Week Six: Heisman Watch

Story posted October 7, 2016 in Sports, CommRadio by Sports Staff

Through half of the college football season we’ve seen some Heisman hopefuls emerge and a few frontrunners fall. Our experts break down their picks for college football’s best player. 

Stephen’s Pick - Lamar Jackson

Although Louisville suffered their first setback against ACC favorite Clemson, the Cardinals’ quarterback continued to shine under pressure.

Jackson accumulated 457 all-purpose yards (295 passing), accounted for 3 touchdowns, and largely carried Louisville’s offense in a near-comeback attempt in Death Valley. The sophomore’s skill set continues to be unrivaled by any signal-caller in the nation. Regardless, his Heisman chances took a blow as his team’s chances of reaching a conference title game are now muddied.

Jackson has accrued 2,313 total yards through five games, and has a 14-4 passing touchdown to interception ratio.

Stephen’s Pick - Deshaun Watson

In a quarterback duel against Jackson, Clemson’s quarterback Watson shined for a season high 306 yards passing, 91 yards rushing, and five passing touchdowns (all season highs).

A preemptive Heisman favorite, Watson is returning to true form, and is now one of the top names in trophy discussion. He did have three interceptions, but he nonetheless led the Tigers to his their biggest win of the season.

The only major test lying between Watson and Heisman glory is a road battle against Florida State (10/29). 

George’s Pick - J.T. Barrett

Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett is climbing into the Heisman race after a 58-0 win over Rutgers last week at home. Barrett is approaching several Buckeyes records, including Braxton Miller’s 88 career touchdowns.

After losing his job to Cardale Jones last season, the junior Barrett has an impressive 14 touchdowns with just two interceptions this season. He’ll take his team back into the Horseshoe against Indiana Saturday afternoon looking to move up to the top spot in the AP poll.

George’s Pick - Christian McCaffrey

Last years runner-up for the Heisman Christian McCaffrey failed to gain any momentum against #10 Washington on the road. McCaffrey finished with just 49 rushing yards and 30 receiving. 

He has not scored a touchdown in back-to-back games, and is quickly falling behind lesser talent in the season rankings.

McCaffrey is undoubtedly one of the best players in college football, but his recent lack of production in the box scores is hindering his Heisman chances. Stanford will host Washington State next week at 10:30 p.m.

Joe’s Pick - Jake Browning

The Washington Huskies have enjoyed a spectacular start to the season as they are undefeated and are currently fifth in the nation. Sophomore quarterback Jake Browning has been part of the reason for the Huskies success as he has been torching defenses out west.

Through the first five games of the season, Browning has thrown for over 1,100 yards and 17 touchdowns, including a 210-yard, three touchdown performance against the Stanford Cardinals in a 44-6 rout. Browning is at a disadvantage playing on the west coast, but his performance against Oregon will indicate how close he is to the Heisman.

Joe’s Pick - Mark Walton

Miami sophomore running back Mark Walton might not seem like a Heisman trophy candidate, but his significance to the Hurricanes offense is undeniable. He has run for 445 yards and eight touchdowns in the four games this season and has scored a touchdown in every game.

Walton’s lack of receptions will hinder his ability in the eyes of voters, but the Miami passing attack is balanced and no player on the team has more than 15 receptions. The rivalry game against Florida State is a huge stage and a good performance by Walton could put him in the national spotlight.

 

Stephen Clouse is a Freshman majoring in broadcast journalism at Penn State. To contact him, email stephengclouse@gmail.com.

George Stockburger is a senior majoring in journalism with a focus in broadcasting. He can be reached at gos5187@psu.edu

Joe Esquivel-Murphy is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism and Spanish. To contact him, email jje5139@psu.edu