Heisman Watch: Week 9
The Week 8 slate looked to be boring from an outside eye, but the action did not disappoint in the Heisman race. This week a new face winds up on top as an injury shakes up the top four. Let’s take a look at the candidates heading into Week 9 play:
Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
The Tigers quarterback overtakes the number one spot from an SEC rival as Burrow threw for four touchdowns in a 36-13 win over Mississippi State. Burrow broke the LSU single-season touchdown record as he aired out his 29th score this season. Burrow also threw for 327 yards in Starkville this week to make sure his team was never in doubt of losing.
Although the senior wasn’t content with his performance, he will be sure to clean up his mistakes as the No. 2 ranked Tigers welcome the number No. 9 ranked Auburn Tigers into Death Valley for a top-10 matchup.
Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma
The dual-threat quarterback lit up the scoreboard this past weekend in Norman, Oklahoma as Hurts had five total touchdowns, including two on the ground. The Sooners captain led the 42-14 rout of West Virginia by throwing for 316 yards with a 94 percent completion percentage while scampering for 75 more yards with his feet.
Hurts continues his strong Heisman campaign as his season touchdown total climbs to 30 and shows no signs of slowing down. Hurts stayed out of the turnover column after having a pair of costly giveaways last week. The No. 5 Sooners will look to continue its Big 12 dominance as they head to Manhattan, Kansas to take on Kansas State.
Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
Wisconsin was shocked as they fell to Illinois, 24-23, in a game where they were 31-point favorites. Taylor, the junior running back, had a costly turnover on one of the Badgers final drives as he coughed up the football inside the Illini 20-yard line in the fourth quarter.
Apart from the turnover, Taylor continued his dominance. The 5’ 11” running back carried the ball 28 times for 132 yards and a score. He averaged an impressive 4.7 yards per carry in the loss. Taylor and the Badgers will look to bounce back this week against one of the best teams in the country, Ohio State. Look for this week to be the make or break week for Taylor’s Heisman hopes.
Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
The Crimson Tide play-caller fell all the way down the rankings this week and it wasn’t due to his one interception. Tagovailoa left the 35-13 victory over Tennessee in the second quarter with an ankle injury and did not return. Tua had a small, successful surgery on Sunday but it appears that the junior will more than likely miss a couple weeks as there is no real timetable for the injury.
Missing time will likely hurt Tagovailoa’s Heisman chances as other players, such as Ohio State’s Justin Fields, look to get their name in the Heisman conversation with a top candidate out of action. The initial goal is to get the lefty back in action in time for the potential No. 1 versus No. 2 clash of LSU and Alabama on Nov. 9. Tagovailoa’s Heisman campaign will be put on hold for now as the Crimson Tide will move forward with redshirt sophomore Mac Jones under center.
Outside Looking in
Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State: 1492 passing yards, 30 total touchdowns
Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon: 1882 passing yards, 21 touchdowns
Charlie Knezevic is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.