HATTIESBURG, MS - An 11-yard screen to Ito Smith marked the pass in which senior quarterback Nick Mullens became Southern Miss' all-time leader in passing yards in USM's 24-14 win over Marshall.
Mullens said the record never entered his mind until the man he surpassed, former Golden Eagle Austin Davis, sent him a message before Saturday night's game.
"AD [Austin Davis] texted me and said, 'Easy on my records,'" Mullens said. "And I told him, 'Wins and championships is all that matters.' So I'm still chasing what he's got under his belt."
"Nick [Mullens] is just nonchalant," said Southern Miss senior defensive end Dylan Bradley. "If he breaks it he's just going to say, 'Oh well, thanks to my offensive line and thanks to my receivers for helping me but I'm on the next game. That's what we love about him, that's why he's the leader of the team. That's why I tell him every game, 'We follow you.'"
That's been the case for this Southern Miss team ever since Mullens took over as the starting quarterback midway through his freshman season in 2013. Now a senior, Mullens never fails to amaze first-year head coach Jay Hopson.
"Nobody deserves it more than Nick," Hopson said. "He's a guy that has been a true soldier at Southern Miss. He's a guy that you know every day he's going to give you 100 percent."
Reggie Collier, Brett Favre, Austin Davis: all prolific passers for the Golden Eagles. But with 11,057 yards, Nick Mullens is in a class of his own. He wasn't concerned about any records when he first arrived in Hattiesburg. Mullens just wanted to continue the tradition of Southern Miss football.
"The reason I committed to Southern Miss is because I knew they were going to win," Mullens said. "I committed to Southern Miss because they're a winning program. Those years are here. It is nice to look back…you start to reminisce on all the times we've had here at Southern Miss. We have one four-game stretch to finish strong. Every day, I guess you could say we're writing our legacy. Just have to savor every moment."