HATTIESBURG, Miss. - For the first time this week, the Southern Miss football team dealt with the hot temperatures for an entire practice here Friday afternoon at the Joe P. Park Practice Facility.
The Golden Eagles had benefited from some afternoon showers earlier in the week but they were not so fortunate during their fourth practice of the fall camp. The team worked out in shoulder pads and shorts for two and a half hours.
Third-year coach Larry Fedora continued to be happy with the progress of his team and enjoyed the way his team worked through the hit on this day.
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"I'm proud of the way they are getting after each other," Fedora said. "They were flying around. There was some good hitting going on out on that football field."
The Golden Eagles have taken advantage of the fact that it is the third year of putting in Fedora's system in terms of their preparation for the season.
"All the guys who have been in the system for three years, it's nothing for them," Fedora said. "They totally understand and are actually teaching and coaching the guys who haven't been in the system, and that's what you want. It's huge to have guys who know what's going on, know what's expected and who can lead the other guys."
Fedora also praised his running back corps after practice, as that position looks to replace its top two rushers from a season ago in Damion Fletcher and Tory Harrison.
"I'm going to be highly disappointed if we're not very effective running the football," Fedora said. "You start with V.J. Floyd. V.J.'s not a young guy, but he's the only one who has any experience back there other than (Tracy Lampley).
"They all bring something different to the table. They are all really good right now. But part of camp is survival. There's a lot of hitting going on and there's not a lot of breaks in it."
The Golden Eagles return to practice Saturday to continue preparing for their Sept. 2, season opener at South Carolina in a morning workout. The team continues its a busy day later in the afternoon with team photos and media day in the afternoon, prior to Eagle Fanfare which begins at 5 p.m. at Reed Green Coliseum.
Tickets for all 12 games regular season games, as well as home season tickets remain available online at SouthernMiss.com, via the telephone at 1-800-844-TICK (8425) or by visiting the Pat Ferlise Athletic Ticket Office from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.