Heisman Watch: Week 6

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1. Oregon QB Marcus Mariota 

Last week: BYE

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

Despite Mariota and the Ducks having last week off, the Heisman front-runner is still the still the clear favorite to win the award. The junior has been absolutely dominant through four games, leading the nation in both completion percentage and passer rating. It’s hard to argue that any other player in college football is as important to their team’s success as Mariota. He’s kept the Ducks perfect heading into their matchup with Arizona and hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down.

2. Georgia RB Todd Gurley

Last week (W, 35-32, vs. Tennessee): 28 attempts, 208 yards, 2 TDs

2014: 69 attempts, 610 yards, 6 TDS

Without Gurley on the field, Georgia would have likely suffered its second loss of the season last week against Tennessee. The junior did it all for the Bulldogs, racking up his third 100-yard game of the season, the key component in sealing the game for Georgia. Gurley has already had his way with three different SEC defenses, and he should continue doing so against a poor Vanderbilt team Saturday. Containing Gurley is just wishful thinking for teams at this point, as he has proven to be as pure a running back as there has ever been in college football.

3. Alabama WR Amari Cooper 

Last week: BYE

2014: 43 receptions, 655 yards, 5 TDs

Cooper should be well-rested after the bye week and ready for Alabama’s first big test of the season against Ole Miss. This season, the junior has made his first-time starter at quarterback look like a seasoned veteran and run circles around every team he’s faced. Cooper has failed to score in only one game this fall and has not had less than 130 receiving yards in any contest. With those kinds of numbers, Cooper’s impact cannot be overstated. 

4. Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah

Last week (W, 45-14, vs. Illinois): 22 attempts, 208 yards, 3 TDs

2014: 114 attempts, 833 yards, 8 TDs

Had Abdullah played against tougher opponents, he’d be closer to the top of this list. Abdullah, a senior, recorded his third 200-plus-yard game of the season against Illinois last week, and, after only five games, he is already less than 200 yards shy of reaching the 1000-yard mark. He’s now the nation’s leading rusher, and, against Michigan State this week, he finally has a chance to prove he can produce the same kind of numbers against one of the big dogs of
college football.

5. Texas A&M QB Kenny Hill

Last week (W, 35-28 (OT), vs. Arkansas): 21-for-41, 386 yards, 4 TDs

2014: 1,745 passing yards, 17 TDs 

Despite turning the ball over at a critical time in the fourth quarter last week, Hill still led the Aggies to an overtime win against Arkansas in what was his first taste of the SEC gauntlet he’ll go through to end the season. Hill seems to put up big numbers effortlessly, posting four more touchdowns against Arkansas. He’s still in his first year as a starter, which he’s made easy to forget. But, that fact alone makes his performance much more
incredible.