C-USA QBs Carden, Cato Good As Advertised
By Dan Harralson
We are entering week number four of the 2013 college football season.
Rakeem Cato and Shane Carden entered the season as the quote, unquote best quarterbacks in Conference USA. Three weeks into the season, they are both playing to preseason expectations.
East Carolina is coming off a disappointing and heartbreaking loss to Virginia Tech. The Hokies escaped with a 15-10 win. The Pirates took care of business in week one by defeating future Conference USA foe, Old Dominion, and winning their C-USA opener 31-13 over FAU.
Marshall enters the week preparing for Virginia Tech themselves. However, The Thundering Herd are coming off a 34-31 loss to Ohio. Marshall's two wins came against Miami (OH), 52-14, and Gardner-Webb, 55-0.
Strength of schedule goes to East Carolina early, but lets look closely at the two quarterbacks.
Shane Carden has 796 passing yards and eight passing touchdowns.
Rakeem Cato has thrown for 849 passing yards, 16th-best nationally, and seven touchdowns.
The FBS leader is Cal's Jared Goff, who has thrown for 1,306 passing yards and is one of only three quarterbacks to eclipse four figures on the young season. Sean Mannion of Oregon State (1,237) and Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater (1,002) are the other two.
The defining statistic to look at is completion percentage and interceptions. Cato checks into week four with a 63.6-percent completion rate and he's thrown two interceptions. Carden has a 74.5-percent completion rate and has thrown three picks.
These two quarterbacks are essentially on par with expectations so far. Cato gets his shot at Virginia Tech this week and then we will wait and see how these two highly-touted quarterbacks compare throughout conference play.