By Joel Devick
Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State – last week’s stats: 17 rushes, 75 yards, two touchdowns
Saquon Barkley has had so many unreal performances this year that the good ones start to look average. In Saturday’s game against Northwestern, it took Barkley some time to get going, but when he did, he put up more respectable numbers. Normally, it can be counted upon that Barkley will have a highlight reel play, and right on cue was a game breaking 53-yard touchdown scamper in the third quarter. The next three games for the Nittany Lions will be against the other ranked East division Big Ten teams, so look for Barkley to try and stake his claim in those big games coming up
Luke Falk, QB, Washington State – last week’s stats: 24-for-42 282 yards, three touchdowns
Luke Falk and Mike Leach are on a mission. Washington State is having one of its best years in program history because of the steady hand of senior Falk and slightly unorthodox leadership of coach Leach. Falk picked apart a good Oregon team last Saturday and now has exactly 2,000 yards and 19 touchdowns on the year. With other quarterbacks faltering on the list, Falk is rapidly rising and should continue to do so.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma – last week’s stats: 24-for-33 306 yards, two touchdowns, 11 rushes, 57 yards, one touchdown
Although Baker Mayfield was not bad by any stretch of the imagination, a quarterback’s chances at the Heisman can live and die with the performance of his team. Mayfield got no help from his porous defense on Saturday, as Iowa State shocked the Sooners in Norman. Mayfield has been superb in games up to now, but with the Sooners now needing to get their act together as a team, more will be expected of Mayfield in the coming weeks.
Bryce Love, RB, Stanford – last week’s stats: 20 rushes, 152 yards, one touchdown
Utah’s tough defense proved no match for Bryce Love. Despite the close game, Love rushed for 152 yards and was the catalyst of Stanford’s offense. The final six games of the Cardinal schedule are grueling, so Love will need to keep his game at a high level and have a few more games like his 301-yard performance against Arizona State to stay in the national conversation.
Kenny Hill, QB, TCU – last week’s stats: 15-for-28 188 yards, one touchdown, seven rushes, 28 yards, one touchdown, one reception, 45 yards, one touchdown
Kenny Hill truly did it all in the Horned Frogs’ clash with West Virginia. Hill became the second player in Big 12 history to run, throw and catch a touchdown in the same game, along with scoring the eventual game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter. TCU has quietly become the favorite in the Big 12 with other teams faltering, and with a quarterback doing things like what Hill is doing, it looks like the Heisman could now be a possibility.
Oklahoma State’s Top Candidate
Mason Rudolph, QB – last week’s stats: bye week
Mason Rudolph went into the bye week with a great game under his belt coming after the Cowboys’ first loss of the year. Rudolph will no doubt work tirelessly to get better and help his team not only to try and get back into the Big 12 championship picture, but the national championship conversation. Saturday’s game against a winless Baylor will be a good opportunity to stuff the stats.