Heisman Watch Week Eight: Luck, Moore, Richardson Lead Important Victory Marches
Scoreless in the first half and leading an Alabama squad that could not break away from Tennessee — tied 6-6 at half — Trent Richardson’s day was looking like a hit against his Heisman hopes and possibly a hit against Alabama’s legitimacy as a BCS contender.
But a strong second half, keyed by two Richardson touchdowns and plenty of scoring led the Tide easily by the Volunteers, and gave Richardson just enough on the day to keep right in the thick of things in the Heisman race.
Richardson finished the day with 77 yards and two scores, helping to lead Alabama over Tennessee, 37-6 — a serviceable day by all accounts. He and the Tide have next weekend off before the looming showdown with BCS No. 1 LSU at home. A strong performance there could do wonders for a Heisman profile, and Richardson will surely be looking to take advantage.
Taken out of context, Landry Jones’s performance late Saturday night was probably the best quarterback showing of the day. But in context, it all seems a little different.
Unable to capitalize on the opportunity to make a comeback against an unranked opponent at home, Jones’s 412 yards and five touchdowns will be viewed as too little, despite the gaudiness of the numbers. The Sooners fell, and they fell hard, and so will Jones’s Heisman stock.
That’s not to say Jones is out of the race completely, but his climb to New York City will a tough road, one which would require some impressive numbers down the stretch. As it is in the BCS, losing is often more important than how you lose.
Everything seemed set up perfectly for Russell Wilson late Saturday night. Trailing on the road, the senior quarterback brought Wisconsin all the way back from a deep deficit in the fourth quarter to tie the game. Then with four seconds left and a seemingly impossible Hail Mary play before overtime, Wilson looked like he would complete his comeback, and get his first real Heisman moment.
But a Kirk Cousins bomb was tipped in the endzone and somehow ended up in the hands of Michigan State’s Keith Nichol, handing Wisconsin its first loss and ending Wilson’s hope at completing the comeback. Without the glory of that moment, Wilson had a somewhat off day, throwing two picks to go with his two touchdowns and 233 yards passing. He also broke out a key 22-yard touchdown run late in the game that seemed to be the start of the comeback he and the Badgers needed, but it prove all for naught.
Wilson is in no way out of the race, but his sub-par performance against the Spartans on Saturday certainly has his stock falling. If Wisconsin survives the rest of its schedule unblemished and makes its way to the Big Ten Championship Game (possibly facing the Spartans once again) Wilson will be sure to be in the midst of the race, but he will need some bounce back performances in the coming weeks to ensure he remains in the conversation.
A rather ho-hum day from Andrew Luck in Stanford’s absolute pounding of Washington on Saturday night, as Luck passed for 169 yards and two scores. Luck’s presence was certainly not needed on the night, as Stanford bested the Huskies in most aspects, especially during the Cardinal’s 28-point second quarter.
Luck did nothing at all on the night to hurt his candidacy, but certainly didn’t do anything spectacular to help it, either. While his place as the frontrunner in this race is secure for now, he will certainly have to submit more impressive stat lines down the road to stay on top.
Yet another historic day for Moore and Boise State, as the seni0r tied the all-time record for career victories by a FBS quarterback, equaling the 45 that former Heisman contender and Texas quarterback Colt McCoy recorded as his time as a Longhorn.
Moore was proficient on the day as well against the Air Force defense, passing for 281 yards and three touchdowns while leading the Broncos to a 37-26 victory on the night.
Efficient as ever, Moore completed 23 of 29 passes, although he was picked once during the game.
Moore and Boise also have next weekend off, but will travel to UNLV on Nov. 5, where Moore will look to break the all-time wins record and contribute yet another strong stat line to his already impressive season resume.
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