Heisman Watch Week Four: Pryor, Ingram and Moore Leap Ahead
Mallett was on top of the world headed into Saturday’s action.
After leading his Arkansas Razorbacks to a last-minute victory over Georgia last weekend, Mallett seemed to be atop most of the country’s Heisman Watch lists.
Then when he started his important showdown with Alabama on fire, he looked ever more like the Heisman candidate he had been hyped up to be all season.
However, after looking sharp to begin and entering the locker room at halftime with a ten-point lead, Mallett and the Razorbacks all but disappeared. The junior quarterback ended up throwing two interceptions in the second half — including a very costly one on third down in his own territory in the fourth quarter with the Razorbacks clinging to a lead — and likely cost his team a chance at an upset victory.
Mallett still finished the day with 357 yards passing, but his three interceptions proved very costly both to his team and to his immediate Heisman future.
Although by no means out of the race, Mallett will need to bring the heat against his next few opponents to stay in the thick of this very even Heisman chase down the stretch.
Yes, the competition was mediocre, and yes, anything other than a blowout would have been a real surprise. But the show that Terrelle Pryor and the Ohio State Buckeyes put on on Saturday was a true testament to their offensive capabilities in 2010.
Pryor threw for 224 yards and two touchdowns to go along with another on the ground and yet another as a receiver to cap a masterful performance against an over-matched Eastern Michigan team in the Horseshoe on Saturday.
When Pryor finally came out of the game on Saturday he had accounted for 348 yards of total offense and led the team in both rushing and passing in the Buckeyes’ blowout 73-20 victory over the Eagles.
In his first few games, Pryor has looked like a legitimate Heisman contender, but it will be his performances against the defenses of the Big Ten that will truly spell his potential for the trophy and the Buckeyes’ chances at a national title.
Last week Michigan got a real scare from a FCS school in UMass. This week, against a FBS school in Bowling Green, the only real scare came at the expense of Robinson himself, as the star quarterback went down with what looked like a serious injury.
Robinson would eventually recover and spent the latter parts of the game walking around the Wolverine sideline with a grin on his face, telling the AP, “They said I’m good.” They being the Michigan staff.
So Robinson got very little game time in Michigan’s lopsided 65-21 victory over Bowling Green, but in the time he did spend in the game, he looked like the “Shoelace” we’ve all grown to love and think of as a Heisman hopeful, passing for 60 yards and rushing for 129.
And all of that came on just four passes and five rushing attempts in less than nine minutes of game time.
So we got a glimpse of Robinson on Saturday, and if it weren’t for the blowout nature of the game, we would have probably seen more. Of course now that next week spells the start of the Big Ten season, Robinson will truly be challenged and put to the test against some of the nation’s toughest defenses, and will be expected to play through bangs like the one he suffered on Saturday.
His name remains squarely in the Heisman race, but the level of competition is about to get a whole lot tougher. Is Robinson ready?
Slowly, but surely, Mark Ingram is back into the Heisman conversation. And now we have more than just one game against a paltry Duke defense to prove it.
Ingram’s two touchdowns and 157 rushing yards against Arkansas in Saturday’s marquee matchup proved invaluable during the Crimson Tide’s come-from-behind victory against the Razorbacks, as Alabama continued its march towards another national championship.
Ingram ripped off a 54-yard touchdown run in the first quarter — the Tide’s only score of the half — to keep Alabama in it early, and then helped them put it away late, bruising in for a one-yard score.
For most of the final Alabama drive, Ingram took the direct snap and yet was still able to get the yards he and the Tide needed in order to complete the comeback and retain their place atop the college football rankings.
It wont get much easier for the Tide and Ingram, as they will head back home to welcome Florida to Tuscaloosa and then will traverse another tough SEC schedule. Not an easy proposition, but if Ingram continues to play the way he did against the Razorbacks, we could have our selves a real shot at a repeat Heisman winner.
Afforded another shot to prove his Heisman worth to the nation, Kellen Moore did not disappoint — throwing for three touchdowns and 288 yards to help Boise State win another game over a BCS conference opponent and continued his early season domination.
As has become the norm from the junior quarterback, Moore captained the Boise offense with ease and poise throughout the night, leading them up and down the field for a bevy of points against Oregon State, while keeping his attempts and misses in check. His 19-of-27 passing was effective enough to keep Boise State out ahead of the Beavers all night, and showed once again that Moore is a legitimate Heisman candidate.
Although not every drive ended in a touchdown, Moore was effective enough to bring Boise State another victory before they enter the heart of WAC play.
Moore will get a shot to show some real offensive fireworks in the weeks to come, and must do so if he is to be a contender for the long haul.
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