Coach Todd Monken has Southern Miss back on track - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Coach Todd Monken has Southern Miss back on track

HATTIESBURG, MS (WLOX) -

Losing isn't any fun.  Just ask that to Southern Miss football fans who had to deal with three consecutive losing seasons.

In 2012 the Golden Eagles search committee chose South Carolina defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson to replace Larry Fedora.  Johnson failed to guide Southern Miss under the win column, win less after 12 games.

Three years ago, the Golden Eagles hired Todd Monken to resurrect a Southern Miss football program that hit rock bottom.  In the early going it wasn't easy.  Southern Miss went 1-11 in 2013 and 3-9 in 2014.  

Monken and his staff were determined to turn things around in 2015.  So far, 7 wins and 3 losses and Southern Miss is tied for first-place in the Conference USA standings with a 5-1 record, tied with Louisiana Tech.

Monken brought in a number of players from Division I programs who instantly made an impact.  He has also developed junior quarterback Nick Mullens into a passing machine.  Some fans believed that Mullens wouldn't even be the starter in 2015 after TCU transfer Tyler Matthews (6'4", 215) became eligible this season.

Mullens played extremely well despite a season opening loss to Mississippi State and has consistently gotten better. Under his guidance behind center, Mullens has helped the Golden Eagles run-off four straight wins.

Mullens ranks 6th in the nation with 3,276 yards passing, 10th in passing yards per game (327.6),14th in total offense (3,223) AND 15TH in passing efficiency (159.9)

Southern Miss ranks first in C-USA in both total offense and defense.

The Golden Eagles offense has totaled at least 500 yards six times this season and surpassed 600 yards twice, including a school-record 682 last weekend in a 65-10 thrashing of Rice.

As mentioned, the Southern Miss defense has helped the Golden Eagles turn things around.  The defense has limited opponents to 346.9 yards per game and has not given up more than 300 total yards over the last five games. Southern Miss ranks No. 31 in the nation in total yards allowed.

The Golden Eagles close out their 2015 home schedule of games Saturday at 2:30 p.m. hosting Ole Dominion at M.M. Roberts Stadium.  Southern Miss fans are back fully supporting a football program that coach Jeff Bower built into a consistent winner. Saturday's game will be a sellout.

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