Aug. 18, 2015
Heisman Watch - Week 5 - Falling Star
The top two Heisman candidates from last week hit a little bump in the road, but only one slipped in the rankings. Also, a 2015 Heisman front-runner reemerges, all this week in Heisman Watch.
In the hunt: Deshaun Watson, Clemson - Quarterback
Although it wasn’t the prettiest performance, Watson got the job done against a tough Louisville defense. The Tigers relied heavily on Watson’s ability and he finished the game with 397 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Clemson’s success and Watson’s Heisman chances rely heavily on each other with Watson being such a central piece to the Tiger offense. He should find things much easier next week in an ACC showdown with Boston College.
In the hunt: Jake Browning, Washington - Quarterback
Browning and the Huskies got the best of Stanford in a matchup of Pac-12 powerhouses. He threw for three more touchdowns, bringing his season total to 17, the third most in the country. Browning has a 70% completion percentage and only 2 interceptions through five weeks.
Although the touchdowns are there, Browning has yet to consistently pass for high yardage numbers, unlike quarterbacks ahead of him. That combined with his lack of running ability may limit his ceiling in this Heisman race.
4. Greg Ward Jr., Houston - Quarterback
Ward Jr. led the Cougars to yet another blowout win and looked good doing it. He outgained the entire Connecticut team with 454 total yards and added on 5 touchdowns. His athleticism was on full display, especially on his first touchdown run where he blazed past the Connecticut defense en route to the end zone.
The Houston signal caller has been picking up steam in recent weeks and should continue his strong performance next week against Navy.
3. Christian McCaffrey, Stanford - Running Back
After three straight stellar weeks, McCaffrey finally met his match against Washington. He still finished with 223 total yards, but 144 of those came on kick returns. The Husky defense spent the night in the Stanford backfield, so it’s not surprising to have seen McCaffrey struggle.
Thanks to a strong start to the season, McCaffrey didn’t fall too far in the rankings. He should get back on track next week against Washington State.
2. J.T. Barrett, Ohio State - Quarterback
Barrett was brilliant once again completing 21/29 passes for 4 touchdowns and 238 yards in a dismantling of the Rutgers defense. Barrett’s performance wrote his name in the history books as he broke the Ohio State record for career passing touchdowns.
Next on the schedule is Indiana, another game in which Barrett should be able to produce good numbers.
1. Lamar Jackson, Louisville - Quarterback
His team may not have picked up the victory, but Jackson still looked like a superstar. He had an astounding 75 touches which resulted in 457 yards and 3 touchdowns. In just five games, he has 2,313 total yards and 28 total touchdowns. If that doesn’t scream “Heisman,” I don’t know what does.
The loss is only a small setback for Jackson as his mammoth statistics more than makeup for it. The Cardinals will have a week off before setting their sights on Duke in what should be a blowout victory.
Additions: Greg Ward Jr.
Subtractions: Dalvin Cook