HATTIESBURG, MS (WLOX) - Stephen Brauchle of Gulfport is a redshirt junior kicker and on Saturday he drilled a career-best four field goals to help Southern Miss defeated UTSA 32-10 on Saturday in Hattiesburg.
Brauchle also added two extra points to kick the football through the uprights for 14 of the Golden Eagles 32 points. He booted seven kickoffs for a 59.4 yard average. Thanks to his performance, Brauchle was named Conference-USA Special Teams Player of the Week.
Southern Miss improved to 4-3 overall and 2 and 1 in the Conference-USA standings.
The Golden Eagles travel to Charlotte Saturday morning at 11. Charlotte has only 2 wins in six games and has yet to win a C-USA game at 0-3. Southern Miss head coach Todd Monken isn't taking them lightly.
"We went out last night and got the corrections form Saturday's game and moved on to Charlotte, "stated Monken. "We are excited to take another step in the 2015 season against a Charlotte football team that has a lot of chances to win. They are 2-4 but they have given themselves opportunities to win. They had their chances against FAU, Old Dominion and Temple. They are really good on defense they actually lead the conference in rush defense. They give a lot of different looks."
One big reason for the Golden Eagles success this season has been the play of the defense.
Monken said, "First, you have to have to have talented guys who can make plays and we have that now. It starts with that premise. Then, you have to take the right guys that have the right approach whether that is being attentive at meetings, working at practice or feeling their energy at practice. It's a week-to-week thing I say it all the time. We just can't forget what got us here and that's working hard, anticipating success and being confident. That confidence comes through how you prepare during the week and having it all fit together. We are athletic enough on defense to where we can get after people. Offensively, we just have to score to take pressure of the defense and make plays."
Monken is now trying to coach the players are responding to success after having to deal with motivating players with defeats in his first two years at Southern Miss.
"First of all, I learned more in those first two years here than the other 25 years of coaching, "said Monken. "I learned how to continue every day to bring it and stay positive while continuing to recruit. That's what our job is. Are we always perfect at it? No. If you need to change, then make whatever changes you need to make to keep moving the program forward. We did that. Right now that is a part of it. When you start winning you get relaxed. That is human nature. When you're down nature is to quit and when you are winning your nature is to settle. That's something we are in no position to do. We can't settle. We have four wins and that's it right now. I told the team the other night like ever game `Crazy things happen at the end of games. You have to stay focused and continue to fight till the end.' Just look at the Michigan game this weekend or the UTSA game against Louisiana Tech. LA Tech dominated them early then UTSA came out firing in the second half and they had to fight, scratch and claw to get a win."
Southern Miss players have been heard saying, "Spot the Ball." What is that?
Monken said, "It started with Pete Golding. He talked with the team and I liked the way he said it. It just means spot the ball and play. It doesn't matter if you're playing in front of 5,000 people or 90,000 people. The game is the same. Different teams pose different problems, but if you like to play then let's go play."