Heisman Watch Week Six: Klein, Smith shine against Big 12 foes
De’Anthony Thomas continues to collect yards in bunches, pushing Washington’s defense to the limit in his reduced work load against the Huskies, and staying in the middle of the Heisman race. On just 10 carries, Thomas racked up 75 yards and a touchdown to go with a 12-yard reception. Thomas also provided 35 yards of field positioning offense from two kick returns in the early part of the game.
In the biggest of spots, against a rising Texas team, Geno Smith was skillful yet again on Saturday, throwing for four more touchdowns and 268 yards to help lead West Virginia past the Longhorns. Sure, Smith’s 10 incompletions were his second highest on the year, but Smith was his usual efficient self, providing the offense the Mountaineers needed to win in their first trip to Austin as a member of the Big 12.
With more Big 12 action in store, all of which promises more of the offensive fireworks we’ve seen already, Smith is likely to continue to collect the same impressive numbers he’s been grabbing all season. Smith
Just a week after shining against South Florida, EJ Manuel and Florida State came back to earth in a shocking loss to North Carolina State, a game which saw Manuel and the Seminoles come out strong, but falter toward the end to bring Manuel back to the Heisman pack. Passing for 218 yards and a touchdown against a game Wolfpack defensive attack, Manuel was unable to lead the Seminoles to a second-half scoring drive.
With plenty of season remaining, Manuel has all the time he needs to rebound from the loss, but he will need to lead the Seminoles to victories in the coming weeks if he hopes to stay in the conversation.
In an all-out rout of presumed Big Ten favorites through the season’s first month, Braxton Miller had a coming out party on the ground, leading Ohio State past Nebraska and showing the country just what kind of damage he can do. Breaking a Ohio State record, Miller broke off a 72-yard touchdown run that helped the Buckeyes top the Cornhuskers, 63-38. In all, Miller rushed for 186 yards and a score on a day where his arm was not needed nearly as much — as Miller only completed seven of 14 attempts for 127 yards and a touchdown.
Not needing to give everything he had against Kansas, Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein still racked up strong stats against the Jayhawk defense, continuing a strong start to the Wildcats’ season. Klein scored twice through the air and twice on the ground to lead the Wildcats to a convincing 56-16 victory in a game that had all the makings of a stat sheet filler for Klein coming into the contest — a promise Klein kept.
Looking every bit the runner and the passer performances like the one Klein gave against Kansas on Saturday would be sure to keep him among the most important names in college football for weeks to come.
On The Radar:
More of what you might expect from Barkley against Utah, as the senior passed for three touchdowns and 303 yards against the Utes defense.
Murray chose a bad time to have his worst performance of the season, against South Carolina, unable to help the Bulldogs muster much offense and completing just over a third of his passes.
←Heisman Watch Week Five: Geno Smith’s brilliant day rules weekend storylines