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Heisman Watch

Passing records ready to fall, if Rivers and Symons have their say 

Posted: Friday October 3, 2003 10:17AM; Updated: Friday October 3, 2003 11:12AM
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By Luke Winn, SI.com

Five numbers to ponder after Week 5:

• If Philip Rivers keeps passing at his current pace (and N.C. State goes to a bowl game), he would finish with 4,545 yards, good enough for 10th on the NCAA's all-time list for yards in a single season.

• Rivers' completion percentage -- currently 77.1 -- would be light-years above any of the QBs in that top 10 list, however. Ex-Louisiana Tech QB Tim Rattay would come in a distant second: He fired at a 68 percent clip for the Bulldogs in 1998.

• The current completion percentage record for a QB who has thrown more than 30 passes per game is 74.7, posted by D-II Valdosta State's Chris Hatcher in 1994. Rivers is averaging 36.6 attempts per game thus far.

• Texas Tech's B.J. Symons, although in a less efficient manner than Rivers, has thrown for 1,962 yards in just four games -- and broken Kliff Kingsbury's single-game record by putting up 661 yards against Ole Miss on Saturday.

• If Symons were to continue at his current pace of 490.5 yards per game (and the 3-1 Red Raiders play in a bowl), he would finish with 6,377 yards on the season, breaking Ty Detmer's single-season record by a grand total of 1,189 yards. Detmer threw for 5,188 yards at BYU in 1990.

On to this week's top five ...

1. Philip Rivers, QB, N.C. State, Sr.

Last week (vs. UNC): 23-of-30 passing, 423 yards, TD, 0 INT; 2 rushing TDs in 47-34 win
 Season (3-2)141-of-183 passing (77.1 percent), 1,748 yards, 12 TDs, 4 INTs

His arm is a well-documented asset -- but did you know he could run? Rivers scampered in for two scores against UNC, including a 14-yarder in the third quarter.

2. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Pittsburgh, So.

Last week (vs. Texas A&M): 7 catches, 135 yards, 3 TDs in 37-26 win
 Season (3-1): 32 catches, 583 yards (145.8 ypg), 9 TDs

As the touchdown-pass total of Panther quarterback Rod Rutherford keeps growing, you begin to wonder: How many of those were balls that no one other than Fitzgerald could pull down?

A la Michigan State superstar Charles Rogers in 2002, Fitzgerald is facing double and triple coverage on a regular basis -- and it's only making his highlight reel catches look that much more impressive.

3. B.J. Symons, QB, Texas Tech, Sr.

Last Week (vs. Ole Miss): 44-of-64 passing, 661 yards, 6 TDs, INT in 49-45 win
 Season (3-1): 143-of-219 passing (65.3 percent), 1,962 yards, 16 TDs, 4 INTs

Is it that wacky offense or the QB? That's the age-old question over the Red Raider offense. But one thing we do know -- whether it's the system or the QB, Symons is putting up bigger numbers than Kliff Kingsbury ever did.

4. Cedric Cobbs, RB, Arkansas, Sr.

Last week (vs. Alabama): 36 carries, 198 yards, TD in 34-31 OT win
 Season (4-0): 88 carries, 572 yards (140.5 ypg), 5 TDs

Cobbs has supplanted Chris Perry as the top running back on this list. He has yet to have a sub-100-yard game, and, even better, he comes to play when it counts -- 198 yards vs. 'Bama, 119 in an upset of Texas.

5. Walter Reyes, RB, Syracuse, Jr.

Last week (vs. Toledo): 17 carries, 162 yards, 2 TDs in 34-7 win
 Season (3-1): 92 carries, 681 yards (170.3 ypg), 10 TDs

Like Perry early on, the jury is still out on Reyes -- but he is the nation's leading rusher to date. Reyes followed up a 241-yard, four-TD show against Central Florida on Sept. 20 with admirable numbers against Toledo, despite sitting out a large part of the second half.

Notable omissions:

None this week.

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