It's Official: Durant Top Quarterback in ACC

Chapel Hill, N.C. -- On Wednesday, University of North Carolina quarterback Darian Durant officially became the Atlantic Coast Conference's 2003 total offense leader, averaging 285.8 yards per game. For the first time ever, bowl games were factored into the final season statistics and Durant had to wait until the completion of NC State's bowl game vs. Notre Dame to claim the statistical championship.

Many may wonder how Durant qualified for the ACC statistics despite only playing in 67 percent (8 of 12) of Carolina's games this season. According to the ACC football media guide, a player must have played in at least 75 percent of his team's games played to qualify for leadership in yearly categories. The one exception to the 75 percent rule is when a player, who played in less than 75 percent of his team's games, has enough yardage, receptions, points, etc., that when divided by the minimum number of games (to qualify for the 75 percent minimum) would still lead the conference in per game average. This rule is only applied if the player in question would lead the league in a statistical category, not finish 2-3-4, etc.

An explanation is in order.

Durant had 2,286 total yards in eight games for a 285.8 per game average. Add a ninth game to make him eligible on a 12-game season, and divide the 2,288 yards by the nine games which would result in a 254.0 per game average. Because no one else in the ACC ended up with a better per game average than Durant, he is designated the total offense champion with his original 285.6 per game average. NC State's Philip Rivers finished second with 246.6 yards per game.

Although he does not meet the 75 percent minimum qualifying mark nationally, Durant's 285.8 yards per game and 145.2 pass efficiency rating would each rank 10th in the country.

Durant passed for more than 230 yards in seven of eight games in 2002, including a school-record 417 yards and five touchdowns in a win over bowl-bound Arizona State.

In just two seasons at UNC, and after making just 10 career starts, Durant has made quite a dent in the Carolina record book. He already ranks first in career completion percentage (.614), second in career touchdowns (33), fourth in career passing yards (3,966), sixth in career total offense (4,255) and seventh in career completions (289).

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