Heisman Watch Week 10: Northern Illinois QB Jordan Lynch gaining ground

It’s been more than 22 years since a player from a non-major school won the Heisman Trophy (BYU's Ty Detmer in 1990), but Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch is trying to break that streak.

Last week, we noted that it’s a three-man race, but with only one of those guys playing a quality opponent this week, it gave us an opportunity to check out some other candidates and Lynch piqued our interest.

He’s not a new name. He was in the Heisman conversation last year after he led the Huskies to the Orange Bowl and his coach – Dave Doeren – wrote a letter to Heisman voters claiming they should consider his QB.

This year has been no different. Lynch accounted for five touchdowns in a 63-19 win over UMass and kept the Huskies unbeaten.

And if it were just about stats, Lynch would have a solid case for the bronze statue. He’s passed for 1,871 yards and 19 touchdowns. He’s rushed for 1,150 yards and 12 scores. He’s even caught a touchdown pass. However, he plays in the Mid-American Conference – a conference that boasts seven teams with losing records and has no team but NIU in the Top 25. If we knock Teddy Bridgewater’s schedule (which we do every week) we can’t elevate Lynch above players such Marcus Mariota and Johnny Manziel.

Right now, he’s on the outside looking in, but he’s definitely keeping folks interested.

Here’s Dr. Saturday’s Heisman Watch for Week 11:

Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

With Oregon on a bye, we missed watching Mariota dazzle us with his ball security, but he’ll have his Heisman game on Thursday against Stanford. The game would have had more intrigue had Stanford also been undefeated, but if Mariota can lead his team to a big win, it will go a long way with voters.

Stats:

Comp %:
64.0

Yards:
2,281

TD:
20

INT:
0

Rush Yds.:
511

TD:
9

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

The best part of Manziel’s game against Texas-El Paso on Saturday was not the 273 yards or six total touchdowns in just over a half of work. It was the way he rallied his team after its slow start in the first quarter. A&M led 9-7 at the end of the first quarter and was playing rather uninspired. After a stern talk by Manziel, the Aggies went into half up 36-7 and won the game 57-7.

Stats:

Comp %:
72.5

Yards:
2,867

TD:
26

INT:
8

Rush Yds.:
564

TD:
8

Jameis Winston, QB, Florida St.

Winston had one final regular season opportunity against a quality foe, and while it wasn’t his best performance, he did lead the Seminoles to a 41-14 win over No. 7 Miami and all but assured Florida State a spot in the ACC title game. Winston completed 72.4 percent of his passes for 325 yards and a touchdown, but also threw two interception. Unfortunately, attention will now shift to Winston’s Heisman competitors and Winston goes through a stretch of weak teams on his schedule.

Stats:

Comp %:
70.3

Yards:
2,502

TD:
24

INT:
6

Rush Yds.:
153

TD:
3

AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama

Yes, McCarron appears on this list out of nowhere, but after some soul-searching, we realized McCarron was as deserving as anyone, and maybe even moreso since he is the quarterback of the two-time national champion. McCarron is often overshadowed by Alabama’s defense and its running game, but his numbers are some of the best in the country. He’ll have a tough test against LSU this weekend.

Stats:

Comp %:
69.4

Yards:
1,862

TD:
16

INT:
3

Rush Yds.:
-20

TD:
0

Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor

Like Mariota and McCarron, Seastrunk was off this week, but will play a Heisman-defining game on Thursday against Oklahoma. Even though he's rushed for at least 100 yards in all but one game this season, he's just now hitting the meat of his schedule and we’ll finally see whether he can put up big numbers against quality teams.

Stats:

YPC:
9.1

Rush Yards:
869

Rush TD:
11

Rec. Yards:
0

Rec. TDs.:
0

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