Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr had some of his best games in the second half of the season, en route to becoming the Mountain West Conference offensive player of the year and leading the Bulldogs to a big turnaround year going from 4-9 to 9-4.
The 6-foot-3 junior from Bakersfield finished the season ranked eighth in the bowl subdivision in passing, throwing for 4,104 yards with 37 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. He was ranked 15th in passing efficiency with a rating of 155.94, and 12th in total offense with an average of 315.8 yards per game.
And, he did it while playing hurt.
The Bulldogs’ quarterback had surgery this offseason to repair a sports hernia, Coach Tim DeRuyter said. Carr was able to play through it the second half of the season, but was limited in parts of the offense.
‘’We wanted to do some things to get him out of the pocket in a game like that we would normally do, but we just couldn’t,’’ DeRuyter said, of the Bulldogs’ 43-10 loss to Southern Methodist in the Hawaii Bowl. ‘’Our quarterback run series stuff, we couldn’t with him. He could play, but if we had him where he would really push, now you might further injure it and maybe he wouldn’t play. But he’s had the surgery and he’s going to be fine. We’re excited about him coming back.’’
Recovery time for the surgery is typically four to six weeks and Carr is expected to be back by the time the Bulldogs start spring practices on Feb. 25.
Carr, who announced after the Bulldogs clinched a share of the Mountain West Conference championship with a victory over the Air Force that he would return for a senior season rather than declare himself eligible for the NFL Draft, would likely have had his reps cut back in the spring even without the injury. The Bulldogs are moving backup quarterback Greg Watson to an inside receiver position to take better advantage of his play-making ability, and need to develop a backup quarterback.
Marcus McDade and Myles Carr are the returning quarterbacks behind Carr. McDade, who will be a redshirt sophomore next season, played in two games last year (against Colorado and Hawaii) but did not throw a pass. Myles Carr was a redshirt in his first year in the program, running the scout offense.