Hunting the Heisman: Teddy Bridgewater this year's Geno Smith?
Right now, we're seeing the majority of our star players stuff their statsheets against lesser-quality opponents. Quarterbacks are slinging for 500-plus yards and a ridiculous amount of touchdowns, while running backs and wide receivers are having 100-yard days like it's a walk in the park.
This will continue until conference play, but until then, let's take a look of the current leaders—which is subject to change on a weekly basis.
1. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville (LW: No. 2)
vs. Eastern Kentucky: 23-of-32 (71.9%), 397 yards, 4 TDs
2013: 46-of-60 (76.7%), 752 yards, 9 TDs, INT
Why: The first few weeks of the Heisman race are all about who can put up the biggest numbers. Last year, it was West Virginia's Geno Smith that jumped to a huge lead after throwing 24 touchdowns in the first five games. Bridgewater has had an exceptional start to his junior season, displaying his next-level accuracy and ability to stretch the field.
2. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson (LW: No. 1)
vs. South Carolina State: 14-of-23 (60.1%), 169 yards ... 6 carries, 10 yards, TD
2013: 32-of-53 (60.4%), 439 yards, 3 TDs ... 19 carries, 52 yards, TD
Why: Dabo Swinney didn't even need Boyd in the second half in the game against SCSU, so we can't really fault him for that. He drops one spot in the Heisman watch rankings only because of Bridgewater's ridiculous start, but Boyd's monumental win over Georgia is enough to keep him at No. 2.
3. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia (LW: in the hunt)
vs. South Carolina: 30 carries, 134 yards (4.5 ypc), TD ... 1 reception, 8 yards, TD
2013: 42 carries, 306 yards (7.3 ypc), 3 TDs ... 2 receptions, 9 yards, TD
Why: Todd Gurley is a man. You have to understand that he's been challenged by a solid Clemson front seven and arguably the best defensive line in college football (South Carolina). And although his team has an even record, Gurley is 2-0 when it comes to dominating the backfield. Expect a lot of yards after contact (YAC) against North Texas.
4. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon (LW: in the hunt)
vs. Virginia: 14-of-28 (50.0%), 199 yards, 2 TD ... 4 carries, 122 yards, TD
2013: 26-of-49 (53.1%), 433 yards, 3 TD ... 9 carries, 235 yards, 3 TD
Why: Mariota's 668 total yards is good for 50.3 percent of Oregon's offense, which just goes to show how explosive this unit still is. He's throwing a touchdown or running one in on every 10th designed offensive play. Mariota needs to show us all that he can hit his receivers with better timing—a reflection of his low completion percentage—but it's early and I'm not worried about it.
5. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M (LW: No. 5)
vs. Sam Houston State: 29-of-42 (69.0%), 426 yards, 3 TD, INT ... 7 carries, 36 yards, TD
2013: 35-of-50 (70.0%), 520 yards, 6 TD, INT ... 13 carries. 55 yards, TD
Why: Manziel got to play a full game of football and lit up the scoreboard. It was against Sam Houston State, but he looked like the Heisman-winning quarterback we fell in love with during the 2012 season. We'll see if that stands true this weekend when Alabama comes to College Station in the most anticipated game of the year.
Also in the hunt: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State; De'Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon; Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor; Paul Richardson, WR, Colorado; Taylor Kelly, QB, Arizona State.
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