2013 Southern Miss Spring Football Analysis
Southern Miss Golden Eagles 2013 ... Head Coach: Todd Monken
Miss Golden Eagles
Why To Get Excited … Ellis Johnson is gone. The Golden Eagles made the irregular move of canning a rookie head coach, but it was well-deserved. The program slogged through its worst season in school history, failing to win a game. The administration believes it has exorcised its 2012 demons with the hiring of Todd Monken, a young and energetic first-time head coach, with the offensive ingenuity to revive a disgruntled fan base.
| 2013 Schedule|
8/31 Texas State
9/7 at Nebraska
9/14 at Arkansas
9/21 OPEN DATE
9/28 at Boise State
10/12 OPEN DATE
10/19 at East Carolina
10/26 North Texas
11/2 at Marshall
11/9 at Louisiana Tech
11/16 Florida Atlantic
11/23 Middle Tennessee
11/30 at UAB
Why To Be Grouchy … USM went 0-12 last year for reasons that transcended just the coaching staff; the personnel wasn’t all that impressive either. The Eagles don’t bring back much ready-made talent because, well, there weren’t any stars with which to work a year ago. The situation is particularly concerning at quarterback, where five different players combined to throw nine touchdown passes. And the one with the highest ceiling, true freshman Anthony Alford, has already transferred to Ole Miss.
The Number One Thing To Work On Is … developing a pecking order at quarterback. Naturally, Monken is going to need a capable distributor for his offensive system to have a shot of clicking. In all likelihood, he would have been tutoring Alford this spring, but that plan was revised without much warning. Instead, the staff will attempt to elevate the play of the three remaining scholarship hurlers, senior Chris Campbell, sophomore Ricky Lloyd and redshirt freshman Kyle Sloter.
Non-Conference Games: Texas State, at Nebraska, at Arkansas, at Boise State
Games Against the West: at Louisiana Tech, North Texas
Realistic Best Case Record: 8-4
Worst Case Record: 4-8
Likely Finish: 5-7
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: Texas State, FIU, North Texas, Florida Atlantic, Middle Tennessee
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: at Nebraska, at Arkansas, at Boise State, at East Carolina, at Marshall, at Louisiana Tech, at UAB
Schedule Analysis: After last season’s disaster, it’s time to show that things have changed. That’s going to be tough early on with road games at Nebraska, Arkansas and Boise State after starting out against Texas State. It won’t help to go on the road three times in four weeks in the middle of the season with dates at East Carolina, Marshall and Louisiana Tech around a home game against North Texas. Fortunately, there are three games against the former Sun Belt members that should help the record. Finishing up against Florida Atlantic and Middle Tennessee will help before closing out at UAB.
Team Concerns For 2013: Winning. There's way, way too much talent to be 2012 bad again, but there's still a long way to go. The Golden Eagles couldn't come up with a victory last year, so Step One for Todd Monken is to simply get a win to get the monkey off the program's back. Just about every area needs to improve beginning with replacing seven starters on an offense that finished dead last in the league in scoring. Mistakes were a major issue finishing 115th in the nation in turnover margin thanks to a defense that couldn't come up with enough takeaways.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Offensive linemen. Defensive tackle Dylan Bradley is undersized, but he might be the most talented player being brought in. However, 320-pound JUCO transfer Fredrick Moore should be able to step in and find a role immediately while Devin Farrior should be a steady starter after a few years in the weight room. The interior wasn't ignored with James Davis a potentially strong guard once he packs on some more muscle.
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking:
68. That Class Was Heavy On ... The offensive backfield. New head coach Ellis Johnson doesn’t necessarily need quarterback and running back options for right now, and the skill spots were addressed over the last two recruiting classes, but that doesn’t mean that more options wouldn’t be nice. Arsenio Favor is the top quarterback option going into next year, but Anthony Alford is one of the nation’s top prospects and good enough to push for the starting job.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking:
77. That Class Was Heavy On ... Receivers. The Golden Eagles brought in a ton of players after going for the quick JUCO fix last year, and while the lines are getting plenty of work and JUCO corners Clifford Johnson and Martez Thompson will see time right away, this class is about lots and lots of pass-catching prospects, including tight end Collin Jarbo. JUCO transfer Jhyrtn Taylor is is the best receiver of the bunch, but speedy Tray Becton and Cooper Harrington could make a bigger impact before they’re through.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 56. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Skill players.
Head coach Larry Fedora went big on JUCO transfers
last year, and he got a few instant helpers this
season with CB Reggie Hunt and massive offensive
tackles Lamar Holmes and Jason Weaver certain to be
in the rotation immediately, but mostly the Golden
Eagle class is setting up the future for the
offense. Two quarterbacks, four running backs, and
four receivers were signed with JUCO transfer Kelvin
Bolden a potential instant impact player at one
wideout spot and Markese Triplett a big 6-4 target
to build around for the future.
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 61. That Class Was
Heavy On ... JUCO transfers. His program headed in the right direction, Larry Fedora sought out players capable of keeping the momentum going right now. A league-high six junior-college players, four on offense and two of defense, will help fill in the holes at tight end, linebacker, and offensive tackle. LB Hendrick Leverette is already being counted on to offset Gerald McRath’s departure, and 6-5, 265-pound David Rue is angling to catch some of the passes that used to go to Shawn Nelson.