Thanks to himself for setting the bar so astronomically high, Lamar Jackson’s statistical efforts this season are going relatively unnoticed. Jackson is ranked 11th in passing YPG with over 300 passing YPG. Rushing, much of the same. Jackson is ranked 17th with over 117 rushing YPG. Once again, Jackson is leading the country in total offense with 417 YPG, that’s 38 yards better than the next closest player, Mason Rudolph. With 36 total TD’s, 21 through the air and 15 on the ground Jackson is easily among one of the leaders in total touchdowns responsible for…again.
The only knock on Jackson from becoming only the 2nd player to repeat as Heisman winner is that his team hasn’t been as successful as last season’s team. But it’s quite a reach to blame Jackson for any of Louisville’s lack of success. In the Cardinals’ four losses Jackson has averaged 452 total YPG and 3.75 TD’s per game. The Cards’ D however, has given up an average of 43.25 points per game for those four losses. What’s a guy to do?
Heralded as last years’ Lamar Jackson, Arizona’s sophomore QB Khalil Tate has been the best runner in college football averaging over 201 rushing YPG and arguably the best player over the last six games. Arizona has completely changed their offensive scheme in part to Tate’s ability to take it to the house, they’ve thrown the ball less. In the six games in which Tate’s started, he’s averaged only 16 pass attempts per game. The previous four games the Wildcats averaged 29 attempts per game. The result, a 5-1 record with the only loss coming on the road at PAC-12 preseason favorite – USC.
Which begs the question, why wasn’t Tate the starting QB from day one? Was this explosive talent not on display in practice? It’s not like Arizona has a dominant run defense (166.7 rushing YPG) that was able to contain Tate’s talents during scrimmages. Confusing at best.
If we take this six-game sample size and put into a 12 game season, Tate is arguably the favorite for the Heisman. Tate’s 12-game seasonal output would look like this:
- 2,412 rushing yards
- 22 rushing TD’s
- 1,914 passing yards
- 16 passing TD’s
- Total: 4,326 yards and 38 TD’s
For reference, 2016 Heisman winner Lamar Jackson totaled 5,114 yards and 51 TD’s.
Safe bet to think that Tate will be the Heisman preseason favorite for 2018. Don’t think too highly of that achievement because Sam Darnold was this season’s Heisman preseason favorite.