Southern Miss 1-0 in C-USA for First Time under Monken

Southern Miss assaulted North Texas with a heavy dose of Michael Thomas, who caught his first three touchdowns of the year against the Mean Green.

HATTIESBURG, Miss. — Southern Miss junior quarterback Nick Mullens has been named the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week, as well as earning a “Star of the Week” nod by the Manning Award, after passing for 325 yards, throwing four touchdowns and rushing for another score in the Golden Eagles’ 49-14 win over North Texas last Saturday.

Mullens, from Hoover, Ala., led Southern Miss by connecting on 27-of-36 with no interceptions. His 75 percent completion rate was the highest of any of Mullens’ career starts in which he threw at least 10 passes.

It was his seventh-straight game throwing at least one touchdown pass and the third consecutive contest that he has collected at least 300 yards in the air. Mullens now has thrown for 200-plus yards in 19 of 21 career starts and has passed for more than 300 yards eight times, including four games this season.

He had six passes of 20-plus yards against the Mean Green, including a season-long 62-yard touchdown pass to Mike Thomas on a flea flicker, which gives him 29 such plays for the season. It was one of three TD passes he threw to Thomas.

Mullens also tallied a TD run of four yards and collected his longest rush of the season at 17 yards.

This is the second time Mullens has won this award for his career, having initially won it following the final game of the 2013 season in which the Golden Eagles defeated UAB 62-27. Southern Miss captured its second Offensive Player of the Week award in the same season for the first time since Derrick Nix captured it twice during the 2002 campaign. The winners were voted on by a panel of the league’s media and announced from the league office in Irving, Texas.

The Defensive Player of the Week honor went to UTSA junior safety Michael Egwuagu who had an interception return for a touchdown and a lateral that he scored on during the Roadrunners’ 25-6 league-opening victory at UTEP. Special Teams recognition went to Louisiana Tech sophomore kicker Jonathan Barnes, who totaled 11 points, including a career-long 50-yard field goal in the Bulldogs’ 43-14 win over Louisiana-Lafayette.

As for the Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, it named eight quarterbacks as its “Stars of the Week.” And fans can now go to the Allstate Sugar Bowl Facebook page to vote for what they think was the best performance from this past weekend. When voting closes on Thursday at 11 a.m. (Central), the top vote-getter will be announced as the Manning Award Quarterback of the Week.

The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in 2004 to honor the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting.

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