Heisman Watch: Week 5

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1. Oregon QB Marcus Mariota 

Last week (W, 38-31, vs. Washington State): 21-for-25, 329 passing yards, 5 passing TDs, 58 rushing yards

2014: 1,135 passing yards, 13 passing TDs,
3 rushing TDs

Before the season began, Mariota was the quarterback most favored to have a breakout season. He’s lived up to that billing and more. The redshirt junior only missed on four of his throws last week, and, despite only having 25 attempts, he blazed Washington State for five touchdowns. But, the one stat that still rises above the rest is the zero that remains in his interception column. Mariota is flawless there so far, and every time he’s stepped onto the field this season, he’s looked pretty close to perfect. 

2. Alabama WR Amari Cooper

Last week (W, 42-21, vs. Florida): 10 receptions, 201 yards, 3 TDs

2014: 43 receptions, 655 yards, 5 TDs

Simply put, Cooper, a junior, is by far the best wide receiver in the nation right now. His 43 receptions and 655 yards both rank first in the country, and his impressive outing last week against Florida proved how special he can be. Cooper’s total yards against Florida were third most in Alabama’s history. If he keeps up this pace, he’ll easily shatter almost every Crimson Tide receiving record. 

3. Georgia RB Todd Gurley

Last week (W, 66-0, vs. Troy): 6 attempts, 73 yards

2014: 402 yards, 4 TDs

Georgia embarrassed Troy so badly last week that Gurley barely even played. Regardless, he still racked up 73 yards. Given the junior doesn’t even rank in the top 100 for attempts this season, it says a lot that he’s still in the top 10 for rushing yards per game and average yards per rush. Those numbers are a result of Gurley’s ability to make the most of his carries. His numbers should be big against Tennessee’s struggling
defense Saturday.

4. Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah

Last week (W, 41-31, vs. Miami): 35 attempts,
229 yards, 3 total TDs

2014: 625 yards, 7 total TDs

The game against Miami marked the second time this season that Abdullah, a senior, has rushed for more than 220 yards. His 625 total yards are second only to Pittsburgh’s James Conner, but his greatest trait is his ability to make big plays at crucial times. In Nebraska’s victory over the Hurricanes, Abdullah’s fourth-quarter touchdown sealed the win. Abdullah is the kind of running back that gets better as the pressure mounts – a characteristic that helps in the
Heisman race. 

5. Texas A&M QB Kenny Hill

Last week (W, 58-6, vs. SMU): 16-for-22, 265 passing yards, 2 passing TDs, 57 rushing yards

2014: 1,359 passing yards, 13 passing TDs, 1 INT

The only reason Hill slid back in the Heisman poll is because the sophomore has barely needed to play since week one. Texas A&M hasn’t faced any stern competition since then, leaving Hill out of the conversation a little bit. But even with the lack of playing time, Hill has still thrown for more yards than Mariota and has as many touchdowns. Beginning with Arkansas on Saturday, A&M is arriving at its toughest stretch of the season. Now is Hill’s chance to prove himself.