Chris Huston of heismanpundit.com has issued his Week 3 Heisman Watch, and Marcus Mariota is number one ahead of Braxton Miller, Tajh Boyd and Teddy Bridgewater.
Huston is one of the foremost authorities on the award. He polls actual Heisman voters and considers statistical trends, the history of the trophy voting, and the schedule.
About Mariota he says:
It didn’t take long for Mariota to strike against Virginia, as he ripped off a 71-yard touchdown run on Oregon’s fifth play. So far this season he’s averaging a remarkable 26.1 yards per carry. It looks like he’s on his way to a special season (statistically speaking) and when you combine that possibility with Oregon’s status as the No. 2 team in the land, it makes Mariota the player with the best chance of winning the Heisman at this point.
Season Stats: 26/49, 433 yards, 53.1%, 3 TDs, 0 Ints, 147.49 rating, 9 carries, 235 yards, 26.1 ypc, 3 TDs
Duck fans are noticeably frustrated by the sophomore quarterbacks uncharacteristically low completion percentage, but the facts are he's been winning and producing in the nation's most potent offense, and the completion number is likely to spike significantly in the coming weeks.
The thing is, his output to this point of the season would be Heisman-worthy for his running stats alone, which are in Red Grange territory after two weeks. Add 433 yards passing, 3 tds and no picks on a #2 team with a flashy offense and a 2-0 record, following a redshirt freshman season in which he threw for over 2600 yards and 32 tds while completing 68.5% of his passes on a team that went 12-2, and Mariota simply is a top candidate for the Heisman. Oddly, everyone thinks so except some Duck fans.