"What a great kid," said Brett Favre on Tuesday afternoon. "Has played outstanding since he's been a starter. And just a tremendous leader. I'm very pleased with the fact that we have Nick Mullens as our quarterback."
That's high praise from the former Golden Eagle and most recent member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Nick Mullens is the most recent Southern Miss quarterback to knock down an SEC foe.
That's something Favre and coach Curley Hallman prided themselves on doing back in the late 1980s.
And while Mullens stat line on Saturday - 258 yards, 3 interceptions – might not ascend him in the numerous preseason watch lists he was named to, he still led his team to victory.
"After the game I was talking to somebody and they made a comment that kind of rubbed me the wrong way," said Southern Miss offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson. "They said, 'Well even if Nick didn't have his best game.' And I said, 'Well, you know, I thought he did because of what happened.' I mean, how many times do you see quarterbacks have that much adversity hit at the beginning and play that well in the second half?"
With a completion in the first quarter Saturday night, Mullens moved past Brett Favre in career passing attempts at Southern Miss.
His very next throw was an interception, but Mullens would trot right back on the field, slinging the ball for two touchdowns and rushing for two more.
"He's kind of got that tough, that Brett Favre mentality," said Golden Eagle head coach Jay Hopson. "You know, just give me the ball."
"I think where he is right now, he's better than Brett Favre was at that time," Favre said.
Mullens has Favre beat in statistics, as the senior will more likely pass Austin Davis in every passing category by season's end.
But more importantly, coach Hopson sees the same fire for the game burn in Mullens as it did in Favre.
"I was looking in his eyes every time the kid came off the field," Dawson said. "The kid never wavers, I mean the kid absolutely never blinks."
"The thing you like about him, he's going to move on to the next play and he's going to fight every play," Hopson said.
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