Heisman Watch: Week 3
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence is in his junior year playing football for the top-ranked team in the nation, and Lawrence is a major factor for its success. In Clemson’s first game this season, the Tigers beat Wake Forest 37-13. Lawrence looked sharp with 351 passing yards and only four incompletions. With the win well in hand, Lawrence left the game with less than two minutes left in the third quarter.
If Lawrence wants to stay on top of his game, he’ll need to stay away from the interceptions that haunted him last year. Although Lawrence threw none against Wake Forest, they have been a problem for Lawrence in his college career.
Lawrence will face The Citadel defense on the Sept. 19. The Citadel lost its Week 1 game to South Florida 27-6, and the secondary does not match up well against Clemson’s receivers. Expect another big day in the air for Lawrence and a good week to boost the stats.
D’Eriq King, QB, Miami
Senior quarterback D’Eriq King is at the head of the offense for the Miami Hurricanes after transferring from Houston. King led the Hurricanes to a 31-14 win over UAB on Sept. 10, throwing for 144 yards on 24 attempts with only eight incompletions. But it’s his legs that were what made him dangerous. King rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown against the Blazers.
The matchup in Week 3 against Louisville should be one of King’s toughest this season. If the Hurricanes are to come out of Louisville with a win, King will have to show up even better than he did in the first game. Louisville’s defense was a sack machine against Western Kentucky last week, recording three for 22 yards. King can have a big game this week if the offensive line protects him from the Louisville defensive front and he utilizes his legs again.
Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
Running back Travis Etienne could have gone to the NFL draft last year but chose to return for his senior season. He’s the workhorse running back for the No. 1 Clemson Tigers and is the perfect complement to Lawrence. In the first game of the season, Etienne rushed for 102 yards on 17 attempts with an average of 6 yards per carry. He was a receiving threat out of the back field too, with three receptions for 47 yards. He’s a true dual threat.
This week, the Tigers take on the Citadel Bulldogs, which struggled to stop South Florida running back Kelly Joiner and allowed him to average 10.9 yards per carry. Etienne did well against the run defense of Wake Forest, so expect another big game for him.
Micale Cunningham, QB, Louisville
Junior quarterback Micale Cunningham could be the sleeper pick for the Heisman Trophy. Cunningham threw for 343 yards and three touchdowns at home against a decent Western Kentucky team last week. Cunningham also showed that he can take off and run the ball, which he did for a touchdown.
The Cardinals have their first test in Week 3 against the Miami Hurricanes. Miami’s defense held UAB quarterback Tyler Johnston to only 150 yards passing. In UAB’s first game of the season against South Alabama, Johnston threw for 293 yards. This Miami defense isn’t messing around. Cunningham, meanwhile, had a problem with accuracy in the season opener, throwing an interception and completing only 19 of 34 passes. He’ll have to figure out the Hurricanes defense and perhaps use his rushing ability to pull off the upset.
Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State
Running back Chuba Hubbard led the 2019 season in rushing yards, and he could repeat that feat in 2020. As a sophomore, Hubbard ran for 2,094 yards with 21 touchdowns, proving that he is a big play machine. He’s also a downhill runner with explosive speed. On top of that, Hubbard has great vision to find the open space, and when he does, he turns it into a big play. Starting quarterback Spencer Sanders is coming off a season that ended with an injury, so handing the ball off to Hubbard will be the best move.
Oklahoma State is No. 11 in the nation and is hosting Tulsa on Sept. 19. Hubbard beat Tulsa last year with big touchdown runs, racking up 256 yards and three scores in the process. He should see plenty of production in Week 3.
Spencer Ripchik is a freshman majoring in journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.