Fresno State players to watch vs. Boise State

ccripe@idahostatesman.comSeptember 20, 2013 

Fresno State wide receiver Davante Adams made five catches for 52 yards and a touchdown against Boise State last year.

KEITH KOUNTZ — Courtesy of Fresno State

DAVANTE ADAMS, WIDE RECEIVER

Adams, who was the Mountain West Freshman of the Year in 2012, carries a school- and Mountain West-record 10-game streak with a touchdown catch into Friday’s game. The NCAA record is 18 by Pittsburgh’s Larry Fitzgerald.

Adams has 85 catches for 1,054 yards and 14 touchdowns during that stretch — less than a full season.

“He’s an NFL player, without question,” Boise State coach Chris Petersen said Monday. “He needs to leave tomorrow.”

Adams will face a Boise State secondary that is young at cornerback and has allowed 8.3 yards per attempt (the Broncos’ offense averages 6.7).

“(Adams) has great hands and he seems to get open,” Boise State sophomore safety Darian Thompson said. “So it’ll be interesting.”

DERRON SMITH, SAFETY

Smith, a junior, was named the Mountain West preseason defensive player of the year. He finished last season with 79 tackles, six interceptions, two pass breakups, a forced fumble and a touchdown.

He has carried that momentum into 2013 with 12 tackles and an interception through two games.

“He’s one of those guys who when the ball is in the air he’s going to come down with it,” Boise State offensive coordinator Robert Prince said. “Our guys know that and they’re up for the challenge.”

DEREK CARR, QUARTERBACK

Carr owns the second-best touchdown-to-interception ratio among active quarterbacks at 71 to 17. He has thrown for at least 3,500 yards and 26 touchdowns each of the past two seasons — including 37 TDs last year.

He operates a fast-paced spread offense and chucked the ball all over Bulldog Stadium in the season-opening win against Rutgers. Carr was 52-of-73 for 456 yards and five touchdowns — giving him the sixth-most completions in college football history.

Carr also can run (4.56-second 40-yard dash) this year. He was injured most of last season.

“We’re giving him a lot more authority on the field,” coach Tim DeRuyter said. “When we want to go fast, we’ve allowed him to make a lot more play calls at this point than we did a year ago. I think he enjoys that part of it and he’s done a good job with it.”

More on Friday's game between Boise State and Fresno State

More than just a win at stake for Broncos

Bulldogs taking a different approach this time around

Boise State players to watch

Game breakdown

Mountain West Power Poll

Improved ground attack fuels Boise State's offense

Brian Murphy: The end of great defense?

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