Week 11 was another fun college football weekend. Let’s see what’s being discussed in the Heisman world …
(Disclaimer — The Heisman Trophy Trust and Heisman.com does not endorse any college football player for the Heisman Memorial Trophy. The information contained here serves as a platform of information for fans and media, and is not intended to contain a definitive and comprehensive list of possible contenders.)
In a titanic No. 2 LSU-vs.-No. 3 Alabama match up featuring Heisman QB contenders, Tiger Joe Burrow out-dueled Crimson Tide Tua Tagovailoa as LSU downed Alabama, 46-41, and earned many observers’ nods for the top spot in the latest Heisman chatter.
Bleacher Report certainly saw it that way, saying “The Heisman is Burrow’s to lose” after the QB torched Alabama for 33 first-half points, completing 31-of-39 passes for 393 yards and three scores, rushing for 64 more yards. Those 33 first-half points prompted this amazing note.
This tweet, however, spotlights an even more impressive Burrow stat, putting into perspective his 78.9% completion percentage to go with 33 TD passes and just four interceptions. Former UCLA and Washington Coach Rick Neuheisel then pushed the perspective to new heights.
Tagovailoa, in his return to the lineup following an ankle injury, passed for 418 yards and four scores despite not being 100%, earning plaudits from LSU.
The Athletic’s weekly straw poll detailed a big lead for Burrow. Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts, who helped the Sooners’ squeak by upstart Iowa State, was second in the poll while Tagovailoa was third. Ohio State defensive end Chase Young was fourth and his football-throwing teammate was all the way in fifth.
ESPN analyst Paul Finebaum isn’t counting out said Buckeye QB Justin Fields. The signal caller for the top-ranked team, Fields and the Buckeyes walloped Maryland, 73-14. Fields threw for 200 yards and three scores in part-time work in a lopsided affair. He has high-profile dates with Penn State and Michigan looming that figure to demand the college football world’s full-time focus on his exploits.
We’re not counting out Fields or anybody else.
Certainly not Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan, who has led the Gophers, to a 9-0 record and a No. 7 ranking after a 31-26 win over Penn State. The Pioneer Press makes the case for Morgan, who has thrown for 2,100 yards and 21 scores and connected on 18-of-20 passes against the Nittany Lions with three TDs. Next up is a date with Iowa, which has downed Minnesota four straight times.
Neither Morgan or Baylor QB Charlie Brewer made The Athletic’s top 10. Brewer, like Morgan, kept his team unbeaten after a 29-23 triple overtime win over TCU. Brewer threw for 195 yards and two OT scores and ran for 41 more yards with another score, leading No. 12 Baylor back from a 9-0 halftime hole. Next up, a massive matchup with Oklahoma, mentioned in this roundup from Sports Illustrated.
The quietest 10-0 team in the country, No. 5 Clemson, kept trucking along with a 55-10 trouncing of North Carolina State. Sophomore QB Trevor Lawrence hit 20-of-27 passes for 276 yards and three scores. Meanwhile, running back Travis Etienne ran for 112 yards on 14 carries (averaging 8.0 yards a carry) and caught three passes for 31 yards, scoring his 52nd, 53rd and 54th career TDs.
Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor went off against Iowa to the tune of 250 yards.
Georgia’s combo of Jake Fromm and D’Andre Swift combined for 256 yards in the Bulldogs’ shutout of Missouri.
As for Hurts, he accounted for five Sooner TDs in their 42-41 win over Iowa State. He hit on 18-of-26 passes for 273 yards and three TDs with 68 rushing yards and two scores on the ground, just enough to get by the Cyclones. But the humble Hurts shouldered the blame for the close call. He and Oklahoma Coach Lincoln Riley then gave the game ball to a special needs youngster who the team has rallied around.
SMU QB Shane Buechele led the Mustangs to a 9-1 mark after a 59-51 win over East Carolina. The junior threw for 414 yards and five scores to keep SMU in the top 25.
Stars from the Pac-12 — Oregon QB Justin Herbert and Utah’s Tyler Huntley and Zack Moss – all had the week off but have big games coming up as the Ducks and Utes try to maintain their Pac-12 North and South Division leads.
Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard was also off, but the Cowboys are looking to generate some recognition for his huge season that includes 1,604 yards with three regular-season games to go.
Even before the LSU win over Alabama, 2018 Heisman winner Kyler Murray tapped Joe Burrow as the favorite. Charlie Ward (1993), Eric Crouch (2001) and Jason White (2003) also debated the topic.
Doug Flutie (1984) returned to Boston College on Saturday to join his 1984 teammates that were honored before the game, which included a re-enactment of his Hail Mary pass to beat Miami.
This week’s Minnesota-Penn State battle prompted the Star Tribune to re-visit an epic 1940 Michigan-Minnesota battle that pittrd Wolverine Tom Harmon (1940) against 1941 Gopher Heisman winner Bruce Smith.
Heisman Trophy Winners In The NFL
Holy smokes, what a Heisman-tacular day for the Baltimore Ravens.
Lamar Jackson (2016) officially tossed his hat into the ring – with a spiral no doubt – for NFL MVP consideration with another huge game, leading the Ravens to a 49-13 romp at Cincinnati.
He completed 15 of 17 passes for 223 yards and three scores and ran for this amazing 47-yard TD. Mark Ingram (2009) added 34 yards on the ground and a TD while Ravens backup QB Robert Griffin III (2011) subbed in to complete 3-of-5 passes for 20 yards.
Speaking of mammoth games, Derrick Henry (2015) produced a season-high 188 yards (second most of his career) on 23 carries, finding the end zone twice – once on this 68-yard jaunt – in a Titan 35-32 upset of Kansas City. QB Marcus Mariota (2014) did not play.
Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston (2013) and Arizona’s Kyler Murray (2018) duked it out and Winston’s Bucs outlasted the Cardinals, 30-27, behind the the sixth-year QB’s 30-of-48 passing for 358 yards and a score to go with 40 yards on three carries. Murray had himself a day as well, hitting on 27-of-44 passes for 324 yards and three scores plus 38 yards on the ground.
Baker Mayfield (2017) threw a 7-yard TD pass with 1:44 left to lead Cleveland to a comeback win over Buffalo. It was his second scoring aerial as he completed 26-of-38 pass attempts for 238 yards.