In the first two weeks of the season, Fresno State’s senior quarterback Derek Carr has made a name for himself in the Mountain West Conference. He is third in the MWC and 11th in the nation in passing yards, with 661 to his name. He’s also second in completions (74) and third in attempts (104).
Last season, he led the conference in passing yardage (4,104) and was named the MWC’s Player of the Year.
The opening game against Rutgers saw Carr shatter some Fresno State and conference records. In that Aug. 29 game, his 52 passes and 73 attempts established single-game highs for both the school and conference. Carr passed for 456 yards in the Bulldogs’ overtime victory of 52-51, making that the fourth time in his career in the MWC that he’s logged more than 400 yards in a game. He’s now tied with former San Diego State quarterback Ryan Lindley for most 400-yard passing games in conference history.
In last week’s victory over Cal Poly, Carr threw three touchdowns. His third — and 71st of his career — marked the third time in Bulldog history that anyone has passed 70, according to the Associated Press report.
Also causing a stir last week was senior receiver Isaiah Burse, who returned two punts for touchdowns and broke a few records of his own. Burse scored three total touchdowns, one on a 15-yard pass from Carr and the others on 51- and 68-yard punt returns. He tied the league’s single-game record for touchdowns on punt returns set by Dallas Davis in 1999.
(Fresno State’s record for the same feat was set in Sept. 2005 by Clifton Smith, before the Bulldogs joined the MWC in 2012.)
Burse had never crossed into the end zone more than once in a game in his career — and he’d definitely never done so on punt returns. He told Bryant-Jon Anteola of the Fresno Bee that “it was going to happen sooner or later.”