USC has faced some great quarterbacks this season — Chuckie Keeton, Taylor Kelly, Sean Mannion, Kevin Hundley, Brett Hundley — but none will give the Trojan a bigger test than Fresno State’s Derek Carr.
Carr is your prototypical NFL quarterback at 6-3, 218 pounds and his draft ratings reflect that. NFLdraftscout.com rates him as the top quarterback available and a sure-fire first round pick. Most mock drafts have him going in the top five.
The Mountain West named Carr their Offensive Player of the Year for the second straight season, making him just the third player in conference history to win the award in back-to-back years.
His stats this season explain the accolades.
The Bulldogs played their way to an 11-1 record on the back of Carr’s 48 passing touchdowns, which was the best in the nation and an easy ten more than Jameis Winston in second place.
Touchdowns are not the only stat in which Carr outpaces the competition. His 4866 passing yards outpace Sean Mannion’s total by more than 400 yards. He also leads the country in pass completions of 20-yards or more so the Trojan secondary will need to be on the look out for the deep ball.
With a 70.1% completion rating and just seven interceptions, Carr is also 11th in the country in passing efficiency. From October 5th to November 29th, Car set a MWC record with 306 consecutive pass attempts without an interception.
The senior out of Bakersfield is a pocket passer, but he has enough athleticism to scramble effectively if given the chance. That should be of great concern to USC’s pass rush. Added to that, Carr has been sacked just 11 times this season, which is ninth best in the nation.
However, Carr is not without his bad moments.
He has thrown three interceptions in his last two games, a shootout loss to San Jose State and a tough 24-17 win over Utah State.
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