COPPERAS COVE, TX – Senior quarterback Jake Mullin passed for 448 yards and three touchdowns in leading McMurry University to a 36-35 come-from-behind victory over Southern Arkansas University in the inaugural CHAMPS Heart of Texas Bowl at Bulldawg Stadium. Mullin was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
The War Hawks (8-3), playing their first bowl game in 63 years, had to battle back late to overtake the Muleriders (8-3), after SAU tallied to go ahead, 35-28 with just 3:12 left the play. That’s when Mullin went to work.
On the final series, Mullin threw nine-consecutive passes – completing five – as the McM squad moved from their own 25. The drive culminated with a 10-yard TD strike to Clinton McCoy in the middle of the end zone to cut the deficit to 35-34 with 1:02 left on the game clock.
That brought up decision time for the War Hawks.
McM head coach Hal Mumme elected to go for the two-point conversion. Mullin hit Joshua Chatman in the corner of the end zone to put McM ahead, 36-35.
But the action was far from over.
SAU returned the ensuing kickoff all the way back to the McMurry 37 with just under a minute left to play. The Muleriders eventually drove down the McM 22 yard line and were faced with a 4th-and-15. SAU elected to go for a 39 yard field goal with :24 seconds showing on the clock.
The field goal never gained altitude and was blocked by the War Hawks, as the team took a knee to run out the clock and preserve the win.
Mullin was 46-of-66 passing. Greg Livingston caught a McMurry game-record 18 passes, good for 137 yards. Clinton McCoy had 12 grabs for a game-high 162 yards, while Jeret Smith made 10 catches for 117 yards. All three had TD catches, as well.
Defensively, Cory Pippen had a game-high 13 tackles and a 57-yard interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter. Desmond Guy and Ryan Williams had 10 tackles, apiece.