Race for the Heisman: Week six

The Heisman race appeared to be a one-man race, but a number of quarterbacks and a versatile defender are suddenly challenging Lamar Jackson as the top Heisman contender after a week full of impressive performances.

A quick stop to see the first ever Heisman Trophy statue at the University of Chicago.

The Frontrunner

Lamar Jackson and the Louisville Cardinals had the week off after their loss to No. 3 Clemson. Still, Jackson remains the favorite in the race for the Heisman. Jackson’s early season numbers of 28 total touchdowns and 2,313 total yards are mind-blowing. He is putting up video game numbers every time he goes on the field. And Jackson is not just doing this against lesser competition. He produced in a big way against both Florida State and Clemson, two of the better teams in the country. If Jackson keeps producing at the same clip, he will be in line to win the award at the end of the season.

The Contenders

Jackson’s week off helped other players make the race a little more interesting. Deshaun Watson lifted himself back into the mix after his performance against Louisville. Watson uncharacteristically struggled early in the season, causing some people to doubt Clemson in the process. Watson responded against the Cardinals and continued to put up big numbers against Boston College last Friday night. He threw for 266 yards and four scores as the Tigers routed the helpless Eagles.

J.T Barrett didn’t help his candidacy as much with Jackson out. In Ohio State’s sloppy win over Indiana, Barrett only threw for 93 yards. Barrett still has a chance to improve his case in this weekend’s primetime showdown against Wisconsin.

A potential wild card contender has started to emerge in Michigan’s Jabril Peppers. Peppers main positions for the Wolverines are linebacker and defensive back, where he has 37 tackles and 10 tackles for loss on the season. On Saturday against Rutgers, Peppers showed his versatility on offense and rushed for 74 yards and two scores on only three carries.

In the Conversation

Washington quarterback Jake Browning continues to put his name in the Heisman conversation. Browning accounted for eight total touchdowns along with 304 yards passing in Washington’s rout of Oregon on Saturday. If the Huskies continue to win, Browning will have a chance to move into the list of contenders for the Heisman.

Dalvin Cook also continues to produce for Florida State. After a slow start, Cook has rushed for over 140 yards in each of the last three games. Greg Ward Jr.’s Heisman candidacy took a hit over the weekend with Houston’s loss to Navy. However, the Cougars have a chance to win out the rest of the season, and if Ward Jr. can produce, he can still remain in the conversation.

Edited by David Bradford

Featured image by Cole Camplese, courtesy of creativecommons.org