HATTIESBURG, Miss. - A steady rain through a good portion of Tuesday afternoon's practice could not dampen first-year Southern Miss coach Todd Monken's mood following what he indicated to be the best session of the fall.
The 2 ½ hour workout in full pads at the Joe P. Park Practice Facility was conducted in intermittent rain showers, but it did not hamper the squad's mood or preparation as they ready for their first home game since the season opener this Saturday against FIU. Game time is set for 3 p.m., at Roberts Stadium.
"Getting guys out at practice and (seeing) the energy in the rain, it was unbelievable," said Monken after the workout. "I don't know what that adds up to, but that was a great practice and I am fired up."
Monken praised a couple of groups for their work during the day including one unit on the defensive side of the ball which has been led by seniors Khyri Thornton and Octavius Thomas, along with junior Michael Smith and sophomore Wil Freeman.
"I was actually more excited about the defensive line," said Monken. "At times they can be just ok and just lay on people, instead of being aggressive and deciding that the team in front of us is not going to move the football. They played relentless today and with unbelievable energy. It was 'I'm going to make the play, instead of, alright I am in my gap.'
"The running backs also played well today. They ran hard and downhill."
The athletics department has several promotions planned for the FIU game including a pregame youth cheer clinic, as well as Mississippi Junior and Community College Day along with the school's annual Breast Cancer Awareness game.
The youth cheer clinic is set to run from 9-11 a.m. on Saturday at the Payne Center, while junior and community college faculty, staff and students can get $10 upper deck admission to the game with their college identification.
The annual Breast Cancer Awareness game will include the Golden Eagles wearing pink items during the game on Saturday, as well as special recognition for breast cancer survivors during the contest.