HATTIESBURG, Miss. - How does the most prolific passer in terms of yards and touchdowns thrown cap his Southern Miss football career?
With a bowl victory, of course.
Nick Mullens, the Hoover, Ala., native, completed his four-year stint as starting quarterback for the program with a 28-21 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl victory over Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday, throwing for a Southern Miss bowl record 346 yards. It ended Mullens’ career with 35 games of throwing at least 200 yards, while reaching the 300-yard mark passing for the 19th time – both school records – in 41 career starts. His passing yards per game of 272.6 also ranks tops on the school’s career charts.
“What a four years,” said Mullens during the postgame press conference following the bowl game. “It’s incredible. The fact that we got to hold up a trophy and bring back some hardware and to be able to come back in a couple years and look in that trophy case, that’s something we’ll always be proud of.”
For Golden Eagle fans, they can be proud of Mullens’ accomplishments as well.
Mullens threw for school bests of 11,994 yards and 87 touchdown passes, surpassing Austin Davis (2008-11) who previously held those top marks, while etching his name among the Golden Eagle greats in the process. Against UL Lafayette, he also became the school’s leader in passing attempts (1,546) and finished second in completions (928).
The Golden Eagles captured 20 victories with Mullens as the signal caller, including nine a season ago to go along with the Conference USA West Division crown, a pair of bowl game appearances and the most ever total offensive yards for the program with 7,133 during the 2015 campaign.
Those accomplishments on game day can be traced to the endless efforts that he put into his craft of being quarterback.
Those efforts included extra work daily among himself and the wide receivers working on getting together the right rhythm to translate into the team’s play. His dedication in the film room, analyzing himself as well as his opponents, hour after hour, as well as becoming a leader of this team, helped not only himself but this team grow and getter better with him at the helm of the offense.
During his time at Southern Miss, as well as the entire 2016 senior class, they helped renew Southern Miss’ place among the leaders of Conference USA bringing back what Southern Miss football is all about.
And with that, we say thank you to not only Nick, but the entire senior class, which handled itself with dignity and honor during their time with the program.
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