Southern Miss

USM notes: Nick Mullens explains short pants, injury update

Southern Miss quarterback Nick Mullens throws down field after escaping the Savannah State rush on Saturday in Hattiesburg.
Southern Miss quarterback Nick Mullens throws down field after escaping the Savannah State rush on Saturday in Hattiesburg. ttisbell@sunherald.com

HATTIESBURG — Southern Miss kicker Stephen Brauchle, a former Gulfport High School player, is not expected to play against Troy in the Golden Eagles’ home game Saturday night.

Brauchle was injured in USM’s season opener at Kentucky and did not play last week in a 56-0 win over Savannah State.

Parker Shaunfield has been handling the place-kicking duties and has been successful on both his field goal attempts and all his extra points.

Tyler Sarrazin, also the punter, will kick off this week against Troy and will back up Shaunfield at place-kicker.

Short pants

Southern Miss quarterback Nick Mullens wears his football uniform pants short, as they end above his knee.

Mullens reluctantly explained why he wears them so short.

“Oh, man,” he said. “They’ve actually gotten a little bit longer this year.

“Last year in the Mississippi State game, the pants were way too long. Pat (Stewart, Assistant Athletic Director for Equipment Operations) took them to the sewing lady, they came back a little too short. Pat said, ‘That’s what you’re wearing.’ I said, ‘Yes, sir.’

“So I roll them up above my knees, for self comfort, I guess. Different players have different things. I don’t care for them to be too short, just be comfortable out there. I don’t really notice if they’re short or not, to be honest with you, I just put the pants on and play football.”

Dominant D

Most coaches are known for playing things down when it comes to success, fearing that their players might get overconfident.

Southern Miss defensive coordinator Tony Pecoraro didn’t jump up and down when he said it, but when asked for a comment about the Golden Eagles holding Savannah State to only 41 offensive yards on 42 plays, he had to admit the truth.

“Yeah,” Pecoraro said, “it was a good game.”

Familiar foes

Golden Eagle offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson and Troy offensive coordinator Kenny Edenfield went to the same high school in Clinton, La.

“My dad coached coach Edenfield in high school,” Dawson said. “He claims coach Edenfield was the best player to have played at my high school.”

After a little chuckle, Dawson said, tongue-in-cheek, “That was a shock to me!”

Loose Mullens

In Mullens' first 2 1/2 years of being interviewed, his answers were close to the vest. He loosened up a little last year and now he's a senior. At a press conference Monday, someone asked him if he had seen a tape of the Troy-Clemson game, since USM plays Troy at 6 p.m. Saturday.

He said, “No, you guys are taking up a little bit of my time.” Then he started chuckling, “Aw, I'm just messing with ya.”

Brother commits

Zach Tom, a 6-foot-4, 260-pound offensive lineman at Baton Rouge, La., Catholic High, says he will sign with Southern Miss, according to several published reports.

Tom’s brother, Cameron, is the USM center, and has started for the Golden Eagles for four seasons.

Happy for Jalen

Many Southern Miss players and coaches said they were thrilled to see former Golden Eagle running back Jalen Richard score on his first run in the NFL, a 75-yard scamper for the Oakland Raiders against the New Orleans Saints.

“I was so excited,” Mullens said. “I was screaming, jumping up and down like, ‘I know that guy!”

McCorvey update

USM head coach Jay Hopson said he has “six or seven” defensive lineman he feels comfortable with playing at this time.

Jerry McCorvey, after missing last week’s Savannah State game with an injury, is listed as a starting defensive tackle for this week’s Troy game.

When asked if McCorvey will play this Saturday, Hopson said, “I think so.”

Pregame details

Game time Saturday is 6 p.m.

Eagle Walk, when the players, coaches, band and cheerleaders take part in a parade outside M.M. Roberts Stadium, is scheduled for 4 p.m.

It will be Take a Kid to the Game for Free Day as children 12-under receive free admission to the game with the purchase of an adult single-game ticket.

The Southern Miss-Troy game will be televised by beIN Sports. Matt Martucci will do the play-by-play, Brett Romberg will be the analyst and Jordan Daigle will work the sidelines. The game will be broadcast on radio by the Southern Miss IMG Sports Network. WBUV-FM (104.9) will carry the game on radio in the Biloxi/Gulfport area.

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