Former Southern Miss star Nick Mullens’ introduction to an NFL audience went about as well as anyone could of expected.
The Hoover, Ala., native received the start at quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers due to an injury to C.J. Beathard and put together a performance that surpassed the expectations of a thoroughly impressed FOX broadcast crew and perhaps Nick himself.
In his NFL debut, Mullens completed 16 of 22 passes for 262 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions as the 49ers thrashed the Raiders 34-3 in a Thursday night contest.
Mullens’ performance was so notable that Twitter awarded him a verified account during the course of the game.
Mullens completed his first three passes, including a 24-yard touchdown toss to Pierre Garcon, to lead the 49ers on a 75-yard drive to begin the game.
It was all 49ers from that point forward.
Mullens became emotional in his post-game interview with Erin Andrews, getting choked up as he was quizzed about what it meant to put together a nearly flawless performance in his debut as a pro.
“It’s everything I dreamed of,” he said. “It’s only one game though, which is very important. I’ve been in the organization for two years and I was trying to just learn as much as I could, preparing like I’m the starter every week. This week was my week so I just try to advantage of opportunities when they come.”
Mullens’ performance Thursday night ended a six-game losing streak for the 49ers, but he’s no stranger to ending a lengthy skid. He threw for 370 yards and five touchdowns for Southern Miss to beat UAB 62-27 on Nov. 30, 2013, as a freshman to end a 23-game losing streak for the Golden Eagles.
Mullens led USM to back-to-back bowl appearances to close out his college career, setting USM career records of 11,994 passing yards and 87 touchdown tosses.