Heisman Watch: Week 2

Story posted September 8, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Matthew McLaughlin

A fairly uneventful Week 1 is in the books for the 2022 college football season, which means *Bruce Buffer voice* IIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTTT’S TIMMMMMEEEEEEEEE…. for another CommRadio Heisman Watch article.

Here are the top Heisman candidates heading into Week 2.

Stetson Bennett, QB, Georgia

Let’s begin with the obvious. No. 2 Georgia is essentially the Thanos of college football and a dominant 49-3 win over the then-ranked No. 11 Oregon Ducks solidified that reputation.

However, the difference with this year’s squad compared to last’s is Bennett’s ability to create more when the play breaks down. Last season, Bennett made the right decisions and delivered the ball over the field to get the Bulldogs’ playmakers in space.

In the opening rout of the Ducks, Bennett was standing in the pocket, taking some nasty hits, and still dropping dimes to his receivers to the total of 368 yards and two touchdowns with only six(!) incompletions.

Spencer Sanders, QB, Oklahoma State

Coming off a devastating loss to Baylor in the Big 12 championship last season, Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy and his squad face a pivotal campaign to get into the College Football Playoff.

So far, the senior from Texas is doing everything in his power to put the Cowboys on the CFP’s radar.

In the opener against Central Michigan, Oklahoma State’s offense exploded for 58 points, fueled by Sanders’ incredible 406 passing yards and six total touchdowns. That’s Michael Vick in “Madden 2004” level numbers.

Although the Chippewas scored 22 points in the final quarter, Sanders played a clean quarter and didn’t give them any easy opportunities to get back into the game, which will separate Sanders from the Heisman race if he can pull the Cowboys into the top four spots in the country.

A rematch against Baylor, who is currently ranked No. 9 in the nation as of this article, in Week 3 will be a massive proving ground for Sanders, especially since Sanders threw for only 257 yards and four interceptions in the aforementioned Big 12 championship.

If the Texas native can keep up this incredible play without forcing turnovers, the Cowboys will be a major threat to make the playoffs for the first time ever, which will be considered heavily in the voting for the Heisman trophy.

Raheim Sanders, RB, Arkansas

It was not on purpose to put two Sanders’ on this list. However, this Sanders is the equivalent of a mustang when he cuts loose and that happened often in the Razorbacks’ season opener versus No. 23 Cincinnati.

As a freshman last season, Sanders racked up 578 rushing yards. Against Cincinnati, Sanders racked up a fifth of that total with 117 rushing yards on just 20 carries. The sophomore is already on a path to shatter his previous career highs.

However, the Florida native needs to get into the endzone. He ended the day against the Bearcats with zero scores, but his high volume combined with the Razorbacks facing South Carolina and Missouri State suggest Sanders will have big plays these next couple of weeks, which could lead to some eyepopping numbers.

Matthew McLaughlin is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email mem6936@psu.edu.