Heisman Watch Week 14: Richardson, Luck, Griffin Top a Loaded Field of Contenders
Before Mark Ingram won the Heisman Trophy in 2009, Alabama — surprisingly — had never had a Heisman Trophy-winning player. Now suddenly, it seems as if there is a chance that the Crimson Tide could have two winners in three years.
Widely regarded as the most physical and dominating running back in the nation, Trent Richardson had a season full of highlights and big stat lines, all while helping Alabama (almost assuredly) get to another BCS title game.
Richardson finishes the year with 1,583 yards rushing on the season and 20 rushing touchdowns to go with 327 yards receiving and three more scores through the air. The junior is likely headed to New York City as a Heisman finalist at the very least.
Twelve wins, FBS passing records and the chance at a BCS bowl were what characterized Case Keenum’s final season in a Houston uniform. Unfortunately for Keenum’s Heisman hopes, however, the final thing that will characterize his season is a loss, and a disappointing one at that.
A victory Saturday would have given Houston a BCS bowl bid and given Keenum a real argument to be included in any Heisman discussion. Who could ignore the records broken and the statistics levied against C-USA opponents by the senior quarterback?
But two interceptions and an inability to close the deal Saturday likely closed the book on Keenum’s hopes for the trophy, as his 373 yards and two touchodwns will likely not be enough to sway voters in his favor.
Keenum finishes the season with an incredible 5,099 passing yards and 45 passing touchdowns, all of which helped him break a variety of FBS records. But a loss of this magnitude is crushing, and although Keenum’s name will be in the record books for some time to come, it won’t likely be because of a Heisman Trophy.
From the start of the season, Andrew Luck was the Heisman favorite. Through the first two months of the season, Andrew Luck was the Heisman favorite. To many, his name was already on the trophy after no candidate had presented themselves as contenders for the trophy. Then all of a sudden, the race was tight. Candidates around the country were suddenly on everyone’s mind, as Luck’s story seemed to become old.
But did Luck’s stock fall enough to prevent the Stanford quarterback from winning the trophy? Or do Luck’s nearly season-long support and impressively strong numbers on the season give him what it takes to win the most prestigious trophy in college football? It’s a debate that is not easy to settle.
Luck finished the season with 3,170 passing yards and 35 touchdowns on the season against just nine interceptions. The presumed frontrunner for the trophy has been challenged and will not coast to the trophy in the way many expected earlier this season. But is it still his to lose? We’ll soon find out.
The final regular season game of Kellen Moore’s brilliant collegiate career went about the way all of his others had, as Moore picked apart the defense he was faced with in exacting and efficient ways, leading Boise State to another dominating victory and another statement about the strength of the Broncos.
Moore threw for 313 yards and three touchdowns before being pulled in the third quarter. Though a loss to TCU late in the season likely ruined Boise State’s chance at a national title shot or even a BCS bowl bid, Moore completed one of his most effective seasons, finishing with 3,507 yards passing on the season while throwing for a school record 41 touchdowns. He also completed a Boise State best 300 passes this season.
Though Moore likely wont be winning the Heisman Trophy, his success in these past years have shown the ever-improving strength of the offenses in the non-AQ conferences, and the ever-building momentum of those long forgotten schools.
Robert Griffin III
Playing in what could prove to be his last game in a Baylor uniform, Griffin took the opportunity to impress Heisman voters one last time on a national stage with an all-around performance against Texas in the Bears’ 48-24 victory over the Longhorns on Saturday.
The dual-threat quarterback threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more, while accounting for 352 total yards of offense.
Griffin spent the season entering and leaving the Heisman conversation, but certainly has made his mark on this season recently and has made his Heisman candidacy undeniable.
Griffin ends the season with 3,998 yards passing and 36 passing touchdowns to go with 644 yards rushing and nine rushing scores. Griffin also helped revive a Baylor program that was a factor in the Big 12 all season.
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