Hattiesburg, Miss. – Southern Miss proves it belongs by giving the Mississippi State Bulldogs all they could handle in the first half of Saturday’s in-state clash.
Southern Miss Football Report…Sept. 6, 2015
Record 0-1, 0-0 C-USA
L, 34-16, Mississippi State (Carlisle-Faulkner Field at M.M. Roberts Stadium/Hattiesburg, Miss./36,641)
Saturday, Sept. 12, Austin Peay, 2:30 p.m. CT (Carlisle-Faulkner Field at M.M. Roberts Stadium/Hattiesburg, Miss./36,000, TV – ASN, Ron Thulin, play-by-play; Doug Chapman, analysis; TBA, sidelines)
Offensive Player of the Week Nomination
Junior QB Nick Mullens (6-1, 196, Hoover, Ala.)
Quarterback Nick Mullens finished 30-of-44 passing for 311 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions against Mississippi State. He topped the 200-yard mark in passing yardage in the first half (208). It was the 15th time in 17 career starts that he passed for at least 200 yards. That ties him with Brett Favre for the fifth-most games with 200+ passing yards. He finished with 311 passing yards in the contest, giving him his fifth 300-plus passing performance of his career. That ties him with Brett Favre for the second-most 300-yard passing outings in school history. Austin Davis holds the record with 17.
• Southern Miss established a stadium record with 36,641 for its season opener against Mississippi State. The previous best was a 36,232 mark against Alcorn State on Sept. 5, 2009. Four of the five top crowds at M.M. Roberts Stadium are against in-state institutions. The third largest crowd was against Nebraska (36,152/Sept. 25, 2003), while the fourth was against Jackson State (35,169/Aug. 21, 2002) and the fifth against Mississippi State (34,189/Sept. 9, 1989).
- The Bulldogs made their first appearance in Hattiesburg since that 1989 contest and also marked the first time a team from the Southeastern Conference has visited Roberts Stadium since then.
- Eleven different Southern Miss receivers caught passes in the contest – the most since the same number caught at least one pass last season at MSU – including a team-bests of six catches and 81 yards for Korey Robertson in his first career contest.
- Senior running back Jalen Richard went over the 1,000-yard mark in career rushing yardage in the second quarter. With 48 yards on the night he now has 1,032 rushing yards as a Golden Eagle.
- The 44-yard run by sophomore Ito Smith in the third quarter was the longest run of his career. Smith finished the game with team-high 69 yards on 8 carries (8.6 yards per attempt).
- Redshirt freshman Jay’Shawn Washington scored his first career touchdown late in the first quarter on a 19-yard reception from Nick Mullens.
- Junior D’Nerius Antoine forced a turnover in his first series as a Golden Eagle, stripping Ashton Shumpert at the one-yard line, leading to a touchback in the end zone when junior Devonta Foster recovered the fumble. He tied for the team lead in tackles with five and had a pass breakup.
- Junior transfer Stephen Brauchle was 3-for-3 in field goal attempts in his first game as a Golden Eagle, connecting from 31, 27 and 27 yards. It was the first three field goal contest for the Golden Eagles since Corey Acosta tallied three against North Texas (Oct. 18) last season.
- The blocked punt suffered by Tyler Sarrazin in the second quarter was the first time Southern Miss has had a punt blocked since Sept. 10, 2011 vs. Marshall. That also ended a streak of 209 snaps without a block for senior long snapper Lance Schuffert.
- This week the Golden Eagles return home to face FCS foe Austin Peay. It will be the first meeting between the two schools in football.