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By Henry A. Barrios / The CalifornianFresno State's QB Josh Harper brings in a Derek Carr pass for a 1st half touchdown against San Diego State. San Diego's Leon McFadden defends the play.
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By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian
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By Henry A. Barrios / The CalifornianFresno State's QB Derek Carr runs to the end zone in the 1st half of their game against San Diego State. He was stopped a yard short.
BY ZACH EWING Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Breaking one 25-year-old school record and tying another would be cause for celebration for just about any football player.
Not Derek Carr.
The Fresno State quarterback and Bakersfield Christian graduate is too busy beating himself up over mistakes to pat himself on the back after his 579 yards of total offense and 536 passing yards in Fresno State's 52-40 home victory over San Diego State on Saturday night.
Specifically: A third-quarter interception that San Diego State defensive back Leon McFadden returned 96 yards for a lead-changing touchdown.
"Honestly, the thing on my mind is why did I throw that ball to No. 2 in black (McFadden)," Carr said after the game. "(The record) does mean a lot to me ... But I'm telling you, what I'll be thinking about tomorrow is that pick."
Of course, on the drive following that pick, Carr was 5-of-6 passing for 78 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown strike to Isaiah Burse that gave the Bulldogs the lead back for good.
"It just made me mad," said Carr, a redshirt junior. "I've never been that mad before. Hopefully my wife wasn't watching. But you just have to continue to fight and grind."
Carr's records were legion: He completed 42-of-56 passes for 536 yards and equaled a career high with five touchdown passes.
He set the school record and Mountain West Conference record for completions and tied the school passing mark set by Dave Telford at Pacific in 1987.
Telford also ran for 12 yards in that game, making the total offense record 548. Carr ran for 43 yards on five carries Saturday, pushing Telford to second place.
Third place on that list? None other than David Carr, Derek's older brother, who threw for 531 yards against Michigan State in 2001, finishing that game with 508 yards of total offense. The elder Carr was the No. 1 pick in the 2002 NFL Draft and currently plays backup quarterback for the New York Giants.
"Take that, Dave," Carr said with a laugh.
"Although I'm sure I'll hear a lot about how I couldn't get one more yard from him."
One more yard also would have equaled the MWC passing record, set by BYU quarterback Max Hall, who threw for 537 yards against Tulsa in 2007.
But no one at Fresno State seemed too concerned with the exact number.
"DC is a great quarterback; we all know that," said wide receiver Rashad Evans, who caught 10 passes for 100 yards and three touchdowns. "He was on fire, and we reaped the benefits."
Carr's previous career high in passing yardage was 391, set in a loss last season at New Mexico State. That was in former coach Pat Hill's pro-style, typically run-heavy offense, though. Now in the spread formation favored by new Fresno State coach Tim DeRuyter and offensive coordinator Dave Schramm, Carr really has a chance to pile up stats.
"We ran 86 plays (Saturday), and I liked our tempo," DeRuyter said. "... For the most part, I thought Derek did a good job making the right reads."
By the end of the third quarter, Carr had 498 yards passing and seemed destined for the record books -- and all 33,894 in attendance knew it, thanks to a handy yard counter featured on the Bulldog Stadium scoreboard.
"I thought he was doing pretty good," DeRuyter said, "then I looked up at that ticker we've got on the scoreboard. That ticker was going pretty good."
Carr also ran the spread offense during his senior year at Bakersfield Christian, the season after he transferred from Clements High School in Sugar Land, Texas, a suburb of Houston.
The result of Carr's transfer was one of the most prolific seasons in Central Section history. He threw for 4,068 yards, second-best in section history, and set at least four section records, including completions in a season (280) and passing yards in a game (544).
Now that he's back in the spread offense, Carr is back to breaking records. And that suits him just fine. Asked Saturday if he liked Fresno State's offense, all Carr could do was laugh.
"Yeeeeaaah ," he said. "(More laughing). Sorry. It's fun. Coach Schramm's offense is awesome."
Awesome enough to put Carr's name right at the top when it comes to the best offensive games Fresno State has ever produced.
"I love Bulldog football; this program means the most to me," Carr said. "To have the record is awesome."