Nevada quarterback Carson Strong won the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year honor, the league announced Tuesday.
Strong is the first underclassman to ever win the award in Mountain West history and the first Pack player to win the award since Nevada joined the conference in 2012. He joins teammate Toa Taua as the second to earn a Mountain West “Of The Year” award, who won the conference’s Freshman of the Year award in 2018.
The 6-foot-4 signal caller put together a dominant campaign, completing 227-of-327 (69.4 percent) for 2,587 yards, 22 touchdowns and four interceptions in eight regular season games. He led the Mountain West in passing yards, completions, completion percentage and touchdowns, while placing second in passing yards per game (323.4 ypg) and passing efficiency rating (155.6).
He ranked in the top-25 among all FBS quarterbacks each of those aforementioned statistics — including in the Top-10 in completions, completion percentage, passing yards and yards per contest.
Strong also ranks third in the Mountain West in ESPN’s total QBR metric, trailing Boise State’s Hank Bachmeier and SJSU’s Nick Starkel.
Strong utilized his big arm and pinpoint accuracy to lead one of the most explosive aerial attacks in the country. He recorded 18 30-yard passing plays; 11 of 40-plus yards; nine of 50-plus and three of 60-plus — all ranking in the Top-15 nationally. Just one quarterback (Matt Corral - Ole Miss.: 10) had more 50-plus yard passing plays than Strong.
The Vacaville, Calif., native won two of the eight Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week awards this season. He registered five 300-yard and two 400-yard games. Against Fresno State, he became the ninth quarterback in program history (first since Colin Kaepernick in 2010) to throw five touchdowns in a single game.
Nevada’s total offense (436.6 ypg) is No. 31 nationally and No. 10 in passing offense (325.1 ypg), in large part due to Strong’s performance.
The Pack will take on the Tulane Greenwave in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Dec. 22 at 12:30 p.m. PST. It will be in Boise, Idaho and will be aired on ESPN.
Here is a full list of the five Mountain West awards earned:
- Offensive Player of the Year – Carson Strong, So., QB — Nevada
- Defensive Player of the Year – Cade Hall, Jr., DL — San José State
- Special Teams Player of the Year - Avery Williams, Sr., RS — Boise State
- Freshman of the Year – Kyle Williams, WR — UNLV
- Coach of the Year – Brent Brennan — San José State