HATTIESBURG, MS (WLOX) - Southern Miss head coach Todd Monken is looking to find a spark that will ignite his football team. East Mississippi clipped the Golden Eagles in Greenville, North Carolina 55-14 on Saturday dropping Southern Miss to 0-6 on the season. That was also the 18th consecutive loss suffered by the Golden Eagles.
At Monday's news conference Monken said,"We've moved on from last week's game against East Carolina and our focus is now on a really good North Texas team. It's homecoming this week, which will be exciting for our players and alumni."
Monken also responded to a question concerning true freshman Nick Mullens, who will get the starting nod on Saturday in place of redshirt senior quarterback Allan Bridgford.
Monken said,"What Nick showed us Saturday was his ability to create when things break down. Whether or not Allan had that ability and then over time got beat up and is not able to do that now, the bottom line is we need a spark."
Monken said in this moment we have to see what Nick can do.
"We're obviously struggling offensively. That's part of it. We did assess it a week ago. We looked at every throw of Allan's We looked at the offense in general. We looked at Nick. We had planned on playing him this past week and we did. Like any position, we're constantly trying to assess who gives us the best chance to win."
Coach said Nick is going to be a good football player and everyone has got to remember that he's only 18. He said it's a week-to-week thing and this week he decided to give Nick an opportunity to move the Golden Eagles offense forward.
North Texas has posted a 4-3 record, 2-1 in Conference USA play. The Mean Green lead Conference USA and ranks third in the nation in Red Zone defense allowing opponents to score just 63 percent of the time inside the 20-yard line.
In comparison, Southern Miss ranks 13th in Conference USA Red Zone offense, scoring 69.2 percent of the time inside the opponent 20, including a league-low six touchdowns on just 13 trips inside the 20.
Southern Miss is allowing a league high 40.2 points per game, while North Texas is giving up the second fewest in C-USA at 21.3 and 28th in the nation. The Golden Eagles are 118th in the country in scoring defense.