Heisman Watch Week Nine: Te’o, Klein come up big when needed
A week after staking his claim to the role of Heisman favorite, Klein was able to avoid the classic letdown game against Texas Tech, combining to account for four touchdowns against the Red Raiders in Kansas State’s convincing victory. Leading what will be a team among the top three teams ranked in the country, Klein continues to show of his versatility, rushing for 83 yards to go with his 233 yards passing.
Geno Smith and West Virginia were off on the weekend, trying desperately to recover from two straight blowout losses that have thrown wrenches in their Big 12 title hopes and Smith’s Heisman hopes. The senior quarterback has still accounted for nearly 2,500 yards passing and 26 touchdowns against just two interceptions. Smith can still recover in this race, and has the games ahead of him to do it.
After scoring 56 points in the first half, at least one Oregon Duck was bound to show up here. This week, it’s Kenjon Barner, the burner who accounted for more than 150 yards in total offense, as well as two rushing touchdowns. For the year, Barner has posted impressive numbers, turning it up in recent weeks, having scored nine touchdowns in the last four weeks to bring his name to the forefront of many Heisman watches.
With Notre Dame put to the test Saturday night against Oklahoma, it was Te’o who came up with the big defensive play late that allowed the Irish to claim their first marquee victory of the year. Sure, Notre Dame had run a perfect route through their early season tests, but against Oklahoma they would be faced with a challenge far more difficult than they had seen. But it was Te’o who proved the different.
Te’o’s 11 tackles, two for a loss and a key interception late allowed Notre Dame to keep and extend the lead. It couldn’t have been better for Te’o on a national stage. He’s in this thing for real now.
In what many were expecting to be a big test for Ohio State, Braxton Miller came up big, accounting for three touchdowns in his return from a scary injury last weekend against Purdue. Miller threw for 143 yards and a score to go with his 134 yards and two scores on the ground to help the Buckeyes outlast Penn State. Despite their ineligibilty, the Buckeyes remain undefeated, and Miller has a lot to do with that. His Heisman hopes are as strong as they have been as we hit November.
On The Radar:
Not a good showing from Ball as Wisconsin’s hot streak snaps. Could Ball fight his way back into the picture for a second time this season?
Thomas continues to fill up the stat sheet — did you see his punt return for a touchdown? — but the more his teammate Barner shines, the less to go around. His all-purpose production is unmatched, but is that enough for the Heisman cred?
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