Heisman watch: Week 5

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Michigan linebacker Jabrill Peppers (5) returns a punt for a touchdown in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Colorado in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016. Michigan won 45-28.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/ Tony Ding
  • Lamar Jackson
  • Louisville quarterback
  • 2016: 1,625 passing yards, 688 rushing yards, 28 total touchdowns
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  •  Jackson’s quest for an undefeated season ended at the hands of Clemson in Death Valley on Saturday, but his Heisman dreams persist.
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  • The sophomore dual-threat quarterback played excellently in the 42-36 loss, throwing for 295 yards and rushing for 162. Jackson tallied three total touchdowns for the Cardinals, who were three yards away from a game-winning score late in the contest. Jackson does not play defense for Louisville, so his only major fault Saturday was one interception.
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  • Louisville’s upcoming schedule features no ranked opponents for five weeks — a perfect opportunity for the Cardinals offense to regain their rhythm and revert to dominance.
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  • Greg Ward, Jr.
  • Houston quarterback
  • 2016: 1,325 passing yards, 178 rushing yards, 13 total touchdowns
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  • Ward did not start Houston’s 2015 loss to Connecticut, but he made a statement in the program’s 42-14 win over the Huskies in 2016. Ward threw for a career-high 389 yards in the conference victory, adding 65 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
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  • The tough playmaker finished a near perfect game at the Huskies’ expense last Thursday, completing 84.2 percent of passes with three touchdowns and zero interceptions.  
  • The senior quarterback has now won 18 straight games for the No. 6 Cougars.
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  • Ward has battled adversity as well, overcoming a shoulder injury this season.
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  • His Cougars have five straight weeks of unranked opponents before the anticipated matchup against Lamar Jackson’s Louisville Cardinals.
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  • Jabrill Peppers
  • Michigan outside linebacker
  • 2016: 9.5 tackles for loss, 246 punt return yards, 1 touchdown
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  • Peppers isn’t just an outside linebacker.
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  • The junior athlete played strong safety at the beginning of his Michigan tenure. He can also be seen returning punts for the maize and blue. Peppers plays offense as well, previously lining up as a running back behind the Wolverines’ powerful offensive line.
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  • He may possess the most versatile skillset in college football, and has been successfully demonstrating his abilities for the 5-0 Wolverines. Peppers leads the nation in punt return yards with 246, and has added one touchdown on a return this season. He also ranks fifth in the FBS in tackles for loss with 9.5.  
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  • Peppers’ assorted stat-line additionally includes recorded two sacks, 24 rushing yards, 95 kick return yards and 30 tackles.
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  • J.T. Barrett
  • Ohio State quarterback
  • 2016: 888 passing yards, 205 rushing yards, 17 total touchdowns
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  • Another week, another blowout for Barrett and the Buckeyes. In week five’s showcase, Barrett incinerated a helpless Rutgers defense with 238 passing yards and four touchdowns on only 29 attempts.
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  • He has capitalized on only 25.5 attempts per game this season, and owns a 7:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
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  • In the 58-0 shutout over Rutgers, the junior set the Ohio State record for career passing touchdowns with 58, surpassing Bobby Hoying.
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  • His Buckeyes rank third in the nation in scoring average, posting 57 points per game. Facing minimal resistance in 2016, Ohio State continues its undefeated excursion on Saturday against Indiana.