any individual player. I just said it can't be what we're about. It can't be what any individual person is about. Otherwise, they have no chance in life."

Follow SouthernMissFootball:    

10/21/2014 - Football

Golden Eagles in the NFL, Week 7

10/20/2014 - Football

Todd Monken Weekly Media Conference

10/20/2014 - Football

Acosta Named C-USA Special Teams POW

10/18/2014 - Football

Southern Miss tops North Texas 30-20

FACEBOOK FANCRED INSTAGRAM PINTEREST TWITTER YOU TUBE