Derek Carr of Fresno State has often been the forgotten man when discussing the potentially loaded quarterback crop in the 2014 NFL Draft. That shouldn't be the case after Carr led the Bulldogs to a thrilling 41-40 win over Boise State on Friday night.
For Carr, younger brother of 2002 No. 1 overall pick David Carr, the game solidified his status as one of the most intriguing prospects in next May's draft. The redshirt senior was 39-of-60, passing for 460 yards -- his fifth career 400-yard game -- with four touchdowns. The 6-foot-3, 218-pound Carr showed off his tremendous arm strength with an incomplete pass that covered 60 yards in air and placed balls in tight windows.
But what NFL evaluators will inevitably wrestle with is the occasionally streaky nature of Carr's game. When Carr gets in a rhythm, as he did on a two-play touchdown drive in the second quarter hitting on passes of 41 and 21 yards in quick succession, he is as good as any quarterback in college football. There were also stretches in the first half where Carr missed throws and kept Fresno State from pushing its advantage.
Carr's top targets, senior Isaiah Burse and redshirt sophomore Davante Adams, combined for 22 receptions, 258 receiving yards and one touchdown. Adams (6-2, 216 pounds) was able to out-muscle the Boise State secondary all night, breaking press coverage on a slant for a 1-yard scoring grab.
The win should clear the way for Fresno State to go undefeated, barring an unexpected and unlikely slip-up in the regular season heading into the inaugural Mountain West Conference championship game on Dec. 7. Such a scenario would place Fresno State in what would amount to a one-game playoff for a berth in a BCS bowl, a chance to finally break through and bust the BCS in its last year of existence.