Week 4 Heisman watch

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Here is the week 4 edition of the 2013 Heismanpundit Heisman Watch. After taking into account the games played so far, these are the players who have the best chance of actually winning the Heisman. This is not a prediction of the final order of the race, nor is it an endorsement of who would or should win if the vote were held today. It’s a long view of the race that takes into account schedule and statistical trends.

1. Marcus Mariota, So., QB, Oregon

Mariota had a career passing day against Tennessee in a little over two-and-a-half quarters. He’s now on pace to have 4,900 yards of total offense and 47 total touchdowns by the time the Heisman vote is due, which puts him right in the wheelhouse of what voters have been looking for of late. His candidacy is helped further by the emergence of Washington as a ranked team. If Mariota guides Oregon through the gauntlet of UW, UCLA and Stanford during the four-week stretch from mid-October to early November, he’ll have three wins over ranked teams to burnish his resume and he could conceivably coast to the Heisman from that point. Working in his favor so far are two good performances in wins over BCS-conference opponents and Oregon’s status as the main challenger to Alabama for the national title.

Last Game: 23/33, 456 yards, 4 TDs, 0 Ints, 6 carries, 27 yards, 1 TD in a 59-14 win over Tennessee

Season Stats: 49/82, 889 yards, 59.8%, 7 TDs, 0 Ints, 178.99 rating, 15 carries, 262 yards, 17.5 ypc, 4 TDs

Next Opponent: California

2. Tajh Boyd, Sr., QB, Clemson

Boyd had off this past week, but Clemson plays against NC State this Thursday night, which means he’ll have a prime-time slot to showcase his talents to Heisman voters. A big game against the Wolfpack would bolster his national profile and get him back on a good statistical pace. Whatever the case, it’ll help if he goes on a tear in the weeks leading up to Clemson’s mid-October showdown with FSU.

Last Game: 14/23, 169 yards, 0 TDs, 0 Ints, 6 carries, 10 yards, 1 TDs in a 52-13 win over South Carolina State

Season Stats: 32/53, 439 yards, 60.4%, 3 TDs, 0 Ints, 148.64 rating, 19 carries, 52 yards, 2.74 ypc, 3 TDs

Next Opponent: at North Carolina State

3. AJ McCarron, Sr., QB, Alabama

McCarron showed he could go toe-to-toe with Johnny Manziel, throwing for a career-high 334 yards and four touchdowns in a thrilling victory over the Aggies. I think a lot of people came away impressed with how McCarron looked in this game and he has most likely shed the ‘game manager’ label that has saddled him for most of his career. At the very least, voters know he is capable of putting up big numbers when he needs to. This performance puts him back into contention and if he can close out strong, then he’ll make it to New York.

Last Game: 20/29, 334 yards, 4 TD, 0 Ints in 49-42 win over No. 6 Texas A&M

Season Stats: 30/52, 444 yards, 57.7%, 5 TDs, 1 Ints, 157.29 rating

Next Game: Colorado State

4. Teddy Bridgewater, Jr., QB, Louisville

Bridgewater had an average game (for him) against Kentucky, throwing for 250 yards and one touchdown in a rather lackluster Louisville performance. Since we are used to seeing prolific production out of him, it was a bit of a letdown. It certainly did not help his Heisman chances as he needs to have a ridiculous statistical season in order to have a chance to win. Luckily, he’s got a very easy schedule ahead and he should get back on track.

Last Game: 16/28, 250 yards, 1 TDs, 0 Ints in a 27-14 win over Kentucky

Season Stats: 62/88, 1,002 yards, 70.5%, 10 TDs, 1 Ints, 201.33 rating, 9 rushes, 35 yards, 0 TDs

Next Opponent: Florida International

5. Todd Gurley, So., RB, Georgia

Gurley had off last week and will play North Texas Saturday before taking on LSU in what should be a pivotal moment in his Heisman campaign. He’s already the top running back candidate for the Heisman, but a huge performance against the Tigers would conceivably vault him into serious contention.

Last Game: 30 carries, 132 yards, 1 TD, 1 reception for 8 yards, 1 TD, in a 41-30 win over No. 6 South Carolina

Season Stats: 42 carries, 286 yards, 6.81 ypc, 3 TDs, 2 rec, 9 yds, 1 TD

Next Game: North Texas

6. Aaron Murray, Sr., QB, Georgia

Murray had off last week and he’ll have a tune up against North Texas before taking on LSU. As with Gurley, the game against the Tigers will help determine the arc of his candidacy going forward. If he leads UGA to another big win while getting good production out of his arm, he’ll be back in the upper echelon of Heisman contenders.

Last Game: 17/23, 309 yards, 4 TDs, 0 Ints

Season Stats: 37/52, 632 yards, 71.2%, 4 TDs, 1 Ints, 194.77 rating, 1 rush TD

Next Game: North Texas

7. Brett Hundley, So., QB, UCLA

Hundley showed a lot of poise in leading UCLA back from a 21-3 deficit against Nebraska. Once he got rolling the UCLA offense was unstoppable and he uncorked some great throws as the Bruins scored 38 unanswered points to win 41-21 in Lincoln. This game established Hundley as the prime challenger to Mariota on the West Coast. UCLA should be 5-0 when it travels to Stanford and Oregon in back-to-back weeks. Those games will make or break his campaign.

Last Game: 16/24, 294 yards, 3 TDs, 1 Ints, 19 carries, 61 yards, 0 TDs in 41-21 win at Nebraska

Season Stats: 38/57, 568 yards, 66.7%, 5 TDs, 1 Ints, 175.82 rating, 26 carries, 124 yards, 4.8 ypc, 2 TDs

Next Game: New Mexico State

8. Bryce Petty, Jr., QB, Baylor

Baylor was off last week but Petty gets a chance to resume his torrid pace against Louisiana-Monroe. With Texas looking down and Oklahoma still working out quarterback issues, Baylor seems to be a logical contender for the Big 12 title. The Bears should be 7-0 when it takes on ranked teams Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State in consecutive weeks. If Petty leads Baylor through that gauntlet unscathed, he’ll emerge as a prime Heisman contender.

Last Game: 13/16, 338 yards, 2 TDs, 0 Ints, 2 carries, 8 yards, 1 TD in 70-13 win over Buffalo

Season Stats: 32/40, 650 yards, 80%, 4 TDs, 0 Ints, 249.50 rating, 5 carries, 11 yards, 1 TD

Next Game: Louisiana-Monroe

9. Kevin Hogan, So., QB, Stanford

Hogan was typically efficient against Army, throwing for 188 yards and three scores on 18 attempts. It looks like Stanford has been mostly vanilla on offense in the early going as it prepares for its Pac-12 schedule. Hogan will get his first true test this week as Stanford hosts a dangerous Arizona State team. A big game against the Sun Devils should push him up this list.

Last Game: 11/18, 188 yards, 3 TDs, 1 Ints, 4 carries, 15 yds, in 34-20 win over Army

Season Stats: 28/45, 395 yards, 5 TDs, 1 Ints, 168.19 rating, 7 carries, 32 yds, 4.6 ypc

Next Opponent: at Army

Others to watch: De’Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon; Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor; Jameis Winston, QB, FSU; Chuckie Keeton, QB, Utah State

About Heismanpundit

Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of Heismanpundit.com, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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13 Responses to Week 4 Heisman watch

  1. jlm2015 September 16, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    I may be pointing out the obvious, but no Manziel? The only QB to ever put 42 points on Nick Saban’s Alabama? Strange…

  2. TxAg September 16, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    So Chuckie Keeton has a better chance at winning the Heisman than Manziel? Interesting.

  3. Wayne September 16, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

    Article is not legit without Manziel listed.

  4. dsagasdg September 16, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    Manziel put on the one of the greatest individual performances against the nations best defense and he’s not in the top 10? Right. Joke analysis, joke website.

  5. Heismanberg September 16, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

    Johnny Manziel is the best college football player in the country, hands down. As one luminary once put it, “If they don’t give him the Heisman, they ought to do away with the thing.” I understand that Heisman voters might critique Johnny’s off-the-field behavior, as tame as it was, but will that really preclude them from giving him the award? Either way, wouldn’t you say he has a better chance of actually winning it than many of the names on this list?

  6. Patricio September 16, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

    I’ll just leave this right here…

    Stat of the Day: Johnny Manziel all by himself has accounted for 21 percent of the offensive yardage Alabama has allowed in its last 16 games (907 yards of 4,340).

  7. P. September 16, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

    From The 10 Heismandments:
    “9. There will never be another two-time Heisman winner.”

    Also, “these are the players who have the best chance of actually winning the Heisman. This is not a prediction of the final order of the race, nor is it an endorsement of who would or should win if the vote were held today.”

    Try reading the website next time, y’all.

    • TxAg September 17, 2013 at 4:06 am #

      Funny, while Manziel was breaking college football records last year, he also broke two of the Heismandments.

      “2.Juniors and seniors have the overwhelming advantage in the Heisman race and, as a general rule, will win over an underclassman. But a sophomore from a traditional power who puts up extraordinary single-season numbers can’t be discounted.”
      This rule was changed this year to account for Manziel. Freshman were completely discounted as they were not even given long shot consideration.

      “4. The winner must have some prior name recognition.”
      Most Aggies didn’t even know who he was last year.

      Regardless, he should be included in the conversation.

    • MikeViel September 17, 2013 at 5:49 am #

      The chances of him winning a second heisman are greater than most of those players winning it this year.

  8. Christopher September 17, 2013 at 6:48 am #

    When does Melvin Gordon, RB of Wisconsin start to get into the discussion.

    Leads the nation in yards per carry at over 10 yards.
    Running for over two hundred yards per game.

    He has accomplished that while sharing carries with two other backs that could start for any other team…..

    Not saying that he is there ye,t but he must be on a watch list!!!!!!!!

  9. Zach September 18, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    I can understand believing that Johnny won’t repeat but totally leaving him off this list when he had more or slightly less yardage in the Bama game alone compared to some of the others season’s totals isn’t right. I’m not saying he has to be number 1 but he deserves to be in the honorable mention if not the top 9. How many other players in the country could’ve put up 550 total yards and 42 points on Bama? Marriota is the only one in my opinion that could even come remotely close.

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