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** Remember, the voting deadline this year is Dec. 21, finalists will be announced Dec. 24 and the winner will be announced Jan. 5. Click here for full details. **
Another unique week of college football is in the books following Thanksgiving weekend and we’re stuffed by another round of highlight heavy performances by Heisman hopefuls.
Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence saw his first action in 5 weeks (due to various individual and team-related COVID protocols) and let loose to the tune of 403 yards and two TDs, leading the Tigers to a 52-17 win over Pitt. He thanked Clemson fans after what may be his final home game, one in which he eclipsed 10,000 career total yards. The State newspaper detailed his Heisman bona fides despite the long break.
Florida QB Kyle Trask polished his Heisman resume again this weekend, leading the Gators to a 34-10 win over Kentucky while throwing for 256 yards and three scores. Gator Heisman winner Danny Wuerffel is pulling for his consideration.
The Athletic has Trask atop its Heisman straw poll for the second week in a row, Lawrence third.
Trask tight end teammate Kyle Pitts is earning his own praise after catching all three of Trask’s TD passes, moving his season totals to 29 receptions and 11 TDs. (He is ninth in The Athletic’s poll.) Count Heisman winner Desmond Howard among those calling for his consideration. This AP writer is also impressed.
Another unexpected player thrown into the mix is Buffalo RB Jaret Patterson, now sixth on The Athletic list following his monster performance against Kent State that saw him tie the major college record with eight rushing TDs to go with 409 yards, second most in FBS history. He led the Bulls to a 4-0 start and upped his season rushing totals to 920 yards and 16 TDs, averaging 8.6 yards per carry – good enough to make CBS’s Dennis Dodd’s top 4.
Topping that top 4 is Alabama QB Mac Jones, who led the Crimson Tide to a 42-13 win in the Iron Bowl with 302 yards passing and 5 TDs, which caught SportsCenter’s notice. Two went to WR DeVonta Smith, who finished with 171 yards receiving on seven grabs and the pair combined for this eye-opening note. Plus, RB Najee Harris added 96 yards rushing on only 11 carries. Can they split the Heisman love?
Like every week, some candidates were unable to play. This week’s list includes Ohio State’s Justin Fields and Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder, whose games were cancelled due to Covid protocols. BYU QB Zach Wilson is also off until the Cougars final game on Dec. 12.
Notre Dame’s Ian Book led the Irish to 9-0 with a 31-17 win over North Carolina, throwing for 279 yards and a score, rushing for another 48 yards, impressing Tar Heel Coach Mack Brown. Fell Hoosier-state QB Michael Penix Jr. of Indiana had his strong season come to an end with a torn ACL.
Iowa State running back Breece Hall and Cyclone QB Brock Purdy both shined in their win over Texas. Hall ran for 91 yards and a score while Purdy passed for 312 yards and another TD. Hall is fourth on The Athletics’ Heisman list.
Coastal Carolina QB Grayson McCall’s Chanticleers are now 9-0 and McCall added another 154 yards passing and two TDs to his resume.
A new name emerged out of the Pac-12 this week as Oregon State’s Jermar Jefferson led the Beavers to a last-second upset win over Oregon with 226 yards and two TDs on 29 carries.
But the feel-good story of the week belonged to Vanderbilt, which shrugged off its 0-8 record to help make history. Sarah Fuller, a senior goalkeeper on the Commodores’ women’s soccer team, became the first woman to participate in a Power 5 football game when she kicked off in the second half in her only opportunity during a game in which Vanderbilt was shut out.