College Football Report: USM, Ole Miss, Mississippi State & LSU

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Southern Miss worked out in full pads at the Joe P. Park Practice Facility in the morning and returned to Roberts Stadium game field in the evening for a 90-minute workout.

Golden Eagles head coach Todd Monken says he saw his team come up a little sluggish after nine-straights days in training camp.

"The emphasis would have been for us to fight through practice after having Sunday off," stated Monken after the morning workout. "The morning practice was okay.  We will be better tonight."

Coach Monken is experimenting with junior transfer Brian Anderson.  Lat week Anderson was moved to the Mike linebacker spot and did very well.

"He is smart," said Monken.  "he got here about half way through the summer, maybe a little later than that. He is smart, really likes football and is physical.  That is three pretty good attributes.  That's what he is about and he always seems to have a smile on his face. That is going to give you a chance."

Southern Miss jumps back onto the practice field Tuesday morning at 8 for one single practice.

In preparations for the season opener against Boise State on August 28 in the Chik-fil-A Kickoff game, Ole Miss practiced in the Manning Center indoor facility on Monday.

Rebels head coach Hugh Freeze said,"I love our energy and I love where we are heading. I've said that all along.  We're a better football team than we were the last two years.  Hopefully, we can remain healthy throughout the remainder of camp and get ready to play Boise State.  I love what I see and I think our leadership is improved. We're definitely deeper and we're excited about getting it going."

Mark Dodson is making progress at the running back position and coach Freeze likes the competition.

"I'm pleased with all the running backs,"said Freeze. "I think that's a place that with the depth and quality people, that I'm not afraid to play any of them at this point. Dodson's just like the rest of them, some do some things better, but I wouldn't be afraid to play any of them at this point.  He's physical and runs with great balance and finishes with good pad level."

Coach Freeze said I'Tavius Mathers and Jaylen Walton are leading the pack at running back based on their experience.

While there's plenty of talent to go around the running back position, Freeze is looking for help along the offensive line.

"We've still got a ways to go with the offensive line," stated Freeze. "We tried some combinations today. Rod Taylor moved out to tackle and we moved Sean Rawlings out to tackle. Carlton Martin moved inside with Daronte Bouldin and the others that have been playing inside. We'll watch the tape and see how they did."

Freeze said Tee Shepard is still nursing an injury.  If a tendon on the bottom of Shepard's toe is completely torn, he'll have to undergo surgery.

The Chik-fil-A Kickoff game will be played in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

Mississippi State opens the 2014 season against Southern Miss on August 30 at 6:30 at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville.

Bulldog football season tickets holders still have the opportunity to purchase Gridiron memberships for the 2014 season but officials say the supply is going fast.

The Gridiron is a new premium area that transforms the north end zone into a personal lounge.  It will open two hours before kickoff and will be available until the final whistle sounds.  The Gridiron comes serviced with drinks, food, locker service and high definition televisions.

Gridiron memberships are $750.  For additional information visit or call the Bulldog Club at 662-325-3074.

LSU is rebuilding at the wide receiver slot.  The Tigers lost two of the nation's top receivers in Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr, and two highly talented freshmen will most likely see plenty of playing time this season.

Malachi Dupre and Trey Quinn, two of the top recruits in the nation in 2014 are learning the tricks of the trade in the college ranks.

LSU receivers coach Adam Henry said,"No nervousness, no anxiety. In our room as receivers, we have a standard. Just because a bunch of older guys graduated and may leave, the standard is there. You may be young but the maturation process has to speed up."

Besides Dupre and Quinn, head coach Les Miles has two other freshman receivers, D.J. Chark and Tony Upchurch who are making progress in training camp.  Henry said they both have a high football IQ.

"It's really important because the system we run is an NFL system,"stated Henry. "It's one of the things where football IQ helps you play faster. Once the guys are comfortable with it, they'll play faster.  Right now, guys are running routes and doing certain things, but there's a little hesitation, but the guys are progressing.  That's a part of it."

LSU battles Wisconsin on August 30 at 8 p.m.  in Houston.

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