By CALIFORNIAN STAFF REPORT
Bakersfield natives at Fresno State swept the Mountain West Conference's Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year awards, which were released Tuesday.
Derek Carr, a junior quarterback from Bakersfield Christian, was the offensive MVP after leading the MWC in passing yards (3,742), passing touchdowns (36, with just five interceptions) and completion percentage (68.1).
Carr is the first Bulldog to win a conference offensive MVP since his brother David did it in 2001 in the Western Athletic Conference. Another Bakersfield native, Chargers running back Ryan Mathews, never won it.
Bakersfield High graduate Phillip Thomas, a senior safety, was the Mountain West defensive MVP. He leads the nation with eight interceptions and has returned three for touchdowns. Thomas is among three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation's top defensive back.
The Bulldogs also had the conference's Freshman of the Year, wide receiver Davante Adams. It's the first time in Mountain West history that one team has won all three of those awards.
Fresno State (9-3) split the Mountain West title with Boise State and San Diego State and will play Southern Methodist in the Hawaii Bowl on Dec. 24.