Feb 23, 2020

Harper plays pivotal role in Carr’s record night

Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr broke another record Saturday night in the Bulldogs’ 41-23 win over Nevada at Bulldog Stadium.

Wide receiver Josh Harper played a starring role.

Harper caught a 17 passes for 253 yards – both career highs – and two touchdowns to help Carr break Fresno State’s all-time record for career passing yards.

“It’s the best game I’ve ever had – ever.”

Carr, who entered the game needing 475 passing yards to break Kevin Sweeney’s record (which had stood since 1986), completed 39 of 55 passes for 487 yards and three touchdowns. He finished the night as Fresno State’s all-time career passing leader before a sold-out Blackout crowd at Bulldog Stadium.

“It means a heck of whole lot,” Carr said. “It really does, especially with big brother here to witness it. That’s something that I told him. I wanted to go there and make sure our names were at the top of our record books.”

Said Fresno State coach Tim DeRuyter: “I’m really happy for him. DC will tell you that the number one thing we worry about is winning. I do think it’s nice that he was able to break the record here at home on Blackout with a sellout crowd. I think it played nicely, but we didn’t talk about breaking the record.”

Carr and Harper started the night with a bang. On the first play of the game, Carr threw a triple pass – a lateral to Isaiah Burse who threw it back to Carr who threw it to Harper for a 57-yard gain, Carr’s longest throw of the night.

Carr broke the record in the fourth quarter with 1:38 remaining on a 27-yard strike to Harper that set up a 3-yard Marteze Waller touchdown run.

It was Carr’s final throw of the game.

“Just like ‘Te or Burse having a big night, all three of those guys work so hard,” Carr said. “They have to decide who they want to cover. They have to decide who they want to double-team, who they’re going to roll their coverage to, and it just happened to be Harp tonight.

“Again, I’m not going to force feed anybody, I’m going to go out there, read the defense and see it how I see it. I have complete trust that Harp can have 20 catches every game. I have complete trust that all those guys can. It just happened to be Harp tonight, and he deserves it because he works his tail off.”

Saturday was the second straight home game in which Carr broke school records.

In the Bulldogs’ 38-14 win against UNLV on Oct. 19, Carr set the record for most touchdown passes (86) and completions (849 on 1,278 pass attempts) in a career. In that game, sophomore Davante Adams caught eight passes for 221 yards and four touchdowns.

This game, it was Harper who hauled in the majority of the yardage.

“That’s one of the reasons why I had a big game,” Harper said. “Davante and Isaiah take a lot of pressure off of me. … A lot of teams focus on Davante. He’s a great player, as well as Isaiah. I just have to have to step up when I’m called upon.”

Previous Story Fresno State is part of 'Next Fresno' article thumbnail mt-3

Fresno State is part of 'Next Fresno'

Next Story Castain leads ‘Dogs to Mountain West Tournament article thumbnail mt-3

Castain leads ‘Dogs to Mountain West Tournament