Nov. 20, 2012
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - With their season finale looming, the Southern Miss Golden Eagles returned to the practice field on Tuesday afternoon as they prepare for Conference USA rival Memphis.
Saturday's game, set for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff, will be the 63rd meeting between the schools and is the longest standing rival. Southern Miss is 40-21-1 all-time in the series against the Tigers, including a mark of 18-16 in Memphis.
While coach Ellis Johnson's squad is still looking for their first win of the season, the first-year head coach said that the two-hour practice session inside the Joe P. Park Practice Facility was as upbeat and hard hitting as ever.
"You play for each other, your school and your team," Johnson said. "That's what our guys are doing. It's tough to go through a week of practice when you know you're playing for pride, but that's one thing about the last game. You'll never forget it - whichever way it goes."
The Golden Eagles racked up over 500 yards of offense - a season high - behind quarterback Arsenio Favor on Saturday against UTEP, and Johnson said he was pleased with the progression of the offense on Tuesday.
"You're looking at a different game plan, different coverages, different reads," noted Johnson. "I was a typical Tuesday. Some things were not executed well, but that's the polishing (aspect) of practice."
The game, set to be played in Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, will air on CSS with Matt Stewart and Chuck Oliver calling the action and Rachel Baribeau on the sidelines. John Cox and Vix Purvis will also cast the game over the airwaves which can be heard on any affiliate of the Southern Miss IMG Sports Network.