HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - In just his first season as USM's offensive line coach, Erik Losey has already put his stamp on the program.
Much of the energy coach Losey brings to the Golden Eagles is inspired by watching his favorite WWE professional wrestler "Triple H."
"I'd love to meet [Triple H] one day, no doubt about it," Losey said. "They're great showmen. They bring the same type of passion that hopefully anybody in life would bring to their trait of work. I don't know if wrestling and football intertwine in any ways but if you got a shared passion for what you do then you got a chance to be successful at anything that you want."
While attempting Triple H's signature "Pedigree" move on the football field would result in a yellow flag, Losey brings the same passion of pro wrestling to Southern Miss practices.
"[Losey]'ll run up on you and act like he's gonna 'RKO' you or punch you or something," said USM sophomore guard Ty Pollard. "He'll make sure you're alert. He won't accept mediocrity. He wants your 110 percent. He's always talking about bringing the 'juice.' Leave it all on the field."
Much like every great wrestler has a catchphrase, Losey's is "juice." While the meaning behind the slogan varies, the purpose is to motivate.
"Juice means pretty much energy," said USM junior offensive lineman Jimmie Terry. "Juice is just coming out, giving it your all, having fun."
"I don't know if I have a definition for it," said USM sophomore tackle Drake Dorbeck. "Swagger, I guess. He uses it in so many contexts, you can't really figure it out."
"It's used in many contexts and I think I said this before, it can be whatever you need it to be," Losey said. "A rallying cry, that's a pretty good analogy. Just when you need it sometimes, it's okay. You get your juice levels up real quick, those negatives turn into positives."
Whatever kind of 'juice' Losey is bringing, it seems to be working for the USM offensive line.
The Golden Eagles (6-4, 4-2 C-USA) have allowed just 14 sacks and are averaging 430 yards of total offense per game. More importantly, Losey is proud of the attitude his group brings to the field, as if they're getting ready for a fight in the ring.
"[Offensive line]'s the hardest position on the field as far as physical, mentally," Losey said. "Bottom line is, you've got to love to be physical and you've got to be a man of service. Those guys behind us, those guys out on the perimeter, it's our job to protect them. That's pretty basic standard answer but it's a reality."