With plenty of focus on the quarterback situation for Southern Miss, sometimes the guys on defense can get lost in the shuffle.
There are plenty of questions facing the Golden Eagles after losing Jamie Collins to the draft this year, but the unit knows that they have to look to their new leaders to take them to the top.
"It's hard to replace a player like Jamie. He was a great leader," USM senior linebacker Alan Howze said at the team's media day.
"At the same time you want to be able to match it and at the same time exceed it."
Senior defensive lineman Khyri Thornton is ready to erase the bad memories from 2012, but also bring back some positive one's from years past.
"I'm ready to come out there and play. I don't want people to remember us as the 0-12 team. I want them to remember us as the nasty bunch."
The Golden Eagles kickoff against Texas State at home August 31st.