Who to Watch: Fresno State v. SMU (Hawaii Bowl)

Stay tuned for must-see prospects from every game of the bowl season.

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl

Monday, December 24, 8:00pm EST


In which the Fresno State Bulldogs dismantle the SMU Mustangs

Fresno State

Derek Carr, #4 , Junior, QB

By most accounts, Geno Smith will be a first round selection and possibly even the #1 player drafted in the 2013 NFL Draft.  In my system, Geno has achieved an outstanding 105.6 (anything about 95 is a potentially elite prospect), good for the 4th best upperclassmen grade in my 2012 scores.  So what if I told you that the person who appears immediately below him in my rankings is Fresno State Quarterback Derek Carr?  Do I have your attention?

To avoid any confusion, this is the younger brother of former #1 pick of the Houston Texans, David Carr.  While following in his big brother’s foot steps to Fresno, Derek’s 2012 season has done much to build a legacy of his own, leading the Bulldogs to a 9 win season in year one of the Tim DeRuyter era.

From 2011 to 2012, Carr has improved in virtually EVERY metric I have.  Most notably, he is being trusted to throw five more passes per game (in the biggest games) he’s completing 6% more passes, throwing them further down field, throwing touchdowns more frequently and interceptions less frequently.  Given his outstanding 2012 grade (#5 among draft eligible QBs) and the progression he is making from year to year, I would not be surprised to see Derek Carr as a first round pick in the 2014 draft.

To get a feel for Derek Carr, check out the full highlight reel of every pass he threw against Oregon


**Davante Adams, #15, FRESHMAN, WR

Adams isn’t draft eligible but is noteworthy.  In his debut season for the Bulldogs, his average stat line looks like:  7 receptions, 98 yards, and 1 TD.  In fact, with 54 receiving yards in the Hawaii Bowl, he will post the THIRD BEST receiving yardage total in the last decade of Mountain West football.   He would trail two games, Austin Collie (BYU) and Vincent Brown (SDSU) who were drafted in the top 130 picks of their respective drafts. WOW!  I fully expect Carr to go bonkers in this game, which should mean that Adams hauls in his 100+ yards and at least one touchdown.


This isn’t pretty, but I just need to say it.  Former Texas QB, now starting for the Mustangs, has earned the WORST grade of more than 40 QBs I’ve evaluated in 2012.  His grade of 54.8 is well behind the second worst, 65.4.

If and when Fresno State gets a lead tonight, the Mustangs simply do not have the fire power to come back.  In fact, I’d expect things to avalanche on Gilbert.