Hunting the Heisman: It's Winston's to lose
The redshirt sophomore had his worst performance since last season's loss to the Cardinal, and the 2013 edition is arguably worse since he had just 127 total yards and zero touchdowns through the first three quarters.
Winston is now the hands-down leader to this point and has a relatively easy road from here on. Florida State should have no problems taking care of business versus Syracuse, Idaho, Florida and whomever it plays in the ACC Championship Game.
Unless there's a huge letdown—or this controversial report unravels against his favor—Jameis Winston should be your 2013 Heisman Trophy winner.
The Big Three:
1. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
vs. Wake Forest: 17-of-28 (60.7 percent), 159 yards, 2 TDs, INT ... 3 carries, 4 yards
2013: 166-of-240 (69.2 percent), 2,661 yards, 26 TDs, 7 INTs ... 53 carries, 157 yards, 3 TDs
Why: From a highlight reel standpoint, Winston is coming off his worst performance of the season—and that doesn't even matter, thanks to Marcus Mariota. Florida State's defense was also the offense, forcing seven turnovers and just straight up tossing Wake Forest around like a ragdoll. As long as Winston puts up good numbers and the Seminoles keep winning, he will be holding the bronze in December.
2. Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor
vs. Oklahoma: 13-of-26 (50.0 percent), 204 yards, 3 TDs ... 16 carries, 45 yards, 2 TDs
2013: 135-of-202 (66.8 percent), 2,657 yards, 21 TDs, 1 INT ... 44 carries, 118 yards, 8 TDs
Why: Petty struggled with his deep ball and wasn't nearly as efficient as usual, but he made up for it by breaking out a new aspect of his game. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound junior found space early with the read-option, which later opened up things through the air. After totaling five touchdowns against then-No. 10 Oklahoma, he now has 29 combined and some very stiff competition remaining on the schedule. If Winston falls, Petty has a solid chance to take the lead. But that's a big if.
3. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
vs. Stanford: 20-of-34 (58.8 percent), 250 yards, 2 TDs ... 6 carries, -16 yards
2013: 164-of-259 (63.3 percent), 2,531 yards, 22 TDs ... 62 carries, 495 yards, 9 TDs
Why: Yes, he struggled against Stanford (again). The Cardinal took away his running lanes—along with the zone run in general—and forced him to make some poor decisions. They also kept him off the field, which usually helps win games. Still, we have to look at Mariota's entire body of work here, not just the last game in which he played. His touchdown-to-interception ratio is impeccable, and when not playing Stanford, he's incredibly difficult to stop. Mariota will bounce back.
Still in the Hunt:
1. A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama: 159-of-229, 2,041 yards, 19 TDs, 3 INTs
2. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M: 230-of-315, 3,313 yards, 31 TDs, 11 INTs ... 110 carries, 611 yards, 8 TDs
3. Jordan Lynch, QB, Northern Illinois: 190-of-290, 2,216 yards, 21 TDs, 5 INTs ... 193 carries, 1,273 yards, 14 TDs (post-Ball State)
4. Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State: 323-of-465, 3,421 yards, 32 TDs, 4 INTs
5. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville: 200-of-280, 2,854 yards, 24 TDs, 3 INTs
Keep Your Eye On:
1. Ka'Deem Carey, RB, Arizona
2. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson
3. Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
4. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
5. Connor Shaw, QB, South Carolina
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