Derek Carr passes for 527 yards, 7 TDs in Fresno State win

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No. 15 Fresno State (10-0, 7-0 MWC) blew away New Mexico (3-8, 1-6 MWC) Saturday afternoon by a score of 69-28. The win keeps the Bulldogs within reach of a BCS bowl spot and will likely be more than enough to keep them in front of Northern Illinois in the competition for an automatic BCS bowl berth.

Fresno State quarterback went off against the overmatched Lobos. Carr ended his afternoon with 527 yards and seven touchdowns before getting a rest. The 527 passing yards was a season high for the Golden arm award finalist, but not a career high. Carr passed for 536 yards in a 2012 game against San Diego State. This was a career day for Carr though as he topped his previous career high of five touchdowns by two.

Carr had quite the supporting cast in the field of course. Davanta Adams led all players with 246 yards and four touchdowns. Josh Harper added 162 yards and three touchdowns and Isaiah Burse was the third Bulldog with 100 receiving yards with 112 yards. New Mexico combined on offense for 325 yards, to put that all in perspective.

Frenso State wraps up their regular season next week at San Jose State. The Spartans were upended by Navy Friday night and are now ineligible for the postseason so San Jose State will be playing for pride and a mega upset in the Mountain West Conference. Fresno State is already locked in to the first ever Mountain West Conference championship game and will likely host Boise State for the conference title. Fresno State defeated Boise earlier in the year. Winning the next two games will likely send Fresno State to their first BCS bowl game as well.

Fresno State needs to finish in the top 16 of the BCS standings and ahead of any other non-AQ conference champion (Northern Illinois) and another AQ conference champion (Central Florida). Right now, Fresno State satisfies that requirement, but they must continue to play well to stay ahead of the competition. Whether you believe Fresno State is better than either of those teams or not, the system is probably not going to shake up too much if Fresno State keeps winning. Maybe Central Florida is better. Maybe Northern Illinois is better. One thing is for sure though. Fresno State’s aerial attack is going to be nearly impossible to slow down in the next couple of weeks, so those debates may not matter much.

Alabama QB Jalen Hurts uses photo of Clemson celebrating title win as motivational phone background

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Nick Saban said last week that the loss to Clemson in the the national championship game earlier this year is one that he’ll never get over, although he didn’t go so far as to compare it to a death in the family. One playing member of Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide team is taking to steps to ensure that he never forgets, either.

Jalen Hurts was the Tide’s talented true freshman starting quarterback who helped lead ‘Bama into the title game and, with a 30-yard touchdown run with just over two minutes left, gave his team a 31-28 lead. That lead was short-lived, however, as Deshaun Watson led his Tigers on an epic 88-yard drive that was capped by his two-yard touchdown pass with just one tick left on the clock for the 35-31 win.

The stunning last-second loss is something that Hurts makes a conscious effort to remind himself of daily as the rising sophomore, as the background on his smartphone, has a picture of Clemson players celebrating their win.

“We’re obviously all on our phones all the time,” Hurts said according to al.com after this past weekend’s spring game. “Every time I unlock it, it’s kind of a reminder. It kind of humbles me and keeps me motivated. …

“It’s not a grudge at all. It’s just something that keeps it on the back of your shoulder like, yeah, it’s still there. Remember why you’re doing it because at the end of the day, the goal for this team is to win the national championship.

Father of former Florida State WR Travis Rudolph killed in accidental shooting

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The father of Florida State wide receiver Travis Rudolph was killed Friday in an accidental shooting, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement on Monday.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, Darryl Rudolph was working on repairs inside a West Palm Beach, Fla., when a gun accidentally fired in an adjacent room, hitting him in the back/neck area. He was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 55 years old.

The younger Rudolph was Florida State’s leading receiver over the past two seasons before becoming an early-entrant into this week’s NFL Draft. He gained viral notoriety after a photo snapped of him sitting at lunch with an autistic elementary school student hit Facebook.

“When I used to coach and help other kids with football, basketball and sports, Travis was small but he used to pay attention to what I was doing,” the elder Rudolph said in an interview with ESPN last year. “I told them get your education. You can be the best athlete in the world, but without an education, you’re not going very far. That’s what Travis followed through on.”

LSU QB Danny Etling undergoes back surgery

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LSU quarterback Danny Etling has undergone surgery to relieve back pain, the program announced Monday.

“Danny had a minor back procedure this morning and everything went alright,” head coach Ed Orgeron said in a statement (and not in an Arrested Development way).

Etling has played through back pain for months, according to Ross Dellenger from The Advocate, and this procedure should remove that pain.

In a possibly related story, Etling went 4-of-11 for 53 yards in LSU’s spring game.

A transfer from Purdue, Etling appeared in 11 games for the Tigers last season, completing 160-of-269 passes (59.5 percent) for 2,123 yards (7.9 yards per attempt) with 11 touchdowns against five interceptions.

Etling’s recovery from Monday’s procedure is expected to be a short one.

Willie Taggart defends Oregon’s offseason workouts in interview

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Things got off to a rocky start for new Oregon head coach Willie Taggart. Among the issues Taggart was forced to deal with soon after accepting the job of head coach at Oregon was players falling ill during and after offseason workouts.

Three Ducks were hospitalized in January to treat symptoms of rhabdomyolysis, a product of overworking leading to soft tissue and possible kidney damage. Oregon suspended strength and conditioning coach Irele Oderinde following the hospital treatments to players, and questions about his certification were thrust under a microscope. Despite the unfortunate situation in Eugene, Taggart has defended his program’s workout routine in an interview with Stewart Mandel of FOXSports.com.

“We know we didn’t do anything to try to hurt our kids. We’d done [the same program] everywhere we’ve been and never had a problem,” Taggart explained in the interview. “I think our guys just overworked themselves and didn’t hydrate. … They were trying to impress the new coaches.”

It seems Taggart has been trying to raise the bar at Oregon and find a way to make his new players tougher overall. That is a common strategy for a new coach in a new program, so Taggart’s mission is not unique in that sense.

Maybe it was just a tough physical transition in the approach to workouts after years of Chip Kelly and Mark Helfrich running the show. Will this all pay off in the end? Taggart sure hopes so.