POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Dec 19, 2012
The way Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr looks at it, everything he wants in 2013 — a national ranking, a shot at the Heisman Trophy, his name in the Bulldogs' ring of honor, etc. — starts at Aloha Stadium Christmas Eve.
Carr, the Mountain West Conference offensive player of the year in 2012, hopes to make a personal and team statement about '13 beginning with the Dec. 24 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl against Southern Methodist.
"I look at it as a start for next year," said Carr, whose Bulldogs arrive in Honolulu today. "This has a lot to do with, I guess, how people rank you to start next season and all that good stuff."
The 9-3 Bulldogs have been receiving votes but have yet to crack the Top 25 of the major polls and hope a 10th victory, over the Mustangs on ESPN, will be the platform to change that.
Carr said, "we're looking forward to this game for our seniors as well. It is kind of a mixture of both. But this game will help us out for next year."
Until the final regular season game, there had been speculation about whether Carr would return for a senior season or seek to join his brother David, an 11-year NFL veteran out of Fresno State, in the pros. David was a first round pick of Houston in 2002 and fifth-place Heisman finisher in 2001.
"The NFL is going to be there and you only get to attend college once and I wanted to come back and be the best Bulldog ever to play (at Fresno State)," Derek said. "I don't mean that in an arrogant way, just in a confident way as a competitor. I want to be known as the best player to play here. I want to get my jersey retired and get put up on the ring of fame in (Bulldog) Stadium and try to win the Heisman Trophy. I want all of those things and I know if I came back and just worked hard, I'd have a chance at those kind of things."
Carr's spectacular 2012 has included single-season Mountain West records for most total offense (2,716 yards), most completions (219), most passing yards (2,679) and most passing touchdowns (27).