Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

College football: Heisman watch, Week 11

The gang's all here (or back, at least). All of the Heisman favorites were back on the sideline after their respective byes last week, and they didn’t miss a step.

Titans at the top of the rankings clashed, season-ending collapses were avoided and the stars stood tall in every game. We are reaching the home stretch of the season, and the Heisman Trophy is on the verge of being given to its 80th athlete.

Here are the studs who got a little closer this week to being that athlete.

Justin Fields, Ohio State

Not even minutes after Ohio State was named the best team in country, according to the first College Football Playoff rankings, people were bellyaching that the Buckeyes didn’t deserve the No. 1 spot. They showed why they got that honor against Maryland, and Justin Fields was the player driving the runaway freight train.

The sophomore stud was unstoppable against the Terrapins, throwing for 200 yards and three touchdowns. He also added a rushing score putting him at 37 touchdowns responsible for — the second most in the entire country.

Fields may not be leading the country in any major category, but he is putting up Heisman-caliber numbers for one of the top teams in the nation. If Fields continues at his current pace and Ohio State keeps winning, it’ll be tough to keep him from hoisting the hardware in December.

Joe Burrow, LSU

Few opposing quarterbacks walk into Tuscaloosa and come out alive. But somehow Joe Burrow went into the lion’s den and escaped with a win.

The senior signal-caller helped LSU snap an eight-game losing streak against Alabama, tearing up the Crimson Tide defense for 393 yards and three touchdowns. He also showed off some of his wheels, rushing for 64 yards. He kept his opponents off balance and put the Tigers out of reach while Alabama desperately tried to come back.

Burrow continues to lead the country in completion percentage and is third in the nation in touchdowns responsible for. With wins against Texas, Florida, Auburn and now Alabama, Burrow has built up quite the body count. Quality wins like that will look good to voters.

Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

While one side rejoices, the other is left to figure out what went wrong. Tua Tagovailoa had to watch Burrow carve up his team and was on the wrong end of a historical loss, but it wasn’t from a lack of effort on his part.

The Hawaiian native did everything he could to keep the Crimson Tide in the game, throwing for 418 yards and notching four passing scores against the second-best team in the country. He’s still in the top five in touchdowns responsible for and second in passer efficiency rating.

While Alabama’s season was dealt a huge blow, Tagovailoa’s numbers and value to his team are undeniable.

Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma

Part of being a winner is dealing with adversity. Jalen Hurts and Oklahoma were dealt a huge (and unexpected) loss against Kansas State. But he came back with a vengeance, and Iowa State was the unfortunate victim — although, even that didn’t come easy.

Hurts threw for 273 passing yards and rushed for 68. He tossed three touchdowns and ran in another two but threw a critical interception late in the fourth quarter that set Iowa State up for a potential game-winning score. Fortunately, the Cyclones came up short in the two-point conversion, and the Sooners walked away with the win.

Oklahoma is in dire straits for a Playoff spot, but Hurts leads the nation in touchdowns responsible for, rushing yards per attempt among quarterbacks and passer efficiency rating. If anyone deserves the Heisman, it’s the Sooners QB1.

Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Wisconsin, but the Badgers got back on track against Iowa. Once again, it was Jonathan Taylor who was the driving force behind the Wisconsin machine.

Taylor rushed for 250 yards, gashing Iowa run after run. This isn’t some cupcake team either. The Hawkeyes were No. 18 in the College Football Playoff ranking, are fourth-best in the country in scoring defense and have a top 25 rushing defense. The junior running back has the third-most rushing yards in the country and is second in the country in touchdowns from scrimmage.

A string of losses may have ended Wisconsin’s chance at a national championship, but Taylor’s numbers are more than formidable enough for him to be considered for the Heisman.


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MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Can you name every Heisman Trophy winner since 1959?
SCORE:
0/61
TIME:
6:00
2019 / LSU / QB
Joe Burrow
2018 / Oklahoma / QB
Kyler Murray
2017 / Oklahoma / QB
Baker Mayfield
2016 / Louisville / QB
Lamar Jackson
2015 / Alabama / RB
Derrick Henry
2014 / Oregon / QB
Marcus Mariota
2013 / Florida St. / QB
Jameis Winston
2012 / Texas A&M / QB
Johnny Manziel
2011 / Baylor / QB
Robert Griffin III
2010 / Auburn / QB
Cam Newton
2009 / Alabama / RB
Mark Ingram
2008 / Oklahoma / QB
Sam Bradford
2007 / Florida / QB
Tim Tebow
2006 / Ohio State / QB
Troy Smith
2005 / USC / RB
Reggie Bush
2004 / USC / QB
Matt Leinart
2003 / Oklahoma / QB
Jason White
2002 / USC / QB
Carson Palmer
2001 / Nebraska / QB
Eric Crouch
2000 / Florida State / QB
Chris Weinke
1999 / Wisconsin / RB
Ron Dayne
1998 / Texas / RB
Ricky Williams
1997 / Michigan / CB
Charles Woodson
1996 / Florida / QB
Danny Wuerffel
1995 / Ohio State / RB
Eddie George
1994 / Colorado / RB
Rashaan Salaam
1993 / Florida State / QB
Charlie Ward
1992 / Miami / QB
Gino Torretta
1991 / Michigan / WR/KR
Desmond Howard
1990 / BYU / QB
Ty Detmer
1989 / Houston / QB
Andre Ware
1988 / Oklahoma St. / RB
Barry Sanders
1987 / Notre Dame / WR
Tim Brown
1986 / Miami / QB
Vinny Testaverde
1985 / Auburn / RB
Bo Jackson
1984 / Boston College / QB
Doug Flutie
1983 / Nebraska / RB
Mike Rozier
1982 / Georgia / RB
Herschel Walker
1981 / USC / RB
Marcus Allen
1980 / South Carolina / RB
George Rogers
1979 / USC / RB
Charles White
1978 / Oklahoma / RB
Billy Sims
1977 / Texas / RB
Earl Campbell
1976 / Pittsburgh / RB
Tony Dorsett
1975 / Ohio State / RB
Archie Griffin
1974 / Ohio State / RB
Archie Griffin
1973 / Penn State / RB
John Cappelletti
1972 / Nebraska / WR/RB
Johnny Rodgers
1971 / Auburn / QB
Pat Sullivan
1970 / Stanford / QB
Jim Plunkett
1969 / Oklahoma / RB
Steve Owens
1968 / USC / RB
O.J. Simpson
1967 / UCLA / QB
Gary Beban
1966 / Florida / QB
Steve Spurrier
1965 / USC / HB
Mike Garrett
1964 / Notre Dame / QB
John Huarte
1963 / Navy / QB
Roger Staubach
1962 / Oregon State / QB
Terry Baker
1961 / Syracuse / HB
Ernie Davis
1960 / Navy / HB
Joe Bellino
1959 / LSU / HB
Billy Cannon

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