HATTIESBURG, MS (WLOX) - Golden Eagles players and coaches had to battle hot and humid conditions for a two-hour work out in full pads on Monday for the first of two practice session on the day in steaming summer heat.
The team returned to the Rock for a 90 minute practice in shorts and helmets in the evening.
Coach Monken spent time working on special teams.
He said, "We are definitely better on special teams. The added depth gives us more options and more guys that can run especially on the defensive side. We will know more on Saturday but I like where we are headed and how the guys are working."
We a number of transfers from other schools the Southern Miss defensive front seven is going to be highly improved.
"We are going to play better when we are fresh, "stated Monken. "We have more options than we have ever had. I'd like to figure out who our starters are and go from there. Say those guys take 50 -percent of the snaps and the other guys are able to roll in."
Defensive lineman Naim Mustafaa says the defensive line is looking good. "They were already good even before all the transfers came in but the transfers came and made it even better, "said Mustafaa. "Guys like Dylan Bradley, Ja'Boree Poole and Xavier Thigpen were already good then the transfers came in and made the D-line even better."
Wide receiver D.J. Thompson says it time to bring back a winning attitude.
"It's very important, "stated Thompson. "When I was first recruited here, all I knew with this team was winning and championship teams. They said they used to call it "Conference USA." Our biggest thing is getting back to that."
Southern Miss opens the 2015 season on September 5 in Hattiesburg hosting Mississippi State. The only way Golden Eagle fans can purchase a ticket for the Bulldogs game is to buy Southern Miss season tickets.
The 20th Annual Eagle Fanfare is set for Saturday August 15, at 2 p.m.at the Lake Terrance Convention Center located at 1 Convention Center Plaza in Hattiesburg.
Besides the entire football program, the volleyball and women's soccer teams will be on hand to meet and greet the fans who can take a picture with Golden Eagles mascot Seymour. There will also be a live auction that will include tickets to the President's Suite for a football game and a Brian Dozier signed batting helmet.
Tickets are $5 per person or $20 per family and children ages 6 and under get in free. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.