Saturday Round Up: Week 9


Heisman Watch calls out the weekend’s polarizing performances and how they impact the Heisman Trophy race.

Check out the furnished results from the Heisman Calculator. The Heisman Calculator is a one-of-a-kind regression model that processes simulated 2016 Heisman votes. By using player and voter data from years past, we can identify statistical influencers that drive Heisman votes.

#Heisman CandidateTeamSimulated Heisman Votes
Jabrill PeppersMichigan?
Lamar JacksonLouisville1673
Deshaun WatsonClemson1485
J.T. BarrettOhio State200 - 550
Jake BrowningWashington1280
Donnel PumphreySan Diego St.550 - 650
Jalen HurtsAlabama200 - 550
Baker MayfieldOklahoma<250
Dalvin CookFlorida State<250
Mitch TrubiskyNorth Carolina200 - 550

Top Heisman-like Performances:

  • 2016 Heisman Trophy front-runner Lamar Jackson overcame a sluggish start to beat Virginia in dramatic fashion on national television. Not only did the final drive include a vital 4th & 3 conversion, but Jackson lofted a gutsy 29-yard TD pass to secure the win. Jackson ended the day with 90 rushing yards, 361 passing yards, and 4 TDs. Louisville had over 500 yards of total offense for the 8th time in its last 9 games. (BTW: If you enjoy impressive Louisville stats, be sure to follow @RealCardGame on Twitter)
  • After falling behind late in the 4th quarter, Deshaun Watson responds with a 5 play, 75-yard drive to retake the lead. Watson finishes with 378 passing yards & 2 TDs as Clemson takes down FSU, 37-34. Heisman Voters love seeing how QBs respond late in games. To put it simply, Watson has become the most clutch player in college football.  Expect to see Deshaun Watson on everyone’s Heisman radar this week.
  • QB Jake Browning and the Washington Huskies moved to 8-0 on the season with a win over 16th ranked Utah. This victory was important for Browning.  It validates Washington’s playoff mettle. (17 of the last 21 Heisman winners have played for teams ranked in the top five of the AP poll at the end of the regular season.) The play of the game was Browning’s pooch kick to the 1 yard line (hey, if Peppers gets credit for special teams, so should Browning.)  Mr. Efficient finished the day with 193 yards through the air and 2 TDs.
  • Google Trends shows “Donnel Pumphrey” is trending.  Pumphrey’s press coverage is certainly peaking and it’s all projecting positive vibes towards the Aztec superstar. On Friday evening, San Diego State beat Utah State 40-13. Donnel Pumphrey had 223 rushing yards on 32 carries. This is Pumphrey’s 4th 200-yard rushing game this season, most in FBS, no one else has more than 2 such games.  Pending a number of circumstances, Pumphrey will likely place 3rd,4th, or 5th on the majority of Heisman ballots come December.  This places Pumphrey on an intriuge bubble.  I think many would love to see him invited to New York.
  • Michigan’s monumental return to greatness is unanimously respected. Jabrill Peppers remains to be Michigan’s greatest asset. Big Blue never wastes an opportunity to utilize his talents.  Just today Peppers recorded 1 TD, 1 catch, 5 rushes [24 yards], a punt return, kick return, 7 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack.  Not to mention a 2 point defensive return and a cherry-on-top back flip to celebrate a Wolverine victory.

Honorable Mention:

  • Greg Ward Jr. and Lamar Jackson each doing their part today to keep that Houston-Louisville meeting as interesting as possible. If the Heisman race tightens up, Jackson would benefit  from playing the ranked Cougars in late November. Ward Jr. ran for 2 TDs and passed for another in the second half as Houston rallied from a 21-point third-quarter deficit to beat Central Florida 31-24.


  • J.T. Barrett didn’t run or throw for a touchdown. However, Barrett deserves a lot of credit.  For example, he converted on two third-and-longs that helped seal the win for the Buckeyes over Northwestern.

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