Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/16/12

Is the Heisman race already heating up?

Matt Barkley didn’t have a strong showing on Saturday against No. 21-ranked Stanford. In fact, he threw no touchdowns and two interceptions and was sacked four times. Doesn’t sound like a Heisman-winning performance. 

So where does that leave West Virginia’s star quarterback Geno Smith?

Smith converted 34 of 39 passes for 411 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions this weekend. He also avoided being sacked. More impressive, though, is that in two games Smith has nine touchdowns and nine incompletions.

Sure, the Mountaineers haven’t had a Top 25 opponent yet. And USC might be overrated. But let’s weigh in on the candidates. 

Through three games, Barkley is 66-for-109 with 813 yards and 10 scores. Pretty solid, considering the 60.6 completion percentage. But with three interceptions and six sacks and it doesn’t look as good. Add to that Barkley’s fourth quarter stats – 9-for-17 for 90 yards and four touchdowns. That’s with a 52.9 completion percentage and 5.29 yards per attempt.

On the plus side, Barkley has 347 first-quarter yards and 9.91 yards per attempt. And his longest throw this season is 75 yards.

Smith, in two games, is 66-for-75 with 734 yards and nine scores. His completion percentage is 88.0 and he hasn’t thrown one pick yet. But his fourth quarter stats are just as weak – 3-for-3 for 64 yards and two touchdowns.

In the first quarter Smith is 22-for-27 for 253 yards and three touchdowns, with 9.37 yards per attempt. His passer rating is 218.0 (compared to Barkley’s of 91.1).

So who’s better?

It’s too hard to pick the best Heisman candidate this early in the season. Conference play will be vital in testing the strength, versatility and leadership of both Barkley and Smith. What’s clear, though, is the race between these two elite quarterbacks will come down to the wire.

And one thing is certain – both players need some work in the second half. 



MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
The Worst - NFL Week 3: Steve Smith, Odell Beckham & of course the Browns
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Cowboys worried about Bryant's 'irresponsible' actions

Seahawks expecting Russell Wilson to play this week

Ryder Cup heckler wins $100 off Euro players by draining putt

Report: ‘Slim’ chance J.J. Watt returns to Texans this season

Senator introduces anti-online gambling bill to Congress

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

SCOTUS petitioned to block $1B NFL concussion settlement

Alabama linebacker Tim Williams arrested on gun charge

Alabama’s opening week starting QB is transferring

Cubs sign Theo Epstein to five-year extension

Marlins players surrounded Jose Fernandez’s hearse during its procession

Newspaper runs insensitive headline following Mets win

The clubhouse leaders for MLB Rookie of the Year

Goodbye, Ted: 20 years of highs and lows at Turner Field

Forza Horizon 3 review: Going Top Gear

NFL Kickoff Week 4: Guess what? The NFL is dying again

Box Score: 9/29 - Sparks, Scherzer and Jaso

How the BoSox went from fringe contenders to AL East champs

WNBA semifinals preview: Will the rust show for Lynx, Sparks?

Breaking down baseball’s Cy Young ballot

TailGreater: 'Sterngating' with the Huskies

Can anyone challenge the Cavs in murky Eastern Conference?

2016 Ryder Cup preview: Five things to watch this weekend

Ryan Kesler disappointed with lack of excitement at World Cup

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The clubhouse leaders for MLB Rookie of the Year

Goodbye, Ted: 20 years of highs and lows at Turner Field

Forza Horizon 3 review: Going Top Gear

NFL Kickoff Week 4: Guess what? The NFL is dying again

WNBA semifinals preview: Will the rust show for Lynx, Sparks?

Breaking down baseball’s Cy Young ballot

TailGreater: 'Sterngating' with the Huskies

Can anyone challenge the Cavs in murky Eastern Conference?

The Worst - NFL Week 3: Steve Smith, Odell Beckham & of course the Browns

FIFA 17 review: O jogo bonito

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker