Marcus Mariota

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

1. Oregon QB Marcus Mariota

Last week (W, 51-27, vs. Utah): 17-for-29, 239 passing yards, 3 passing TDs, 114 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD

2014: 2,780 passing yards, 29 passing TDs, 2 INTs, 524 rushing yards, 8 rushing TDs

If there’s one safe bet to be made in the midst of college football’s unpredictable regular season conclusion, it should be made on the Oregon Ducks. The Ducks’ last two regular season contests come against Colorado and Oregon State — two teams that Oregon should brush off with ease. An equally safe bet can be made on Mariota’s performance against the lesser opponents. It would be shocking if the junior does not tear apart both defenses and add more accolades to his already impressive Heisman résumé. Mariota and the Ducks look like serious championship contenders right now, and, at least for the near future, Mariota’s Heisman lead appears safe. 

2. Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott

Last week (W, 45-16 vs.Tennessee-Martin): 14-for-23, 206 passing yards, 2 passing TDs, 54 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD

2014: 2,231 passing yards, 18 passing TDs, 7 INTs, 779 rushing yards, 11 rushing TDs

To say that this is an important week for Prescott’s Heisman hopes would be a major understatement. On Saturday, the breakthrough player of the year will lead his first-ranked Bulldogs into Tuscaloosa for the game of the week against Alabama. And although the Tide have been shaky this year, they’ve been absolutely dominant at home. Beating them there takes mistake-free play from a quarterback, and then some. Prescott has struggled with consistency in recent weeks, but he turned it around last Saturday against Tennessee-Martin. Prescott’s greatest responsibility will be to take care of the ball, and, if he can’t do that, the Bulldogs are certain to lose, eliminating any chance he has of winning college football’s most prestigious award. 

3. Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon

Last week (W, 34-16, vs. Purdue): 25 rushing attempts, 1 rushing TD, 44 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD

2014: 198 rushing attempts, 1,501 rushing yards, 19 rushing TDs, 2 receiving TDs

It’s easy to take Gordon’s performance for granted because he’s been so consistent, and his impressive numbers have become the expectation. But what Gordon has accomplished this season has been spectacular. Gordon is at, or near, the top of every rushing statistic, including the most important one: total rushing yard. It takes just one play to realize why Gordon is the Wisconsin offense’s most important piece. There’s no reason to believe that he won’t finish strong in the Badgers’ last two regular season games and put a stamp on one of the greatest running back campaigns in recent history. 

4. TCU QB Trevone Boykin

Last week (W, 41-20, vs. Kansas State): 23-for-34, 219 passing yards, 1 passing TD, 123 rushing yards, 3 rushing TDs

2014: 2,691 passing yards, 23 passing TDs, 4 INTs, 546 rushing yards, 7 rushing TDs

Boykin has delivered when the pressure has been greatest. Last week, he did it again in what was supposed to be a close contest against Kansas State, in which Boykin easily led the Horned Frogs to a blowout win. Without Boykin, TCU probably wouldn’t even be relevant, let alone in the College Football Playoff conversation. The former receiver has done everything and more to make up for TCU’s poor defense, single-handedly dragging his team to a 9-1 record and a chance to play for a national championship. 

5. Alabama WR Amari Cooper

Last week (W, 20-13 (OT), vs. LSU): 8 receptions, 83 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD

2014: 79 receptions, 1,215 receiving yards, 10 receiving TDs

Aside from a dropped pass late in the fourth quarter that could have made things easier for the Tide last week, Cooper turned in another impressive performance against a solid LSU defense. Having such a major impact is nothing new to Cooper, who is having as good a season as an Alabama receiver ever has. He’s second in the nation in receiving yards and near the top in every other category, but, more importantly, he’s the most important element of Alabama’s offensive attack. As the Tide find themselves fighting for a spot in the final four, nobody will be as vital in getting them there as Cooper.

1. Oregon QB Marcus Mariota

Last week (W, 45-16 vs. Stanford): 19-for-30, 258 passing yards, 2 passing TDs, 1 INT, 85 rushing yards, 2 rushing TDs

2014: 2,541 passing yards, 26 passing TDs, 2 INTs, 410 rushing yards, 7 rushing TDs

Of all the great things Mariota had accomplished, beating Stanford wasn’t on that list until last week. Mariota led the Ducks to their first win over the Cardinal in three years. And if that’s not enough proof of just how well Mariota is playing right now, then consider his statistics. Four total touchdowns and 343 all-purpose yards against Stanford were more than enough to dispel the greatest demon of Mariota’s time at Oregon. The pre-season Heisman favorite somehow appears to be getting better and better each week. As Oregon’s chances to get into the College Football Playoff increases, so will Mariota’s Heisman odds.

2. Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott

Last week (W, 17-10, vs. Arkansas): 18-for-27, 331 passing yards, 1 passing TD, 2 INTs, 61 rushing yards

2014: 2,025 passing yards, 16 passing TDs, 7 INTs, 725 rushing yards, 10 rushing TDs

You can’t play inconsistently and expect to sit atop the Heisman race, and Prescott is no exception. He’s played like a star most of the season, but his three interceptions in the last two games and nail-biting victories over average teams are not going to cut it by the time the Heisman winner is announced in December. Prescott has still kept his Bulldogs undefeated and ranked first in the nation, but he’s got to regain his consistency if he’s going to win this award.

3. Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon

Last week (W, 37-0, vs. Rutgers): 19 attempts, 128 rushing yards, 2 rushing TDs

2014: 173 attempts, 1,296 rushing yards, 18 rushing TDs, 1 receiving TD

It’s been more than two months since the last time Gordon failed to reach 100 rushing yards in a game. Now that you’ve let that sink in, here’s another stat that puts the 6-foot-1-inch, 213-pound junior in a class of his own: this season, Gordon has accounted for more than a third of his team’s total offense. As a running back, there’s not much more you can do for your team than that. Gordon has also scored at least one rushing touchdown in each of his last six games and is rushing for 162 yards per game — the second-highest average in the country. 

4. Alabama WR Amari Cooper

Last week: BYE

2014: 71 receptions, 1,132 receiving yards, 9 receiving TDs 

Cooper has been one of the biggest reasons for Alabama’s rebound after the Oct. 4 loss to Ole Miss. In the three wins since that loss, Cooper has totaled 386 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Two weeks ago against Tennessee, his 224 receiving yards were more than the Volunteers’ total passing yardage in the contest, and he accounted for 78 percent of the Tide’s passing yardage total. It’s been simple this season — when Cooper has a good game, the Tide win big. With four regular-season games left, it’ll be up to him to push the Crimson Tide into the playoff. 

5. TCU QB Trevone Boykin

Last week (W, 31-30, vs. West Virginia): 12-for-30, 166 passing yards, 1 passing TD, 1 INT, 49 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD

2014: 2,472 passing yards, 22 passing TDs, 4 INTs, 423 rushing yards, 4 rushing TDs

Just how potent has Boykin made his TCU offense this season? The answer can be found in TCU’s embarrassment of Texas Tech two weeks ago. In that game, Boykin threw for 433 passing yards and a school-record seven touchdowns, as TCU throttled the Red Raiders, 82-27 — highest ever point total for a Big 12 conference matchup. Beyond that contest, Boykin has been the centerpiece of a TCU offense that is ranked second in scoring offense, third in total offense and sixth in passing offense in the nation. With the Dallas native under center, the Horned Frogs have yet to score less than 30 points in a game.

Oregon’s Marcus Mariota continues to find his name at the forefront of the Heisman conversation, despite the Ducks loss to Arizona. The junior has been the most consistent pivot in the country this season and has yet to throw an interception.

Photo Credit: Charlie Pearce | Daily Texan Staff

1. Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott

Last week: BYE

2014: 1,478 passing yards, 14 passing TDs, 4 INTs, 576 rushing yards, 8 rushing TDs

Even without playing, Prescott remained a topic of discussion among college football’s talking heads last week, and for good reason. Based on what the Heisman front-runner has already accomplished this fall, it’s difficult for most to contain the anticipation of what Prescott will do for his team in the coming weeks. Neither Prescott nor Mississippi State have been in the positions they are in. As the leader of the nation’s top program, Prescott has the opportunity to prove that he can handle every test thrown his way.

2. Oregon QB Marcus Mariota 

Last week (W, 45-20, vs. Washington): 24-for-33, 336 passing yards, 2 TDs

2014: 1,957 passing yards, 19 passing TDs, 0 INTs, 289 rushing yards, 5 rushing TDs

The Ducks have silenced critics over the past two weeks after their loss to Arizona, and, through it all, Mariota has kept the same poise he is known for. It seems impossible to startle the junior in any situation. Against Washington, his numbers weren’t prolific, but it’s the intangibles that showed up once again on each drive, which led Oregon to an easy 25-point win. Field generals don’t come better made than Mariota, and although Oregon still has tough opponents ahead, it’s difficult to bet against the leader of this Duck team. 

3. Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon 

Last week: BYE

2014: 132 attempts, 1,046 rushing yards, 13 TDs, 1 receiving TD

With Todd Gurley’s status still unknown, Gordon stands alone as the best running back in college football. The title is well deserved, as the 6-foot-1-inch, 207-pound junior has been on another level this season. Gordon has scored multiple touchdowns almost every Saturday this fall, and, with a nation-best 174 yards per game average, Gordon’s has heavily impacted every matchup.

4. Alabama WR Amari Cooper 

Last week (W, 59-0, vs. Texas A&M): 8 receptions, 140 yards, 2 TDs

2014: 62 receptions, 908 yards, 7 TDs

There were plenty of opportunities to shine in Alabama’s blowout over Texas A&M last week, and Cooper took full advantage. He looked untouchable against the Aggie defense, as he has many times this fall. But, the greatest part about Cooper’s stat line against the Aggies is the realization that those kinds of numbers have been the norm for Tide receiver. The way Cooper has been playing, he looks like he’s the only Crimson Tide target on the field at times. He’s been that good.

5. Florida State QB Jameis Winston

Last week (W, 31-27, vs. Notre Dame): 23-for-31, 273 passing yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT 

2014: 1,878 passing yards, 13 passing TDs, 6 INTs, 2 rushing TDs

Somehow, Winston’s slew of off-the-field issues haven’t affected his on-field performance at all as he’s roared back into the Heisman conversation. Of course, getting back into this race is easier when you do what Winston has done all season long — win. After a year and a half, Winston is still undefeated as a starter at Florida State. Against Notre Dame, he completed 15 of his 16 passes in the second half and led the Seminoles to three critical touchdowns to defeat then-No. 5 Fighting Irish.

1. Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott

Last week (W, 38-23, vs. Auburn): 18-for-34, 246 passing yards, 1 passing TD, 2 INTs, 121 rushing yards, 2 rushing TDs

2014: 1,478 passing yards, 14 passings TDs, 4 INTs, 576 rushing yards, 8 rushing TDs

Who had Prescott leading the Heisman race before the start of the season? Nobody. The 6-foot-2-inch, 235-pound dual-threat junior quarterback has broken through in the most impressive of ways and looks to be here to stay. His résumé consists of three straight wins over ranked opponents and leading Mississippi State, perennial SEC bottom-feeder, to its first AP No. 1 ranking in school history. There’s no denying Prescott has earned the Heisman lead. He threw two early interceptions against Auburn, but his 367 all-purpose yards, clutch touchdowns down the stretch and eventual victory more than made up for his mistakes. 

2. Oregon QB Marcus Mariota

Last week (W, 42-30, vs. UCLA): 17-for-27, 210 passing yards, 2 passing TDs, 75 rushing yards, 2 rushing TDs

2014: 1,621 passing yards, 17 passing TDs, 290 rushing yards, 5 rushing TDs

Oregon’s win over UCLA last week was much bigger than the score indicated, and Mariota picked apart the Bruins’ defense in every way possible. Most impressively, Mariota gashed UCLA for 75 yards on the ground and made most of the Ducks’ possessions look flawless. The junior has yet to throw an interception this season, which is an incredibly rare feat. In order to regain the Hesiman lead, he’ll have to hope Prescott slows down, but, as always, there’s no doubting Mariota’s greatness every time he steps on the field.     

3. Notre Dame QB Everett Golson

Last week (W, 50-43, vs. North Carolina): 21-for-38, 300 passing yards, 3 passing TDs, 1 INT, 71 rushing yards

2014: 1,583 passing yards, 16 passing TDs, 4 INTs, 209 rushing yards, 4 rushing TDs

Golson may not put up the best numbers in college football, but all he does is win. He has been the guy pushing Notre Dame to wins each week and in last week’s shoot-out against North Carolina, it was Golson’s clutch factor that made the difference yet again for the Irish. This week, however, will make or break Golson’s Heisman campaign. A matchup with No. 2 Florida State on Saturday sets the perfect stage for Golson to either shine or fade away. 

4. Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon

Last week: (W, 38-28, vs. Illinois): 27 attempts, 175 rushing yards, 4 rushing TDs

2014: 1,046 rushing yards, 13 rushing TDs, 1 receiving TD

Wisconsin still has six regular season games on its schedule, and Gordon has already surpassed the 1,000-yard mark. Games such as last week’s against Illinois are the reason some say Gordon is the best running back in the country and his yards per game and total yards are both second in the FBS. The truth is, Gordon hasn’t faced great competition and his Badgers have lost to two mediocre teams in LSU and Northwestern. But the numbers he puts up and what he does every time he touches the ball have been nothing short of amazing. 

5. Georgia RB Todd Gurley

Last week: Suspended

2014: 773 rushing yards, 8 rushing TDs 

Considering Gurley was leading the Heisman race just a week ago, there’s no knocking him completely off the list for the controversy surrounding him off the field. For a running back who was having such an excellent season, Gurley’s suspension was both surprising and poorly timed. Right now, there’s no knowing how long Gurley will be out. But if he hopes to climb back into Heisman contention, he needs to get back on the field in a hurry, or else he’ll quickly fall out of the Heisman conversation.

1. Georgia RB Todd Gurley

Last week (W, 44-17, vs. Vanderbilt): 25 attempts, 163 yards, 2 TDs

2014: 773 rushing yards, 8 TDs

Out of the top Heisman candidates, Gurley was one of the few to escape last week with a victory. The 6-foot-1, 226-pounder scorched yet another SEC defense on his way to his third 160-plus-yard game this season. The way the Heisman race looks right now, this could be the year for a running back to finish at the top, with Gurley leading the way. As Oregon’s offense, which includes Heisman hopeful Marcus Mariota, struggles, the door for Gurley has swung wide open. He’s lived up to expectations thus far and can be counted to produce each week. 

2. Oregon QB Marcus Mariota

Last week (L, 31-24, vs. Arizona) 20-for-32, 276 yards, 2 TDs

2014: 1,411 passing yards, 15 passing TDs, 3 rushing TDs

In its upset victory over Oregon last week, Arizona exposed a vulnerability in the Duck’s offense that could potentially be troubling for Mariota’s Heisman hopes — a weak offensive line. The Ducks allowed seven sacks of Mariota, enough to leave him, as his offensive coordinator said after the game, “not feeling 100 percent.” With tough Pac-12 defenses coming his way, Mariota’s protection in the pocket will be key to his health and success. But, if there’s one thing the best quarterback in college football has proven, it’s that, even in the face of distress, he’ll stay as calm and consistent as ever. 

3. Notre Dame QB Everett Golson

Last week (W, 17-14, vs. Stanford): 20-for-43, 241 yards, 2 TDs, 34 rushing yards

2014: 1383 passing yards, 13 passing TDs, 4 rushing TDs

Golson didn’t put up any huge numbers in Notre Dame’s week six victory over Stanford, but he was at his best when it mattered most — throwing a fourth-down, game-winning pass with 1:01 left on the clock. Even with one interception in the game, that kind of win against a ranked opponent is huge. The senior has kept Notre Dame undefeated, which some notable Heisman hopeful’s can’t say for their teams. As long as he keeps leading the Irish to victory, Golson will find himself near the top of this list when the season ends. 

4. Mississippi St. QB Dak Prescott

Last week (W, 48-31, vs. Texas A&M): 19-for-25, 259 yards, 2 TDs, 77 rushing yards, 3 rushing TDs

2014: 1,223 passing yards, 13 passing TDs, 455 rushing yards, 6 rushing TDs

There’s always a dark horse that rises among Heisman candidates, and, this season, Prescott is looking like the perfect candidate. Prescott has now taken down two straight ranked SEC opponents in LSU and Texas A&M, scoring eight total touchdowns in the two games. And not only has he had good passing stats, his rushing numbers match that of a running back. The junior quarterback is the definition of a dual-threat. If he keeps this up against the rest of the SEC, he could thrust himself to the top of the Heisman race. 

5. Alabama WR Amari Cooper

Last week (L, 23-17, vs. Ole Miss): 9 receptions, 91 yards

2014: 52 receptions, 746 yards, 5 TDs

Alabama lost last week, but, given that Cooper is still the best wide receiver in the nation, he deserves to be kept on the list. Cooper didn’t score against Ole Miss, but he wasn’t a non-factor either, as his 91 yards helped keep the Crimson Tide in the game. Out of all of the candidates struggling to stay relevant in the Heisman conversation, Cooper is most likely to hang on in the coming weeks — giving him the chance to rise again among Heisman contenders.

Photo Credit: Charlie Pearce | Daily Texan Staff

Texas made its second consecutive appearance in the Valero Alamo Bowl on Monday night to close head coach Mack Brown’s storied tenure with the Longhorns. But this time Texas was on the losing end as it fell to No. 10 Oregon 30-7. Here are four key aspects to take from the Longhorns’ season finale.

Mack’s last stand

After 16 years as the head football coach at Texas, the Longhorns sent off Brown with a 30-7 loss to Oregon in the Valero Alamo Bowl.

“It’s tough not to get a win for him,” senior defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat said. We love coach Brown and Ms. Sally. It’s tough to see him go. Even though [the seniors] are moving on, we are Texas. So it’s going to be tough not seeing him here.” 

Holding his wife in one arm and the “Hook 'em Horns” sign on the other, Brown sang "The Eyes of Texas” for the last time as the Texas head coach. As he walked off the field at the Alamodome, chants of “Mack” surrounded him, but the reality of his last game hadn’t really sunk in.

“I’ll probably get up at 6 a.m., and be watching a video and be worried about somebody," Brown said.

On the Marcus

Once again, Texas was unable to contain a dual-threat quarterback as Oregon’s Marcus Mariota overwhelmed the Longhorns. Mariota recorded 133 rushing yards, breaking the Alamo Bowl record for rushing yards by a quarterback, which was previously 118 yards.

In addition, Mariota recorded 253 passing yards with 18 completions. The junior quarterback used Texas' defense to become the first Oregon player to surpass 4,000 yards in total offense.

Longhorns run out of gas at the Valero Alamo Bowl

Senior quarterback Case McCoy ended his career Monday night with a subpar performance in San Antonio he might like to soon forget. McCoy recorded just 48 yards of passing, setting a Valero Alamo Bowl record low, and completed only six passes. In addition, McCoy was intercepted twice, both of which were returned for touchdowns.

Texas’ offense compiled just 236 yards of total offense through the game. The Longhorns’ only points came off a first quarter 16-play drive, which would represent Texas’ best offensive production of the night.

Quieting the quack

While Texas had trouble containing the speedy Mariota, the Longhorns gave up just one touchdown to the Ducks’ offense. Oregon, which had an average of 46.8 points per game this season, was held to a field goal on three of its red-zone drives for another strong defensive showing by Texas.

Defensive coordinator Greg Robinson’s group recorded two sacks and forced three fumbles on the night, though none of which were recovered by Texas. Oregon’s 469 yards of total offense is 104 fewer than its average all season.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

1. Florida State QB Jameis Winston (Fr.)

Last Week (W, 59-3, vs. Wake Forest) 17-for-28, 159 yards, 2 TD, INT (4 rush yards)

Season: 166-for-240 (69.2%),  2,661 yards, 26 TD, 7 INT (157 rush yards, 3 TD)

Winston grabbed the top spot after Mariota’s awful performance last Thursday night, but didn’t play like a Heisman favorite himself on Saturday. Going up against a below-average Wake Forest team, Winston struggled to move the ball as the Seminoles mostly relied on their six interceptions to score. Winston has thrown three touchdowns and three interceptions over the past two weeks, a sign he is either trying to do too much or defenses are starting to adjust to him. He is the clear Heisman favorite if the Seminoles win out, but his struggles as of late are alarming.


2. Baylor QB Bryce Petty (Jr.)

Last Week (W, 41-12, vs. Oklahoma): 13-for-26, 204 yards, 3 TD (45 rush yards, 2 TD)

Season: 135-for-202 (66.8%), 2,657 yards, 21 TD, INT (118 rush yards, 8 TD)

Petty overcame a slow start to help his team dominate Oklahoma in what was supposed to be Baylor’s first test of the season. The Bears continue to roll as Petty adds to his impressive stat line. The Oklahoma game was the start of a five-game stretch against the other top four teams in the conference standings, which means Baylor’s remaining schedule will be a lot more difficult than their first seven games. If Petty can keep the Bears’ offense going, he may catch Winston, especially if Winston’s struggles continue.


3. Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel (So.)

Last Week (W, 51-41, vs. Mississippi State): 30-for-39, 446 yards, 5 TD, 3 INT (47 rush yards)

Season: 230-315 (73.0%), 3,313 yards, 31 TD, 11 INT (611 rush yards, 8 TD)

In what could be his final game in College Station, Manziel tied a career-high in touchdown passes while surpassing the 400-yard passing mark for the fourth time this season. He’s surpassed his number of touchdown passes from a year ago and is less than 400 yards away from his passing yard total. His rushing numbers are way down from last year, but he has made up for it with more efficient passing.  With games at LSU and Missouri left on the schedule,  Manziel still has enough time to impress voters enough to claim his second Heisman.


4. Oregon QB Marcus Mariota (So.)

Last Week (L, 26-20, at Stanford): 20-for-34, 250 yards, 2 TD

Season: 164-for-259 (63.3%), 2,531 yards, 22 TD (494 rush yards, 9 TD)

Mariota struggled against a stout Cardinal defense, but didn’t throw an interception, making it 11.5 games since he was last picked off. Mariota played his worst game of the year and with the loss, Oregon is out of the national title race as of right now. Still his numbers alone merit him consideration in the Heisman race, and if Florida State and Stanford both fall in the regular season, the Ducks could be back in position to play for the BCS title despite the loss. His team may not control its own destiny but Mariota is still very much in the Heisman hunt.


5. Arizona RB Ka’Deem Carey (Jr.)

Last week (L, 31-26 vs. UCLA): 28 attempts, 149 yards, TD (1 reception, 2 yards)

Season: 216 attempts, 1,221 yards, 11 TD (19 receptions, 133 yards)

Carey continues to put up impressive numbers but lost a fumble in the UCLA end zone early in the second half that prevented the Wildcats from cutting the deficit in half. Despite the fumble, Carey’s numbers the past two seasons are probably the best of any running back in college football. With games against Oregon and at Arizona State, there are still a few opportunities left on the schedule to help Carey impress voters.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

Just a week after playing with a partial strain to his MCL, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota says he’ll be good to go this weekend against Utah.

Mariota’s Heisman chances took a big hit last week when the Ducks lost, 26-20, to Stanford. The redshirt sophomore was clearly bothered by the injury throughout the game, rushing for negative yardage after a few sacks. It was reported shortly after the game that he had suffered the knee injury prior to the game.

He is still wearing a brace in practice but when asked if he’d play this week, Mariota responded, “for sure.”

Mariota has passed for 22 touchdowns without being picked off in 327 attempts this year, a Pac-12 record for the most pass attempts without an interception. He has rushed also for 495 yards and nine touchdowns.


Sheriff reveals former South Carolina player shot himself in arm

A sheriff revealed Tuesday that former South Carolina running back Kenny Miles shot himself in the arm, despite Miles stating earlier that he was shot during a robbery.

Miles, who will now be charged with filing a false police report, shot himself Nov. 4 in an industrial park parking lot. No further information was released as to what he was doing at the time he shot himself or if any other criminal activity was involved.

The Lawrenceville, Ga. native spent most of his career with the Gamecocks as a backup to current NFL running back Marcus Lattimore. He racked up 1,341 yards and four touchdowns over the course of his South Carolina career.


Florida starting QB a game-time decision against South Carolina

Florida Gator starting quarterback Tyler Murphy is expected to be a game-time decision against South Carolina this week, according to offensive coordinator Brent Pease.

Murphy originally sprained his right shoulder against LSU last month. He has played in each of Florida’s three games since, but said he landed on the shoulder in their last game against Vanderbilt and likely made it worse. The shoulder is still sore and could keep on the sidelines this weekend.

The junior has completed 60.5 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and five interceptions so far this year.


Nebraska’s Martinez unlikely to return

According to his father, Taylor Martinez will not play again for the Nebraska

Martinez’s father, Casey Martinez, stated that the senior quarterback has a “debilitating injury” near the ball of his left foot that likely won’t be fully healed until February or March.

Martinez was injured in the first week of the season and, despite playing in a few games since, has been unable to return to full strength. The California native finishes his collegiate career with 7,258 yards passing, 56 touchdowns and 29 interceptions. He also rushed for 2,975 yards and 31 touchdowns.


Baylor’s Briles gets 10-year extension

Baylor head coach Art Briles has led the Bears to an 8-0 record for the first time in school history, and now he’s being rewarded for it.

The University’s regents approved the deal wednesday but financial details weren’t revealed, as is standard practice for the private university. The deal will come into effect next season, running through 2023.

Briles has led an unprecedented turnaround, turning the Bears from Big 12 doormats into perennial contenders. In six years as head coach, he has posted a 41-30 record.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

1. Florida State QB Jameis Winston (Fr.)

Last Week (W, 41-14, vs. Miami (FL)): 21-for-29, 325 yards, TD, 2 INT (27 rush yards)

Season: 149-for-212 (70.3%),  2,502 yards, 24 TD, 6 INT (153 rush yards, 3 TD)

Mariota’s awful performance allowed Winston to claim the title as Heisman frontrunner. Although Winston wasn’t spectacular in his team’s rout of Miami, he did play pretty well. For now, though Winston has his Seminoles No. 2 in the BCS standings and with a great chance to finish the regular season undefeated and claim the ACC title. If the Seminoles continue winning and Winston continues to impress, he very well could become the second freshman to ever win the prestigious trophy.


2. Baylor QB Bryce Petty (Jr.)

This Week (W, 41-12, vs. Oklahoma): 13-for-26, 204 yards, 3 TD (45 rush yards, 2 TD)

Season: 135-for-202 (66.8%), 2,657 yards, 21 TD, INT (73 rush yards, 8 TD)

Petty and the Bears started the game slowly on offense but exploded after falling behind, 5-3. Petty proceeded to run by the Sooners’ front seven for his two rushing scores before tossing a touchdown to make it, 24-5, at halftime. He threw two more touchdown strikes and actually finished with impressive numbers considering he started the game 2-for-7. Petty proved that he is absolutely a Heisman contender and should remain highly in contention for the duration of the season. 


3. Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel (So.)

Last Week (W, 57-7, vs. UTEP): 16-for-24, 273 yards, 4 TD (67 rush yards, 2 TD)

Season: 200-for-276 (72.5%), 2,867 yards, 26 TD, 8 INT (564 rush yards, 8 TD)

Manziel continues to play at an elite level and is on pace to surpass the passing numbers from his record-breaking freshman season. What hurts Manziel’s chances the most is that he threw two interceptions in each of the Aggies’ two losses. Also, his rushing totals are drastically down from 2012, though when needed to, he usually still makes the big play with his feet.  Manziel probably won’t claim his second Heisman, but upcoming games at LSU and Missouri will keep him in the national spotlight and give him an opportunity to dazzle voters.


4. Oregon QB Marcus Mariota (So.)

This Week (L, 26-20, at Stanford): 20-for-34, 250 yards, 2 TD

Season: 164-for-259 (63.3%), 2,531 yards, 22 TD (494 rush yards, 9 TD)

Mariota struggled mightily against a stingy Stanford defense, and saw his team fall for the first time in 2013. He wasn’t entirely to blame for the loss, seeing that the Ducks couldn’t get Stanford’s offense off the field, but when he was on the field he was mostly ineffective. He also lost a fumble on a critical possession with the ball on the Stanford 24-yard line trailing, 20-0. He played better in the fourth quarter, helping his team nearly rally back, but his struggles earlier in the game doomed his team.


5. Arizona RB Ka’Deem Carey (Jr.)

Last week (W, 33-28, at California): 32 carries, 152 yards

Season: 188 carries, 1,072 yards, 10 TD (18 receptions, 131 yards)

Carey carried the Wildcats to bowl eligibility, even though he was held out of the end zone for the second time this season.  Carey probably would’ve scored, but quarterback B.J. Denker vultured three potential scoring opportunities in the red zone.  Carey continues to dominate on the ground while making his case as the top running back in college football, building off a 1,929-yard, 23-touchdown sophomore campaign. The Wildcats host UCLA this weekend and Carey could make a big splash in the Heisman race if he pounds the Bruins.


Photo Credit: The Associated Press

1. Oregon QB Marcus Mariota (So.)

Last Week (W, 42-14, vs. UCLA): 21-for-28, 230 yards, TD (18 rush yards)

Season: 144-for-225 (64.0%), 2,281 yards, 20 TD (511 rush yards, 9 touchdowns)

Mariota went another game without throwing an interception, leading his Ducks to victory over No. 12 UCLA. Oregon struggled early, coughing up two fumbles in the first quarter but recovered for 28 unanswered second-half points. Mariota did what was asked of him, though his stats from this contest don’t scream Heisman winner. Oregon’s game at No. 5 Stanford on Nov. 7 will have Pac-12 and national title implications, as well as serve as Mariota’s opportunity to showcase why he should win the Heisman.


2. Florida State QB Jameis Winston (Fr.)

Last Week (W, 49-17, vs. NC State): 16-for-26, 292 yards, 3 TD, INT

Season: 128-for-183 (69.9%), 2,177 yards, 23 TD, 4 INT (126 yards, 3 TD)

Winston was clearly in sync early, going 11-for-14 with 229 yards and three touchdowns in the first quarter, helping Florida State to take a commanding 35-0 lead less than 13 minutes into the contest. Winston’s numbers would’ve been more gaudy but he was pulled after the first series in the second half with the Seminoles already up, 42-0. Winston continues to impress and has now thrown for 19 touchdown passes and three interceptions in conference play. If he plays like he has the last few weeks this weekend against No. 7 Miami, he will claim the top spot on the Heisman Watch.


3. Baylor QB Bryce Petty (Jr.)

Last Week (W, 59-14, at Kansas): 20-for-32, 430 yards, 3 TD (22 rush yards, TD)

Season: 122-for-176 (69.3%), 2,453 yards, 18 TD, INT (73 rush yards, 6 TD)

Baylor is still the highest-scoring team in the country at 63.9 points per game and Bryce Petty is still the reason why. The Bears have broken 70 points in four of seven games but have yet to face an opponent with a winning record vs. FBS teams entering the game. This will change come Nov. 7 when Baylor hosts No. 10 Oklahoma. If the Bears’ offense continues its pace the last five games of the season, Petty will continue to garner more attention nationally in the Heisman race.


4. Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel (So.)

Last Week (W, 56-24, vs. Vanderbilt): 25-for-35, 305 yards, 4 TD, INT (11 rush yards)

Season: 184-for-252 (73.0%), 2,594 yards, 22 TD, 8 INT (497 rush yards, 6 TD)

So much for that shoulder injury. Manziel scored three touchdowns in the first quarter and added a fourth in the third quarter before exiting the game with over six minutes left in the third quarter. After a performance like this, there is no question about Johnny Football’s toughness, nor his abilities to dominate at the collegiate level. Manziel plays well on a consistent basis but he will need the three above candidates to struggle in order to claim his second Heisman.


5. Arizona RB Ka’Deem Carey (Jr.)

Last week (W, 44-20, at Colorado): 23 car, 119 yards, 4 TD (3 rec, 12 yards)

Season: 157 car, 924 yards, 10 TD (18 rec, 131 yards)

After being suspended for the first game, Carey has posted at least 125 rushing yards in all six contests, finding the end zone in five of them. In four Pac-12 games, he has rushed for 626 yards and six touchdowns, helping Arizona stay in contention for the Pac-12 South crown. The Wildcats host No. 20 UCLA next weekend, as well as No. 2 Oregon a couple weeks later in games that could put Carey in the national spotlight and solidify him as a Heisman contender.