Heisman Watch Week 12: Is Johnny Football Running Away With The Heisman?
Collin Klein, leader of the newest No. 1 team in the BCS, came into Saturday with his grip on the Heisman race slipping. It’s certainly up for grabs again after Saturday. Sure, Klein’s three total touchdowns, two passing and one rushing, were important, but the thing that had kept Klein above the pack in the chase for the trophy — winning — went by the wayside on Saturday. Klein’s team suffered its first loss, and with it, Klein’s claim as the best player on the best team in the country is no longer true.
The young gun in the Heisman race, Manziel took full advantage of what was offered to him Saturday — a chance to rack up some impressive statistics against a weaker opponent in Sam Houston State. Manziel did just that, putting up more than 350 yards in total offense to go with five total touchdowns against the Bearkats in Texas A&M’s big victory. Manziel was efficient, completing 14 of 20 passes for 267 yards and throwing just one pick, while racking up an even 100 yards on the ground. Manziel could be the favorite as we head down the home stretch.
Loss after loss, USC has fallen from the national title picture, but despite the losses, USC has produced a Heisman candidate producing at unprecedented levels. Marqise Lee did it again against UCLA, putting up 158 yards and a touchdown against the Bruins to burn through yet another Pac-12 defense easily. The wide receiver was not expected to vie for the trophy, given quarterback Matt Barkley and fellow wide receiver, junior Robert Woods’ prowess, but Lee has emerged as the top threat in the Trojans’ offense.
Manti Te’o might stake a claim to that title Klein has given up. The Fighting Irish linebacker may now be the best player on the best team in the country, as Notre Dame is expected to take over the BCS’s No. 1 spot when the sixth rankings are released tomorrow. Te’o was strong again against Wake Forest in the Irish’s shutout of the Demon Deacons on his senior day, recording a season-low five tackles, but also recording his sixth interception. The Irish linebacker is certainly staking a claim as the most visible defensive player in the nation.
His status grows the more the Buckeyes win, especially given Braxton Miller’s inability to lead his team to a bowl game or a Big Ten Championship Game. With their overtime victory over Wisconsin on Saturday, Ohio State moved to 11-0 on the season despite their postseason ineligibility. That in and of itself should be praise worthy for the Buckeyes quarterback. But his statistics hold up, as Miller was quiet and efficient behind center, completing 10 of 18 passes on Saturday.
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