Fifth-year senior Dylan Thompson enters his final year with a secure hold on the starting quarterback job. With the expectation being that he would start at least all twelve regular season games, here’s a look at where he might finish among career passing leaders at Carolina.
From a passing attempts standpoint, it’s probably a safe conservative attempt to expect him to pass Dondrial Pinkins for tenth place. Pinkins had 504 attempts, meaning Thompson would need 286. He’ll need 416 to pass Bobby Fuller for ninth, an average of 35 attempts over 12 games. Completions-wise, he could pass Tommy Suggs (9th place, 355) and Fuller (8th, 373). Thompson currently has 118 career completions. Anthony Wright is in seventh place with 432 and reaching that seems unlikely.
In career passing yards, Thompson currently stands with 1,827. I don’t know that he can hit 3,000 yards this year (250 per game for 12 games) but if he does he’ll sit tenth all-time, behind Bobby Fuller (4,896) and Tommy Suggs (4,916). Twenty touchdown passes would put him in a similar range. Thompson has fourteen career TDs right now, tied with Ron Bass and Allen Mitchell for 18th place. Getting to 34 TDs would put him in a tie with Tommy Suggs for seventh, so I could easily see him slipping into sixth place. Thompson would need 24 touchdown passes to reach a tie for fifth with Blake Mitchell and Anthony Wright – a number that’s within reach. It’s unlikely he would be able to reach Stephen Garcia in fourth place, as he’ll need 33 scoring tosses this year to reach Garcia.
With an experienced offensive line, plenty of weapons at running back and wide receiver and a track record (though limited) of success, all the pieces are in place for Thompson to have a big senior year. The biggest challenges to his numbers will likely be the success of the ground game – USC has three tailbacks who have rushed for 100 yards in a game and expectations remain very high for fourth stringer David Williams after his redshirt year – and the continued maturation of receivers like Shaq Roland and Pharoh Cooper.