Heisman Watch: byes, upsets shakeup race

Matt McClain

Sports Blogger

@mattdmcclain

 

Lamar Jackson, quarterback, Louisville: 2,161 yards, 18 touchdowns, 908 rushing yards, 16 rushing touchdowns

Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson is still running away with the Heisman. (Nick Coffey, Flickr)
Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson is still running away with the Heisman.
(Nick Coffey, Flickr)

Can anyone stop this man? So far, no. North Carolina State sure tried, though. The Cardinals dismantled the Wolfpack 54-13 Saturday. Lamar Jackson put up four total touchdowns, three passing and one rushing. His production has been unprecedented. We’ve seen guys like Johnny Manziel, Marcus Mariota and Cam Newton put up great numbers as dual-threat quarterbacks, but no one has ever put up numbers like Jackson. I think Jackson has a legitimate shot at breaking the percentage of points record. Reggie Bush received 91.77 percent in 2005 (he won that Heisman, let’s not kid ourselves just because he gave it back). Louisville goes up against Virginia on Saturday.

 

Jake Browning, quarterback, Washington: 1,709 yards, 26 touchdowns

Browning has led the Huskies’ resurgence in 2016. They are poised to win their first Pac-12 title since 2000, when it was known as the Pac-10. The Huskies shared that title, by the way, with Oregon and Oregon State. Washington beat its 2000 co-champs, Oregon State, 41-17 Saturday. Browning led the way for Washington with three passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown. Browning kept up his seven-game streak of at least three total touchdowns. Washington takes on Utah on Saturday.

 

Deshaun Watson, quarterback, Clemson: 1,950 yards, 20 touchdowns

Watson and the Tigers were on a bye this week. Next week is Watson’s chance to shine, however. Clemson plays Florida State on Saturday in primetime. Watson must have an outstanding to performance to catch up to Jackson.

 

Donnel Pumphrey, running back, San Diego State: 1,246 rushing yards, 13 rushing touchdowns

A running back? You must think I’m crazy. Nope. Pumphrey is quietly having the most outstanding season for a running back. Pumphrey averages 178 yards per game and about two touchdowns. He maintained his insane production against San Jose State. Pumphrey rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns as the Aztecs beat the Spartans 42-3. Pumphrey isn’t receiving national attention because he plays at SDSU, but if he keeps up the pace, he will be a household name soon. SDSU takes on Utah State on Friday.

 

Jalen Hurts, quarterback, Alabama: 1,549 yards, 11 touchdowns, 521 rushing yards, nine rushing touchdowns

Hurts has been causing defenses pain all season. The latest victim was Texas A&M. The Crimson Tide took care of the Aggies 33-14. Hurts put up 164 yards through the air, 93 yards on the ground, two passing touchdowns and one rushing score. My best comparison to Hurts is Denard Robinson, except Hurts can throw 100 times better than Shoelace. Hurts needs to meet Jackson somewhere in the middle to contend for the trophy. Alabama has a bye next week.

 

Oklahoma State’s top candidate

Mason Rudolph, quarterback: 2,259 yards, 14 touchdowns

Rudolph whiffed big league in Lawrence, Kansas, on Saturday. The Cowboy signal caller should have destroyed the Jayhawk defense, but he put up only 220 yards and one touchdown. Despite Rudolph’s failure, OSU didn’t falter. The Cowboys won 44-20 behind the legs of Chris Carson and Justice Hill. Rudolph needs a miracle to get in the national conversation for the Heisman. Oh, and he needs Jackson’s production to fall off its Everest-like cliff. Rudolph faces unbeaten West Virginia for homecoming Saturday.

ozone@ocolly.com

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