Heisman Watch: Week 8

Story posted October 18, 2019 in Sports, CommRadio by Charlie Knezevic

As conference play heats up around the country, so does the race for the Heisman. The top four seems to be clear but the difference between them is narrow as ever. Let’s take a look at where they fall ahead of Week 8.

1.  Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Tua Tagovailoa threw four touchdowns in a 47-28 win at Texas A&M last week and has now overtaken another Alabama school record. The junior has passed AJ McCarron to become the all-time passing touchdown leader for the Crimson Tide, as Tagovailoa has thrown 81 touchdowns over the course of two years as a full-time starter. Tagovailoa continues to make his case for the Heisman this year, as he has thrown 27 touchdowns and only one interception, which came this past week. Tagovailoa has 2,011 yards in the air this season and has another two touchdowns on the ground to add to his resume. This award seems to be Tagovailoa’s to lose, as he has two potential top-20 draft picks lining up outside, and Alabama showing no signs of abandoning the passing game. Tagovailoa and the Crimson Tide will take on Tennessee this week at home.

2.  Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

Joe Burrow continues to shoot up the Heisman rankings, as each new game is stronger than the last. Burrow was caught in the spotlight of a top-10 matchup with Florida, and he did not shy away. The senior threw for three touchdowns and 293 yards in the 42-28 win. Burrow also posted an 88% completion percentage against one of the highest-rated defenses in the nation. Although Burrow’s streak of four straight games with at least 300 passing yards came to an end, the victory shot LSU all the way up to No. 2 in the latest AP Poll. With matchups against Auburn and Alabama in the next month, look for Burrow to continue to make a name for himself and jump to the top of Heisman rankings. LSU travels to Mississippi State this weekend to take on the Bulldogs.

3.  Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma

The Alabama transfer has put up incredible numbers both in the air and on the ground. Seen as the Heisman favorite heading into Week 7, Hurts didn’t disappoint. The dual threat QB threw for 235 yards and added another 131 with his feet, as Oklahoma came out on top 34-27 in the Red River Shootout. However, Hurts had two red-zone turnovers in the game. He threw a tough interception in the end zone and fumbled inside the 20-yard line after a long scramble, both of which cost the Sooners scoring opportunities. Hurts still has a shot to win the award though, as he has 25 total touchdowns on the year as well as 1,758 passing yards and 630 rushing yards. Oklahoma will welcome West Virginia this week as Hurts looks to strengthen his resume.

4.  Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

The Badgers running back has been a constant workhorse all year and has shown no signs of slowing down. Taylor has been running all over defenses all season, and he continued that trend against a strong Michigan State front seven in a 38-0 rout in favor of Wisconsin. Taylor totaled over 100 scrimmage yards, as well as two touchdowns, bringing his season total to 18, which leads the nation. The junior has put up 825 rushing yards this year and has added 136 yards as a pass catcher. Taylor is the clear favorite to win the award of the nation’s top running back, but he still has some work to do to claim the Heisman. Taylor will look to surpass 1,000 total yards from scrimmage this week against Illinois.

Outside looking in:

Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State: 1,298 passing yards, 18 touchdowns, 283 rushing yards

Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State: 1,094 rushing yards, 13 touchdowns

 

Charlie Knezevic is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email charlieknez@gmail.com.