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The HP Heisman Player of the Week, Week 1

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Almost forgot to do this weekly feature because of the short week, but better late than never.

The HP Heisman Player of the Week is given out each week to the player who does the most to improve his Heisman chances, or who performs at a Heisman-worthy level.

This week, that honor goes to….Clemson’s Tajh Boyd.

Boyd, a senior quarterback, went 18 of 30 for 270 yards and three touchdowns and also added 42 yards and two more scores on the ground to lead Clemson to a 38-35 win over No. 5 Georgia this past Saturday.

As a result, Boyd was vaulted into the top spot of the season’s first HeismanPundit Straw Poll.

Here are his highlights against Georgia:

Honorable Mention: Jameis Winston, FSU; Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville; Todd Gurley, Georgia; Vernon Davis, Eastern Washington

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Heisman Player of the Week: Marqise Lee of USC

On Saturday against Arizona, Lee had one of the best games you’ll ever see by a wide receiver. The sophomore superstar caught 16 passes for 345 yards and two touchdowns and tallied 123 yards on three kickoff returns (including a 72-yarder that set up a late Trojans score). He had 469 all purpose yards, not far off from the school record of 513 set by Reggie Bush back in 2005.

For this, he is our Heisman Player of the Week.

Alas for Lee, it was all for naught as his team lost, 39-36, to the Wildcats. But it was his heroics that kept USC in it in the first place. As a result, his name is starting to get bandied about in the Heisman conversation.

The way I see it, he may not make it to New York, but he might just win his school’s first Biletnikoff Award.

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HP’s Heisman Player of the Week — Johnny Manziel

Redshirt freshman Johnny Manziel is all the rage in college football right now following his SEC-record 576 yards of total offense put up against Louisiana Tech on Saturday night.

Manziel threw for 395 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 181 yards and three scores to lead his team to a thrilling 59-57 win over a pesky Bulldog squad.

For this, he is our Heisman Player of the Week.

It’s not the first time that Manziel has gone crazy this season. Two weeks earlier, he had 557 yards of total offense against Arkansas. This season, he has 1,680 passing yards, 14 touchdown passes, three interceptions, 676 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground.

Is he a serious Heisman candidate? I’m beginning to think so. If he leads an upset of LSU this weekend or of Alabama on Nov. 10, all hell might break loose.

It helps that he’s on pace to have 3,360 passing yards, 28 touchdown passes, six picks, 1,352 rushing yards and 20 more scores on the ground by the time the Heisman vote is due.

A 3,000/1,000 season with 48 touchdowns against SEC competition would definitely send Manziel to New York. If all goes right, he might even come back with more than a T-shirt.

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Heismanpundit’s Player of the Week: Collin Klein

If there was an award in college football for ‘most improved’ this season, it would undoubtedly go to Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein.

In 2010, Klein ran for 469 yards and 6 TDs and threw for 138 yards and one score, while his team went 7-6.

This year, it’s been like night and day.

Through 10 games, the 6-5, 225-pound Klein has 1,009 rushing yards and a staggering 24 rushing touchdowns (he leads the nation in that category). He has also thrown for 1,504 yards and 10 scores, with 5 interceptions.

He is as tough a quarterback as you’ll see these days. What John Madden would call a ‘football player.’

Last week, Klein rushed for 103 yards and 5 TDs and added 281 passing yards (with a TD pass) in K-State’s 53-50 win over Texas A&M. This came a week after a heart-breaking 52-45 loss to No. 2 Oklahoma State in which Klein ran for 144 yards and passed for 231.

As a result of Klein’s improvement, Kansas State is now 8-2 and has a very good chance of winning 10 games for the first time since 2003.

And for his efforts, Klein is the recipient of Heismanpundit’s Player of the Week honors this week.

Previous Players of the Week for 2011

Week 1: Robert Griffin

Week 2: Tyler Bray

Week 3: Lamar Miller

Week 4: Bernard Pierce

Week 5: Ray Graham

Week 6: Logan Thomas

Week 7: Sammy Watkins

Week 8: Case Keenum

Week 9: Case Keenum

Week 10: Brandon Weeden

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Heismanpundit’s Player of the Week: Brandon Weeden

Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden was 36 of 46 for a career-high 502 yards and four touchdown passes in his team’s thrilling 52-45 win over Kansas State last Saturday.

For that performance, we’ve selected Weeden as Heismanpundit.com’s Player of the Week.

It’s been quite a season for the 6-4, 218-pound, Weeden, who now has 3,212 passing yards, 26 TDs and 9 interceptions on the year. More importantly, thanks to his play against Kansas State, the Cowboys are undefeated and have a chance to play for the national title if they can win out.

There’s been some question as to why Weeden hasn’t gotten more Heisman hype. I think that’s starting to change.

Finish up strong with a big win over rival Oklahoma and he might be heading to New York.

Previous Players of the Week for 2011

Week 1: Robert Griffin

Week 2: Tyler Bray

Week 3: Lamar Miller

Week 4: Bernard Pierce

Week 5: Ray Graham

Week 6: Logan Thomas

Week 7: Sammy Watkins

Week 8: Case Keenum

Week 9: Case Keenum

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Heismanpundit Player of the Week: Case Keenum

No, this is not a broken record.

For the second week in a row, Houston’s Case Keenum is the Heismanpundit.com Player of the Week.

He went 24 of 37 for 534 yards with 9 touchdowns (and one pick) in a 73-34 win over Rice last Thursday night. For those of you keeping score at home, that gives him 15 TD passes in the last two games.

Look. I know some of you will poo-poo this accomplishment because he played a team that basically none of you know anything about.

And there’s a little something to that. Keenum would not put up these kind of numbers in a BCS conference or in a different system. Granted.

But look, let’s not act like throwing 9 touchdown passes is an every day occurrence, okay? The day Rice starts giving up 9 TD passes with regularity, we can shrug this kind of thing off.

For now, let’s celebrate Keenum for his amazing season and career.

One thing I know for sure: Heisman voters are starting to take notice.

Previous Players of the Week for 2011

Week 1: Robert Griffin

Week 2: Tyler Bray

Week 3: Lamar Miller

Week 4: Bernard Pierce

Week 5: Ray Graham

Week 6: Logan Thomas

Week 7: Sammy Watkins

Week 8: Case Keenum

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Heismanpundit Player of the Week: Case Keenum

Houston’s Case Keenum, already the NCAA’s all-time total offense leader, has another momentous record within his sights.

He’s 901 yards shy of passing Hawaii’s Timmy Chang (17,072 career yards) to become the all-time NCAA career passing yardage leader. Knowing Keenum, he should get there within the next three games.

Note: I doubt anyone will ever break Keenum’s final yardage record–which should be in the 18,500 yard range–given that he had an extra couple games last year to add to the total before redshirting due to injury.

This past week was just another day at the office for Keenum, but it was spectacular enough to earn him Heismanpundit’s Player of the Week honors.

Keenum was 24 of 28 for 376 yards and 6 touchdown passes as Houston moved to 7-0 with a 63-28 win over Marshall.

His play is not going unnoticed, as several Heisman polls — including one that will be released on this web site tomorrow — have him among the top 5 contenders in the race.

Houston has a great chance to go undefeated, which means Keenum’s chances of making it to New York as a Heisman finalist could blossom as the season goes on.

We’re looking forward to watching him make history along the way.

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