Heisman Watch: Week 11

Story posted November 14, 2018 in Sports, CommRadio by Carolyn Sistrand

If week 11 of college football proved anything for the Heisman watch, it is that the odds of a quarterback taking the trophy at this point in the season is extremely likely. Each candidate is playing at the top of his game, respectively shelling up big numbers against top-ranked opponents and showing no signs of slowing down. With a few more weeks of college football still to go, it is still anyone’s game:

1. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

The undefeated Crimson Tide continue to top the AP and now the College Football Playoff poll at No. 1, taking down opponent after opponent with ease. At the helm, the sophomore quarterback Tua Tagovailoa continues to impress and convince the country that benching former starter Jalen Hurts was the right call.

Tagovailoa currently has a season pass completion rate of 67.9 percent, falling just one spot short of the top ten so far this season.

Alabama’s in-conference game against No. 18 Mississippi State didn’t put up typical Alabama numbers, as the Crimson Tide won 24-0. Tagovailoa, playing on an injured knee, threw his second interception on the season. He also lost a fumble on a bad exchange with running back Damien Harris.

It’s safe to say the Mississippi State game was far from Tagovailoa's typical shining performance. However, the overwhelming victories over in-conference and out-of-conference opponents are doing enough to keep him at the top of everyone’s Heisman watch.

Numbers-wise, however, Tagovailoa has some stiff competition.

2. Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

Just squeaking by in-state rival Oklahoma State, quarterback Kyler Murray exceeded 3,000 passing yards on the season, helping the Oklahoma Sooners to nab the six spot on the College Football Playoff Rankings.

The Sooners now move to 9-1 overall, falling to Texas back on October 6, but still, a front-runner to top the Big 12.

Murray is completing 70.9 percent of his passes. He is currently the third highest quarterback for completion rate in college football, as well as touchdown passes with 32. As if that wasn't enough, Murray leads college football with 12.3 yards per attempt, too.

Murray is reliable in the pocket and quick on his feet, too. If he has the ball, he makes the most of it. His dynamic ability makes him the perfect rival to Tagovailoa for the Heisman.

3. Will Grier, QB, West Virginia

West Virginia has a star in Will Grier, who continues to impress week after week.

Grier moves higher on the list of Heisman candidates because of the numbers he’s producing. In the last eight games, Grier has thrown for over 330 yards, including 343 yards against TCU.

In his career, Grier has thrown over 300 yards in 17 games and has three or more touchdowns in 15 games.

Just behind fellow Heisman hopeful Murray, Grier sits fifth for touchdowns, at 31, and ninth in passing yards as he remains just shy of 3,000 on the season.

It looks like Grier’s argument for the Heisman could be heavily supported by the numbers he puts up. The consistent, reliability of his performance can only predict more career-highs and big-time wins for the Mountaineers as the season winds down.

West Virginia takes on Oklahoma State this week, and a big win over the team that nearly upset Oklahoma could be another statement win. Maybe it could give Grier the advantage over Murray?

 

 

Carolyn Sistrand is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism and history. To contact her, email carolynsistrand@gmail.com.

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Carolyn Sistrand

Senior / Broadcast Journalism, History

Carolyn Sistrand is a senior from Framingham, Massachusetts double majoring in Broadcast Journalism and History and is a certificate candidate in the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism. For CommRadio, Carolyn works as a co-editor on the management team as well as contributing content for the sports department. Her roles include: being a writer, an analyst, an on-air personality on talk shows and podcasts, live play-by-play, as well as production. She is a co-founder for CommRadio’s first all-girl’s NFL podcast, Gridiron Girls, which is now a live all-sports talk show airing Friday’s from 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Outside of CommRadio, Carolyn has had professional experience as a multimedia journalism intern for The Metrowest Daily News (Framingham, MA) and AccuWeather Headquarters (State College, PA). She is currently covering Penn State softball as an intern for GoPSUSports.com (University Park, PA). To contact Carolyn, please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).