Southern Miss (0-6), in the midst of a 18-game losing streak, has made a quarterback change. Head coach Todd Monken takes a towards the future as he decided to name freshman Nick Mullens as the starter for this Saturday’s game versus the North Texas Mean Green (4-3).
Monken announced Monday that Mullens would be the starting over senior Allan Bridgford. Bridgford, a fifth-year from California at Berkeley, has struggled to say the least with the offensive duties of his quarterback position. Bridgford arrived shortly before the start of fall camp and was named the starter at the end of camp. Bridgford through six games threw six touchdowns, while throwing those six touchdowns, Bridgford also threw 11 interceptions. The senior has 1133 passing yards through six games. Against ECU, Bridgford struggled completed only two passes on 11 attempts totaling 15 passing yards.
Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles quarterback Nick Mullens (14) carries the ball against the East Carolina Pirates at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. East Carolina Pirates defeated Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles 55-14. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
The Golden Eagles’ struggles do not rest upon the shoulders of Allan Bridgford. A lot of things have not gone well for the Eagles this season, the running game has not shown to hardly any of the games played this season. Lack of a running game has forced the offense to become one dimensional and predictable. Mullens received has received playing time earlier this season in garbage time versus teams like Nebraska and East Carolina.
Mullens is a 6 foot 1 true freshman from Hoover, Ala., brings the ability to extend a play once the play has broken down. Which is essential with a young, inexperienced offensive line. Mullens performed well in relief last Saturday going 9-17 for 97 yards, along with his 97 yards, Mullens threw for two touchdowns and alsp showed the ability to escape from the pocket.
Saturday, the Golden Eagles will be hosting North Texas for homecoming. North Texas has won two straight games and is pushing to contend for a C-USA title in its first
season in the league. The Mean Green are led by quarterback Derek Thompson, who has thrown 1,680 yards, nine touchdowns and eight interceptions this season. The Mean Green also bring into Hattiesburg a very good defense. The Eagles offense will have a tall task, but I am interested to see what Mullens brings to the game. Now defenses will have to play true because they will now have to watch the quarterback as a threat. USM’s defense will be against one of the top quarterbacks in the conference as they go up against Thompson, who has performed extremely well this season leading the Mean Green to four wins.
The Golden Eagles will need to bring on their “A” game to beat the Mean Green, a solid outing from the defense could salvage what’s left of the season. The student body is hopeful that the flash mob held on Wednesday and the start of true freshman Nick Mullens is enough to spark a victory. I believe the Eagles pull off the win in a close game. After all, it is homecoming.