Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville: 1,625 yards, 14 touchdowns, 688 rushing yards, 14 rushing touchdowns
The Cardinals lost their matchup with Clemson but the loss wasn’t Jackson’s fault. He put up three touchdowns for the Louisville offense. His season total now sits at 28 touchdowns. Jackson still scores more than most FBS teams. Jackson’s ability to run and throw is something rarely seen, and voters have shown their appreciation for dual-threat quarterbacks in the past. Jackson’s lead is smaller this week but still significant. Jackson will face Duke on Saturday.
Desaun Watson, QB, Clemson: 1,302 yards, 14 touchdowns
Watson led the way for Clemson in its 42-36 victory against Louisville on Saturday. Watson threw for 306 yards and five touchdowns. He needs to watch his turnovers, though. Watson threw three interceptions, and in a one-score games, the Tigers can’t afford mistakes. The Heisman typically goes to a member of a contending team. The turnovers could take them out of contention. Clemson plays Boston College on Saturday.
Jake Browning, QB, Washington: 1,114 yards, 17 touchdowns
You want to talk about a dethroning? Then, let’s talk about how Browning and the Huskies destroyed Christian McCaffrey and Stanford 44-6 on Friday night. Not only did Browning steal Stanford’s title hopes, but he also stole McCaffrey’s spot in the Heisman watch. Browning was terrific. He threw for 210 yards and three touchdowns. Washington has the firepower, with Browning leading the way, to make a playoff run. The Huskies square off with Oregon on Saturday.
Seth Russell, QB, Baylor: 1,326 yards, 14 touchdowns;, 234 rushing yards, three touchdowns
It was a close call for the Bears this week. Iowa State had Baylor’s number, but the Bears escaped with a 45-42 victory after Chris Callahan kicked a game-winning field goal as time expired. Russell had a good game, though. He put up three touchdowns – one passing and two rushing. The Baylor offense is dangerous, and its leader, Russell, has a good chance to be the first Heisman winner at Baylor since Robert Griffin III in 2011. Russell will inflate his stats Saturday when the Bears play Kansas.
J.T. Barrett, QB, Ohio State: 888 yards, 14 touchdowns, 205 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns
Barrett and the Buckeyes played Rutgers on Saturday. Barrett tallied four touchdowns in the 58-0 thrashing. Barrett also secured the record for most passing touchdowns in the program’s history. Barrett has lower numbers than other Heisman hopefuls, but that’s because the Buckeyes had a bye week. Ohio State faces Indiana on Saturday.
Oklahoma State’s top candidate
Mason Rudolph, QB: 1,688 yards, nine touchdowns
Rudolph bounced back Saturday against the Longhorns. Rudolph didn’t throw a touchdown the previous week against Baylor,but tossed three against Texas. Rudolph has been terrific so far in 2016, and he should benefit from the Cowboys’ improved run game. Rudolph is not in the Heisman conversation but could be if some miracles happen. He would need to will OSU to playoff contention, and the top teams would need to fall off their impressive pace. Rudolph will see Iowa State on the other side of the ball Saturday.