Heisman Watch: Week 7

Story posted October 10, 2018 in Sports, CommRadio by Matt White

The college football season is only at the halfway point, but the 2018 Heisman trophy is already looking like it will be handed to Alabama quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa.  Tagovailoa had another dominant start last week as Alabama cruised past Arkansas in a 61-35 win.  The Alabama quarterback currently has the best odds to win the Heisman trophy at -150. The next player with the best odds is Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins at +450 and West Virginia’s Will Grier at +650. Texas’ big win over the Oklahoma Sooners caused a slight mixup in the Heisman rankings as Sooner quarterback Kyler Murray dropped out of the top three.  

1. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

As stated above, Tagovailoa is the clear favorite to win the Heisman this year.  To start conference play for the Crimson Tide, Tagovailoa has helped propel Alabama’s offense to score over 60 points in both conference games this season, which has only happened twice in SEC history.  Additionally, Alabama is outscoring opponents by 240 points through six games this season, which is the most in SEC history.  Alabama has yet to face any quality defenses this season, but Tagovailoa will be challenged in games against Mississippi State, LSU and Auburn.  Mississippi State ranks 6th in opponent yards per game, Auburn is 20th, and LSU is 34th.  Alabama will most likely face Georgia in the SEC championship, whose defense is also ranked in the top 10.  Tagovailoa is running away with the Heisman, but he still has many quality defenses to face. 

2.) Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

If you look at the current Heisman trophy odds, not many players come close to competing with Tagovailoa.  However, Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins also contains a strong resume.  The Crimson Tide haven’t faced any quality opponents.  On the other side, Ohio State beat TCU on a neutral site and Penn State on the road.  In both those games, Haskins led the Buckeyes to comeback wins.  Last week, Haskins tied a single-game program record with six touchdowns in a win over Indiana.  He completed 33 of 44 passes for 455 yards, which is three yards shy of the single-game program record.  Haskins has thrown for 400 more passing yards and seven more touchdowns this season than Tagovailoa.  That being said, the Heisman race should be much closer than the Vegas odds appear. 

3.) Will Grier, QB, West Virginia

The biggest change in the Heisman race is Will Grier gaining a lead over Oklahoma quarterback, Kyler Murray after the Sooners lost to Texas last week.  The main argument that can help Grier edge Tagovailoa in the Heisman race is that the Crimson Tide have many more playmakers on the field compared to the Mountaineers.  Therefore, it is easier for Tagovailoa to produce betters stats.  In West Virginia’s win over Kansas last week, Grier went 28-41, threw for 331 yards and four touchdowns.  Grier did a good job of spreading the ball by completing all of his touchdowns to different receivers. Despite the win and quality performance, Grier still threw three interceptions.  Therefore, he is going to need several better performances in order to win the Heisman. 

 

 

Matthew White is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism with a double minor in Spanish and Business.  To contact him, email mmw42@psu.edu.