Heisman Watch: Week 7
As we near the halfway mark of the college football regular season, it’s time to talk more seriously about who is in the running for the most prestigious award in the sport: the Heisman Trophy. The trophy is given to the most outstanding player in college football each year. Let’s look at the top four candidates so far.
1. Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma
Hurts is finally playing at the level that most of the country thought that he would during his time at Alabama. Hurts has 1,523 passing yards and 14 passing touchdowns, along with 499 rushing yards and seven rushing scores. The Sooners breezed by Kansas last week, 45-20, and Hurts had 284 total yards and two touchdowns. If Hurts can maintain this level of dominance throughout the season, it will be hard to vote against him. If Hurts were to take home the trophy, he would be the third straight Heisman winner to come from Oklahoma, proceeded by fellow quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray. Hurts’ biggest test so far, and most likely for the entire regular season, comes this Saturday in the Red River Showdown against Texas.
2. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
Taylor moved into the second spot in these rankings with his outstanding performance last Saturday against Kent State. Taylor ran for 186 yards and four touchdowns, and he even added another score through the air in the 48-0 rout. He’s racked up 745 total rushing yards, good for third in the nation, along with 12 touchdowns this season. If Taylor can continue to bulldoze over defenses, he has a chance to be the first running back to win the Heisman since Derrick Henry in 2015. Taylor and the Badgers will face a strong defensive unit this weekend at home against Michigan State.
3. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
Many can argue that Tagovailoa should be No. 2 in these rankings, but with Alabama being on bye this past week, Taylor gets the edge for now thanks to his performance against Kent State. Tagovailoa picked up where he left off in 2018: a season in which many thought that he deserved to win the Heisman. His campaign thus far includes 23 passing touchdowns, the most in the country, and 1,718 passing yards, fourth in the nation. Tagovailoa has yet to throw an interception, but his biggest test so far has been a South Carolina team that lost to North Carolina in Week 1. Tagovailoa and the Crimson Tide play their first ranked opponent of the year this Saturday as they travel to College Station to take on Texas A&M.
4. Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
LSU lives and dies by Burrow, who leads college football with a 78.4 completion percentage. Burrow tacked on to his resume this past weekend with 344 passing yards and five passing touchdowns in a 42-6 win over Utah State. Burrow is the first LSU signal caller to have four straight 300 yard games. His Heisman campaign, along with the Tigers’ playoff hopes, will be challenged over the next three weeks, as Burrow and LSU face top-10 teams in all three games. It starts at home against Florida Saturday night.
Danny Murray is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.