Heisman Watch: Tight race comes down to final two weeks

Dr. Saturday

The last full weekend of the regular season is upon us.

For some players on this list, it might be the last chance to impress the Heisman voters, while others will get a couple more chances to punch their tickets to New York.

While we’ve listed five people in our Heisman race, there are really just two  jockeying for position: Oregon QB Marcus Mariota and Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon.

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These two players essentially have been going toe-to-toe for the past few weeks matching each other’s stellar efforts. Gordon will need to help his Badgers beat Minnesota this weekend to get another weekend of play and another weekend to impress voters. Mariota already has another shot in the Pac-12 title game.

Other players on the list are hoping Mariota and Gordon stumble to open the door for a dark horse. It’s a longshot, but stranger things have happened.

Here’s a look at Dr. Saturday’s Heisman Watch heading into Week 14:

Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon: Mariota broke the Pac-12 record for single-season touchdowns last week with three scores against Colorado. He currently has 42 with one regular season game to play. The Civil War game against Oregon State shouldn’t be competitive, but the Beavers did upset Arizona State and are looking for bowl eligibility. Still, Mariota should be able to post Heisman-worthy numbers against a defense that is allowing 30.2 points per game.

Melvin Gordon runs from Iowa linebacker Bo Bower during Wisconsin's win. (AP)
Melvin Gordon runs from Iowa linebacker Bo Bower during Wisconsin's win. (AP)

Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin: Gordon admitted that he was a little disappointed that he only held the single-game rushing record for just a week, but that won’t diminish his Heisman hopes. He rushed for 200 yards and two touchdowns against Iowa, and became the fastest player in FBS history (in terms of carries) to reach the 2,000-yard mark. He has rushed for at least 200 yards in each of his last three games, but might find a little resistance against a Minnesota rushing defense that allows just 154.6 yards per game.

Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU: The week off probably gave Boykin and TCU a chance to refocus and get ready for Thursday’s important matchup against Texas. The Horned Frogs learned from their close win against Kansas that style points matter and that will be the case in this game as well. For as poor as Texas has played most of this season, the defense has been steady. So, if Boykin can have a strong effort against the Longhorns, he might be able to make up a little ground in the Heisman race. Boykin is going to New York, it’s now just a matter of where he finishes.

J.T. Barrett, QB, Ohio State: Barrett threw two interceptions against Indiana last week, which sort of put a damper on his 302-yard, four-touchdown day. However, he did set the school record for touchdown passes in a season (33) and the win secured a spot in the Big Ten title game. Now, the last thing to do this regular season is beat rival Michigan. While that seems like an easy prospect, Barrett also will have to put up gaudy numbers against the Wolverines, which is something not many teams have been able to do. If he can do that, his ticket to New York should be booked.

Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana: Coleman has quietly put together a Heisman-worthy season with 1,906 yards rushing, but he's been a bit overshadowed because he’s in the same conference as Gordon and because he plays for a bad team. Still, Coleman has 535 yards in the past two games, including 228 against a pretty stout Ohio State team last weekend. Coleman ends his season this weekend against a Purdue rushing defense that allows 187.8 yards per game. It’s a prime opportunity to get on the radar of Heisman voters and punch a ticket to New York.

BY THE NUMBERS

 

Comp. %

Pass Yds.

Pass TDs

INTs

Rush Yds.

Rush TDs

Marcus Mariota

68.0

3,103

32

2

597

9

J.T. Barrett

64.8

2,658

33

10

849

9

Trevone Boykin

59.3

3,021

24

5

548

7

 

Yds./carry

Yds./game

Rush yards

Rush TDs

Rec. Yds.

Rec TDs

Melvin Gordon

8.3

191.7

2,009

25

147

2

Tevin Coleman

7.9

173.3

1,906

15

135

0

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