Hunting the Heisman: Don't count Petty out
Winston and Co. have been putting opponents out of their misery early in games, so his stats won't be like Marcus Mariota's or Johnny Manziel's. And they don't need to be.
There's only one factor holding the redshirt freshman back from winning the Heisman Trophy, and that's himself. Reports say that Florida police will decide whether to press charges on Winston within the next two weeks, and if he's proven guilty, it will have a major impact on the voters' final decision.
That said, Bryce Petty is waiting in the wings, and just keeps putting up huge numbers while winning games. If he can continue this high level of play on the road at No. 10 Oklahoma State this weekend, this race will get interesting.
The Big Three:
1. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
vs. Syracuse: 19-of-21 (90.5 percent), 277 yards, 2 TDs ... 5 carries, -12 yards
2013: 185-of-261 (70.9 percent), 2,938 yards, 28 TDs, 7 INTs ... 58 carries, 145 yards, 3 TDs
Why: Another impressive quality is that Winston was able to have a near-perfect performance with this assault allegation looming over his head. I'll give the credit to his abilities and outstanding preparation skills, but it also makes you want to believe that he knows he had nothing to do with the case. Either way, be on the lookout for another one-and-done half for Winston against Idaho on Saturday.
2. Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor
vs. Texas Tech: 17-of-31 (54.8 percent), 335 yards, 3 TDs ... 9 carries, 9 yards, 2 TDs
2013: 152-of-233 (65.2 percent), 2,992 yards, 24 TDs, INT ... 53 carries, 127 yards, 10 TDs
Why: It's about time the major media outlets (ah hem, ESPN) start giving Petty some respect. Not only does he lead the No. 1 offense in college football, but his team is 9-0 with an excellent chance to end the regular season as a top-3 ranking. His 19.7 yards per completion is a testament to his downfield passing ability, topping Winston (15.9), Marcus Mariota (15.4) and Johnny Manziel (14.4). Petty is also an asset near the goal line, as he's scored at least one rushing touchdown in eight straight games.
3. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
vs. Utah: 19-of-26 (73.1 percent), 288 yards, 3 TDs ... 4 carries, -18 yards
2013: 183-of-285 (64.2 percent), 2,819 yards, 25 TDs ... 66 carries, 477 yards, 9 TDs
Why: Another week, another game that Mariota hasn't thrown an interception. Last year, we saw A.J. McCarron go nine games without throwing a pick, and Louisiana Tech's Colby Cameron put up 27 passing touchdowns before finally tossing it to the other team in Week 12. This is an extremely underrated statistic that more people need to pay attention to. When your quarterback isn't turning the ball over, EVER (other than a few fumbles), it makes your offense extremely dangerous. And that's why Oregon is usually put in a pretty good position to put up lots and lots of points.
Still in the Hunt:
1. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M: 230-of-315, 3,313 yards, 31 TDs, 11 INTs ... 110 carries, 611 yards, 8 TDs
2. Jordan Lynch, QB, Northern Illinois: 190-of-290, 2,216 yards, 21 TDs, 5 INTs ... 193 carries, 1,273 yards, 14 TDs
3. A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama: 177-of-261, 2,228 yards, 21 TDs, 5 INTs
4. Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State: 323-of-465, 3,421 yards, 32 TDs, 4 INTs
5. Ka'Deem Carey, RB, Arizona: 242 carries, 1,353 yards, 12 TDs ... 25 rec, 178 yards, TD
Keep Your Eye On:
1. Andre Williams, RB, Boston College
2. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
3. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson
4. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
5. Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
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