Heisman Watch: SDSU RB Donnel Pumphrey moves up the ranks

Dr. Saturday

There haven’t been many constants in college football this season, but one constant has been the love for Lamar Jackson. Even when Jackson has a subpar game, he remains the Heisman frontrunner because subpar for him is a career day for someone else.

While Jackson remains at the top of most Heisman ballots, many others are making moves, especially after the Nos. 2, 3, and 4 teams lost last week.

Here’s this week’s Heisman Watch heading into Week 12:

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Last week’s shakeup in college football only strengthened Jackson’s hold on the Heisman race, which is a little funny considering Jackson had what would be called his worst game of the season against Wake Forest. He passed for a season-low 145 yards, but still managed 153 rushing yards and didn’t throw an interception.

Donnel Pumphrey finally had a touchdowns last week after going the previous two weeks without. That was perfect timing as the Heisman seas parted for him to cozy up to Jackson for a seat in New York. Pumphrey rushed for 198 yards against Nevada and will have a chance to have a similar performance against a Wyoming defense that is allowing about 164 rushing yards per game.

SDSU’s Donnel Pumphrey is climbing the Heisman ranks, but will continue to need stirring performances to win. (Getty)
SDSU’s Donnel Pumphrey is climbing the Heisman ranks, but will continue to need stirring performances to win. (Getty)

Watson threw a career-high 70 passes for a career-high 580 yards against Pittsburgh last week, but it was a crucial late interception that dropped him on this list. Overall, Watson threw three interceptions against the Panthers, which is his second three-interception game of the season (Louisville).

If a bad performance hasn’t doomed some of the other candidates on this list, it’s not going to doom Jake Browning. Still, the numbers were not good. He completed a season-low 47.2 percent of his passes for 259 yards, a touchdown and an interception in a 26-13 loss to USC. Browning will have a chance to rebound this week against an Arizona State passing defense that allows 387.4 yards per game.

Many believe Westbrook will be the winner of the Biletnikoff Award, which is given to the nation’s best receiver, but he’s making inroads in the Heisman race as well. During the Sooners seven-game winning streak, Westbrook has had at least 105 yards in all but one game and at least one touchdown reception. He had four catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns in the win against Baylor and a solid performance against West Virginia this weekend could cement the Sooner Big 12 title and punch Westbrook’s ticket to New York.

One to Watch

Texas running back D’Onta Foreman has been on a tear in the last three weeks amassing 758 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Foreman hasn’t been on the Heisman radar because Texas has struggled this season, but its his performances that have the Longhorns a win away from bowl eligibility. Foreman has rushed for at least 124 yards in every game this season and his 11-game streak of at least 100 yards on the ground ties Earl Campbell for the longest in program history. Overall, he trails only Pumphrey for the national rushing lead.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter!

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