Heisman Watch Week 3: Fournette returns

Matt McClain

Sports Blogger

@mattdmcclain

 

QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville (61 percent passes completed, 913 yards, eight touchdowns; 464 rushing yards, 10 rushing yards)

His performance is unreal. No one has been as effective both in and out of the pocket. Even Michael Vick said Jackson is five times better than he was at Virginia Tech. Jackson was electric against Florida State. He rushed for four touchdowns, and when he wasn’t scampering for touchdowns, he looked poised in the pocket. Jackson has an enormous lead, but can’t stop delivering great performances. Next week, Jackson will lead the Cardinals to Marshall to face the Thundering Herd.

QB J.T. Barrett, Ohio State (67.1 percent passes completed, 650 yards, 10 touchdowns; 159 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns)

J.T. Barrett led the Buckeyes into Norman, and they demolished Oklahoma. The game wasn’t close. Barrett usually is dangerous as a dual-threat quarterback, but against the Sooners, he only needed to throw the ball well to earn a victory. Barrett made a statement Saturday night, and has the chance to inflate his numbers soon. Ohio State has a bye next week, but after that, the Buckeyes face Big Ten cellar dweller Rutgers.

RB Christian McCaffrey, Stanford (291 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns)

In last year’s matchup with USC, McCaffrey dominated the Trojan defense. This year, it was more of the same. McCaffrey ran for 165 yards, and scored twice. One of those touchdowns was a receiving touchdown. McCaffrey is dangerous because he is so versatile. About 25 percent of his offensive production comes from receiving. Don’t forget about his ability on kick returns. McCaffrey will go up against the other Los Angeles team, UCLA, next week.

QB Jalen Hurts, Alabama (61.5 percent passes completed, 563 yards, four touchdowns; 197 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns)

Hurts was good, not great this week. Against Ole Miss, he did not find the end zone, but he was still effective. Hurts had 158 yards passing, and 146 yards rushing. Despite the lackluster performance, Alabama came back and defeated Ole Miss after trailing 24-3. Hurts gets a break next week when the Crimson Tide play Kent State.

RB Leonard Fournette, LSU (285 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns)

Leonard Fournette returned to form this week against Mississippi State. (Javi Magdiel Fernández / Flickr)
Leonard Fournette returned to form this week against Mississippi State. (Javi Magdiel Fernández / Flickr)

Fournette returned this week after an ankle injury kept him from playing Week 2. This was the first week we saw the true Fournette. Against Wisconsin, he was not healthy, and it showed in his performance. After taking the second week off, Fournette returned to form. He rushed for 147 yards, and scored twice. Fournette had the nastiest stiff arm I’ve ever seen. Fournette and the Tigers will travel to Auburn next week.

OSU’s Top Candidate

QB Mason Rudolph (62.3 percent passes completed, 1,017 yards, six touchdowns)

Mason Rudolph set records Saturday against Pitt, but he's not much closer to Heisman contention. (Devin Wilber / O'Colly)
Mason Rudolph set records Saturday against Pitt, but he’s not much closer to Heisman contention. (Devin Wilber / O’Colly)

Rudolph set the Oklahoma State school record for passing yards against Pittsburgh this week. However, it will take performances similar to that every week for Rudolph to be considered for the Heisman trophy. He would also have to lead the Cowboys to playoff contention, which is unlikely. Rudolph and the Cowboys head to Waco, Texas, next week to take part in what figures to be a shootout against Baylor.

ozone@ocolly.com

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