Following one of the greatest opening weekend in college football, we finally have stats and performances to look at for this year’s Heisman race. The big names that have been in the conversation last year such as Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey played great, but there were a slew of players this week with lower profiles who put their name into consideration. This year looks to be a competitive field and there’s no clear favorite for college football’s top player this early this year. So without further ado, here’s our breakdown of top candidates following last weekend
Christian McCaffrey, Stanford, RB: McCaffrey was quiet by his standards this past week, but still went for 2 touchdowns and 122 yards on the ground while adding 40 receiving yards as well. He would have added another touchdown and 98 yards to his total if a punt return did not get called back in the first quarter. Still, the Heisman favorite went for over 200 yards all-purpose and reminded defenses why he’s one of the scariest players in the country. Stanford is off this week, but after that he will look to tear up a USC defense that struggled heavily against Alabama
Leonard Fournette, LSU, RB: The country’s best running back picked up right where he left off last season going for 138 yards against a good Wisconsin defense. Fournette, however, could not find the endzone in LSU’s loss, which does hurt his chances early. He is still the most talented back in college though, and should look to recover in a big way as LSU takes on Jacksonville State.
Deondre Francois, Florida State, QB: “We Some Dogs, We ain’t no puppies” were the wise words of Jameis Winston while he talked to Florida State during halftime. Following his speech Florida State, did start playing like dogs; most notably, their redshirt freshman, Deondre Francois. Francois threw for 419 yards and 2 TD’s while adding 59 yards on the ground. He showed great poise and led a second half comeback against Ole Miss while also outperforming Winston’s debut the season he won Heisman. Florida State takes on Charleston Southern this week and should let their new QB loose to pad his numbers for the Heisman race
Lamar Jackson, Louisville, QB: What a performance by Louisville’s sophomore quarterback. Jackson tossed for 286 yards and 6 touchdowns while rushing for another 119 yards and 2 more scores. He also didn’t turn the ball over once last game. Jackson is one of the most dynamic players in college football and when Louisville’s offense is firing on all cylinders, he can be absolutely unstoppable. He has a better chance than anyone to run away with the Heisman since their passing and rushing attack run through him and, with the Cardinals taking on Syracuse this week his numbers should stay great, but he may not go for 8 touchdowns.
Nick Chubb, Georgia, RB: Following a gruesome injury last year, Chubb proved he’s back and just as good as before. Facing off against UNC in the season opener, Chubb led the Bulldogs to victory and went for 222 rushing yards and 2 TD’s. He’s going against Nicholls this week and should look to improve his numbers in this cupcake matchup. He may have to fight off freshman phenom QB Jacob Eason for control of the offense, however, if he hopes to remain Georgia’s top candidate for the Heisman.
Greg Ward Jr, Houston, QB,: Houston’s playoff hopes rest mostly on the shoulders of Greg Ward Jr., and he showed why as they upset Oklahoma last week. Ward Jr. threw for 321 yards and 2 TD’s last week, where he showed great development as a passer. Although he only had 1 rush during the game he did go for 18 yards and he did a great job extending plays and avoiding the rush. Expect to see a more dual threat attack from him as the season goes on. If he can find a way to take Houston to the playoffs, the Heisman will be hard to give to someone else