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College football ’18: Heisman Watch

Heisman

As the college football season moves on, it’s time to get serious about the 2018 Heisman Trophy race.

The Game Haus will provide weekly rankings of the top five candidates for college football’s most prestigious award. Here’s a look at this week’s version of the Heisman watch with the current contenders as we see it.

Previous week’s rankings in parenthesis. All times eastern.

1. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama (1)

This week: Idle

The Breakdown: The Crimson Tide are off this week, so Tagovailoa gets a chance to rest his knee before next week’s showdown with LSU. That will be Tagovailoa’s biggest test of the season to date, and another strong showing in that contest should cement the Heisman for the Alabama star. Prior to that, Tagovailoa, who has still not thrown an interception this season, will enjoy watching Alabama’s name being posted among the top four when the first College Football Playoff rankings come out next week.

2. Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma (4)

This week: vs. Kansas State, 3:30 p.m., Saturday

The Breakdown: Murray is doing his best to put heat on Tagovailoa in the Heisman race. The last three games for the Sooners’ signal caller have been just plain nasty. He’s thrown 14 touchdowns while being picked off just once during that span. Murray’s also averaging 6.5 yards per carry this season. Kansas State’s defense has been inconsistent thus far in 2018, so there’s a good chance Murray’s run of success will continue this weekend.

3. Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State (2)

Heisman
Photo by the ozone.net

This week: Idle

The Breakdown: The Buckeyes’ ugly loss at Purdue dropped Haskins a spot in these Heisman rankings, but he wasn’t really to blame for the setback. He attempted a ridiculous school-high 73 passes in that contest – three fewer than the amount of rushing yards Ohio State totaled for the game – and also achieved single-game team records for completions (49) and yards (470). The Buckeyes’ coaching staff completely abandoned a run game that is becoming a major concern in Columbus. Haskins has enjoyed a great season, but perhaps he’s being asked to do too much.

4. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin (4)

This week: at Northwestern, Noon, Saturday

The Breakdown: Taylor’s streak of games with at least 100 yards rushing is at eight after gaining 159 in a win over Illinois last weekend. In 21 career games for Wisconsin, Taylor has failed to gain 100 yards on the ground just four times. However, one of those came against Northwestern, when the Wildcats held him to 80 yards on 19 carries in his fourth career contest.

5. Rondale Moore, WR Purdue (NR)

This week: at Michigan State, Noon, Saturday.

The Breakdown: College football fans got a prime-time view of what Moore is capable of doing as Purdue roughed up Ohio State last Saturday night. The all-purpose freshman phenom caught 12 passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns against the Buckeyes. It’s the third time he’s posted double-digit receptions, and the fifth with at least 100 receiving yards. Moore’s a Heisman long shot, but he might be setting the table for next year and beyond.

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