Heisman Watch calls out the weekend’s polarizing performances and how they impact the Heisman Trophy race.
Top Heisman-like Performances:
- Is LamarJackson@HeismanWatch.com taken because he might as well have a domain here? All ‘Tecmo’ Lamar Jackson did on Saturday against Marshall was rack up 479 yards of total offense and seven touchdowns. That’s all. Just 25 total td’s through the first four games, the most in FBS history since 2000. That’s all.
- Someone needs credit for one of the more impressive starts in college football. Texas A&M beat #16 UCLA in overtime, they won impressively at Auburn (who just beat LSU), and Saturday the Aggies thumped #17 Arkansas. Quarterback Trevor Knight had 382 yards of total offense (157 rushing) and four td’s. On the year Knight is averaging 340 total ypg and three td’s per game. Not bad for a school and head coach that produced a Heisman trophy winner some four years ago.
- Michigan’s universal soldier Jabrill Peppers returned a punt 53 yards. Obviously his impact affects the game more than one single punt return. But there really are no stats for how an opposing team tries to completely avoid a guy. The one stat that really works in Peppers favor is #4 Michigan crushing Penn St. 49-10.
- In least surprising news #6 Houston blew out Texas St. 64-3. Greg Ward Jr. padded his stats with his most accurate day of the year, 20/26, 289 yards and two td’s. He also rushed for 39 yards and a score. More of this to come as Houston doesn’t play a currently ranked team until Nov. 17th when Louisville visits H-Town.
- Another day at the office for Stanford stallion Christian McCaffrey with 138 yards rushing in a barn burner at UCLA. He’s not on the Heisman Watch list but the final two-minute drive the length of the field by Stanford QB Ryan Burns was an absolute thing of beauty. Disregard the 22-13 score, this game wasn’t decided until about 8 seconds were left on the clock.
- Interesting to see how the Heisman voters analyze this performance. Florida St. preseason Heisman hopeful Dalvin Cook had an ineffective 228 yards through three games on 4.6 ypc heading into Saturday’s game against an overwhelmed South Florida team. Cook destroyed the Bulls defense with 267 yards rushing, two td’s and another 62 yards receiving. Do we want consistency or single game dominance? Regardless hat’s off to you Dalvin Cook.
- Against the #1 defensive team before Saturday, Tennessee needed a big performance from one of their big time players, especially when they were down 21-3 at half to the Florida Gators. QB Joshua Dobbs threw for four td’s and 319 yards and also ran 80 yards and another td for a team who was on the verge of getting humiliated at home. Tennessee won 38-28.
- Baylor QB Seth Russell with 452 total yards of offense and four touchdowns. For a team that faced so much off-field turmoil this summer, the Baylor Bears have brushed off the doubters and are 4-0 and don’t face a formidable foe until Oct. 29th @ Texas.
- Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly will be the Heisman candidate that refuses to go away. Kelly and Ole Miss are two blown 21+ point leads from being the #1 team in the country. We shouldn’t use “what if’s” when evaluating a Heisman candidate but that’s an interesting fact. Saturday Kelly was on point once again. Kelly was 18/24, 282 yards passing, two td’s throwing, 43 yards rushing and another score on the ground. The Rebels still have a legitimate shot at winning the SEC and making the National Semifinal Playoffs. Despite the shaky start, look out for the Rebel without a cause.
- Georgia looked overmatched right from the start. The entire running game was pretty much useless after falling behind 31-0 at halftime. Consequentially Nick Chubb and his 57 yards rushing, third on the team that day, won’t sit well with Heisman voters.
- Home losses are never a good thing. Home losses against an unranked team are never a good thing. A 1-3 start is definitely not a good thing. Deshone Kizer as a legitimate Heisman candidate as of right now is definitely not a good thing. That’s tough to say to guy who racked up 440 yards of offense and three td’s, but the stats look dismal when placed side-by-side with the 1-3 Irish record.
- LSU’s Leonard Fournette had 101 yards rushing and it couldn’t have felt less impressive for a guy who was almost everyone’s preseason Heisman winner. The Tigers lost nail-biter at Auburn on Saturday, but Fournette is further away from the Heisman than he has been in a long, long time.