By Joel Devick
Baker Mayfield, quarterback, Oklahoma: 27-for-35 386 yards, three touchdowns
People often associate players that have won the Heisman with a certain game, performance or moment from the season. Baker Mayfield planting the OU flag at midfield of Ohio Stadium on Saturday will surely be a lasting image for his campaign. Mayfield was superb in leading the No. 5 Sooners to a 31-16 victory over No. 2 Ohio State and finds himself atop the rankings this week. Mayfield will look to stuff the stats again Saturday against Tulane.
Josh Rosen, quarterback, UCLA: 22-for-25 329 yards, five touchdowns
It was going to be near impossible for Josh Rosen to improve on the thrilling comeback-leading performance he had against Texas A&M in Week 1, but he made a darn good attempt to. Rosen threw for more scores on less attempts Saturday against Hawai’i than against the Aggies. UCLA has been one of the more entertaining teams to watch with Rosen calling the shots, and he doesn’t look like he’ll slow down anytime soon. Saturday could bring trouble, though, with the Bruins’ first road game at Memphis.
Lamar Jackson, quarterback, Louisville: 25-for-39 393 yards, three touchdowns, 19 rushes, 132 yards, three touchdowns
Lamar Jackson, a junior, turned in another sparkling performance in an offensive shootout against a gritty North Carolina team. The Louisville signal caller looked particularly dangerous passing the ball, hitting receivers in stride for deep strikes and showing off some improved accuracy. Jackson also showed up running the ball and registered three scores, which was undoubtedly the key in getting the win. Saturday, the Cardinals and Jackson have a huge chance to make a statement as they host No. 3 Clemson.
Saquon Barkley, running back, Penn State: 14 rushes, 88 yards, one touchdown, four receptions, 45 yards, one touchdown
The rivalry matchup against Pittsburgh brought out a good performance from junior Saquon Barkley, but he has fallen after better performances from the quarterbacks ahead of him. Penn State’s talisman showed off some versatility with a nifty 46-yard touchdown reception and was a threat as a receiver as much as he was a runner. Barkley has been helped a lot by his quarterback, Trace McSorley, who is putting up a bit of a Heisman campaign of his own, but the Nittany Lions offense begins with Barkley. Saturday will be another lopsided matchup against Gerogia State.
Sam Darnold, quarterback, USC: 21-for-26, 316 yards, four touchdowns, two interceptions
Sam Darnold rebounded from a bad performance against Western Michigan by playing well against a good Stanford team in the Trojans’ win Saturday night. Darnold will need to cut down on his interceptions and the mistakes he’s had in the early going if he hopes to climb the rankings. Saturday offers a chance for the sophomore to show out against a high profile opponent as Texas comes to the Los Angeles Coliseum.
Oklahoma State’s top candidate
Mason Rudolph, quarterback: 25-for-38, 335 yards, three touchdowns
Mason Rudolph has been the most consistent player on this list by far. The leader of the Cowboys was terrific in their blowout win over South Alabama on Friday. The senior quarterback has two goal-line sneak touchdowns in two games. Rudolph is on pace for a 36-touchdown, zero-interception season, which is definitely a Heisman-worthy campaign, but he will need to stay consistent come conference play in order to get to New York.