Heisman Watch: Week Six

Story posted October 9, 2013 in CommRadio, Sports by Tyler Zulli

Front Runners

Tajh Boyd, Senior QB, Clemson

Stock: Even

Week 6 Stats: 20-27, 455 yards, 5 TD’s, 2 INT’s

It appears “Mr. Invincible,” is human after all. After five weeks of nearly perfect quarterback play, Boyd finally made some mistakes and tossed up two interceptions to the Syracuse Orange defense on Saturday.

However, Boyd connected with four different Tigers receivers in the endzone, including a 91-yard strike to his star receiver, Sammy Watkins, to seal the victory late in the third quarter.

Outside of those two picked off passes, the senior was prolific, passing for five touchdowns and over 450 yards, all while leading his Tigers to their fifth victory of the season, and third consecutive ACC win.

The Tigers currently remain third in the BCS Standings, but a loss by either Alabama or Oregon would set the Tigers up for a potential National title run. They will face Florida State in Death Valley, in two weeks, as the Seminoles pose as the Tigers toughest threat for the remainder of the season.

Marcus Mariota, Sophomore QB, Oregon

Stock: UP

Week 6 Stats: 16-27, 355 yards, 5 TD’s, 43 rush yards, 2 TD’s

Well, Marcus Mariota told me where I could stick last week’s ranking. The man I had sitting in third in the voting after a “less than stellar” performance against California jumps up a spot after his manhandling of the Colorado defense.

I did mention last week that Colorado was somewhat soft on the defensive side of the ball, but Mariota’s Ducks didn’t take anything for granted, scoring 57 points.

The sophomore torched the Colorado secondary, and the rest of the defense for that matter, for seven total touchdowns on the day. It was a great day for Mariota to own the stat sheet, because the teams coming up on Oregon’s schedule will not be easy. Four Top 25 teams await the second ranked Ducks in the next five weeks.

Johnny Manziel, Sophomore QB, Texas A&M

Stock: DOWN

Week 6 Stats: DNP, Texas A&M bye

Just like Teddy Bridgewater last week, Manziel’s fate on this list took a small hit simply because he did not play this week. That’s something that he cannot control, but one man’s problems is another man’s glory. That is exactly what happened for Mariota/Manziel, who continue to flip-flop in my rankings.

“Johnny Football,” has completed over 71% of his passes this season, while throwing for 14 TDs and only four INTs. He is an explosive athlete who commands respect all over the field.

The SEC schedule is ahead of the Aggies, and Manziel will have to be on his game week in and week out from here on out if their 4-1 record is to improve. A&M will face Ole Miss next week and finish the season with LSU and Missouri.

Right Behind, But Still Very Much Alive

Teddy Bridgewater, Junior QB, Louisville

Stock: Even

Week 6 Stats: 25-35, 348 yards, 2 TD’s

In a normal college football year, Bridgewater may be a clear front-runner for the Heisman trophy. Unfortunately for Teddy, this is not a normal year. Three guys stand in between Bridgewater and the top of the Heisman rankings.

The junior quarterback beat down on the lowly Temple Owls, throwing for nearly 350 yards and two scores. He also maintained his astronomically high completion percentage, completing 71.4% of his passes, adding to his season total of 71.8%. He has simply been untouchable when it comes to throwing the football, throwing just one interception to date.

The biggest knock on Bridgewater remains the lack of talent that the Cardinals have faced. A list of teams that have been considered far less that good bring Bridgewater’s down just a bit. 

This weekend’s matchup against Rutgers will finally give the Cardinals their first true test of the year. It doesn’t get any easier from there, as they will then face upstart UCF in the following week. This is where Bridgewater needs to make his presence felt.

Jameis Winston, Freshman QB, Florida State

Stock: UP

Week 6 Stats: 23-32, 392 yards, 5 TD’s

The freshman phenom has made his case for why he deserves to be on this list. After bouncing him from the top five last week, all Winston did was face a Top 25 team in Maryland and have a career day.

The Seminoles torched the Terps defense all day long, posting a 63-point shutout against their conference rivals, and the freshman was right in the thick of things, throwing for five touchdown passes and completing 72% of his throws in Tallahassee.

His ability to stand tall in the pocket, as well as throw accurately down field on the run, gives Florida State as good of a chance as any team to run the table and finish undefeated in the ACC.

Two weeks from now will be the biggest game of Winston’s young college career, as his ‘Noles with go up against Tajh Boyd and the undefeated Clemson Tigers. If FSU can come away with a victory, combined with a few losses throughout the season from other top tier teams, don’t be surprised to see the Seminoles playing in the ACC title game with a trip to the BCS National Championship on the line.

Aaron Murray, Senior QB, Georgia

Todd Gurley, Sophomore RB, Georgia

Braxton Miller, Junior QB, Ohio State

Tyler Zulli is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email tcz5008@psu.edu.