Heisman Watch: Week 4
Week three of college football included the beginning of conference play for some teams, big upsets by travelling teams and three games getting cancelled because of Hurricane Florence hitting the east coast of the country. There was a lot of movement up and down the list of Heisman hopefuls this week.
1.) Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
Every week Kyler Murray brings his A game to the gridiron, and the Oklahoma Sooners have been firing on all cylinders, this week defeating perennial thorn in their side in Iowa State 37-27 on the road. Last season, the Cyclones upset the Baker Mayfield-led Sooners in Norman by the tune of 38-31.
Murray put up his best numbers of the season this past week, throwing for 348 yards, three touchdowns while accumlating a passer rating of 207.4 and a completion percentage of 72.4 for the day. He also rushed for 77 yards on 15 attempts. He has continued to make jaw-dropping plays on the field with both his legs and his arm. The most impressive throw of the performance was a 75-yard touchdown pass that was thrown on an absolute rope to Marquise “Hollywood” Brown to put the Sooners up by 10 points toward the end of the first quarter.
The 5-foot-10, lightning-quick quarterback continues to impress as he leads this Oklahoma squad to victory each week. Not only does he make spectacular plays, but he makes smart plays. His internal clock is spot on; he gets rid of the football when necessary, and slides to avoid big hits that opposing defenses would love to dish out.
Murray’s electrifying plays move him up to the top spot in the Heisman watch. He led his team to victory over an Iowa State team that finds a way to play Oklahoma tough, and he continues to put up monster numbers, completely filling the statistics charts while limiting turnovers.
2.) Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Last week Dwayne Haskins faced major adversity, travelling to Texas to take on the then-15th ranked TCU Horned Frogs, and without his head coach after a domestic abuse cover-up scandal that sent waves through college football this offseason. To make matters worse, Texas Christian was making the Ohio State defense look soft, putting up a ton of yards against what most thought was one of the best defenses in the nation. Haskins had to take over the football game in order to seal the victory for the Buckeyes.
Take over the game is exactly what he did, accounting for all of the Buckeyes’ offensive touchdowns during the competition, in which the Buckeyes defeated the Horned Frogs by a final score of 40-28. He threw for two touchdowns, 344 yards while recording a passer rating of 156.6, and a completion percentage of 63.2. Haskins also had a rushing touchdown on a quarterback keep from five yards out, the first of the season for him.
Haskins’ 48-yard bomb to his favorite wideout, Austin Mack, was an absolutely gorgeous throw on the Buckeyes’ first possession. He put the ball in a position where only his teammate could catch it, but the Buckeyes would settle for a field goal later in the possession. Haskins demonstrated pro-level passes all night against an opponent that is consistently ranked highly in the polls.
For the season, the redshirt sophomore quarterback has accrued 12 total touchdowns, 913 total yards and a passer rating of 192.4 while only throwing one interception. He does not make much happen on the ground, but he makes extremely accurate throws and does not make many mistakes with the football. He was very impressive against a very good opponent this past week, and definitely deserves a spot on the Heisman watch list.
3.) Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
The National Championship savior is the posterchild for quarterback efficiency. In Tagovailoa’s last game against Ole Miss, a 62-7 victory for the Crimson Tide, he threw for 191 yards and two touchdowns while completing an outstanding 73.3 percent of his passes.
Tagovailoa’s season numbers may not be as eye-popping as some of the other Heisman hopefuls, but the year is still young, and he has yet to play an entire game of football this year. His head coach, Nick Saban, has repeatedly taken Tagovailoa out of the game once his team has a sufficient lead. On the season, Tagovailoa has 739 total yards, nine total scores and has accrued an incredible passer rating of 233.3 while not throwing a single interception this year.
The left-handed Hawaiian won the starting job after he stepped up big time against the Georgia Bulldogs in the National Championship game and he never looked back. He moves the chains on the ground and through the air, and has displayed a very high football IQ throughout the season.
Logan Dolby is a Junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.