2011 Heisman Watch: Week 8

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Trent Richardson | RB Alabama

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

UP-

Kellen Moore QB Boise State
Week 8 vs. Air Force- 23/29 (79.3%) for 281 yards, 3 TD 1 INT
Season Stats- 174/228 (76.3%) for 2010 yards, 24 TD 5 INT

Moore and the Broncos squeaked out a nine-point victory at home against a very solid Air Force team last week, and in the process, Moore moved into a tie with Colt McCoy for most career wins with 45. With the win and a little help from big teams slipping up last weekend, the Broncos find themselves ranked fourth in the most recent BCS rankings — the highest the team has ever been ranked at this point in the season. The Broncos still have five conference games to play, but if they can avoid the upset bug they are in prime position for a national title berth — something that would surely boost Moore’s chances at winning the Heisman.

Trent Richardson RB Alabama
Week 8 vs. Tennessee- Rushing: 17 rushes for 77 yards, 2 TD Receiving: 3 receptions for 33 yards
Season Stats- Rushing: 149 rushes for 989 yards (6.6 ypc), 17 TD Receiving: 18 receptions for 212 yards, 1 TD

Alabama’s defense did most of the work last week against Tennessee, so Richardson did what he needed in order for the Tide to keep on rolling. The Tide get a week off in order to prepare for the Nov. 5 showdown with LSU. Richardson will need to work hard during the bye week to be in top shape against the Tigers. The impending game will have the entire nation’s attention and a big game for Richardson could mean a big leap toward making the Heisman his own.

Andrew Luck QB Stanford
Week 8 vs. Washington- 16/21 (76.2%) for 169 yards, 2 TD
Season Stats- Passing: 145/202 (71.8%) for 1,888 yards, 20 TD 3 INT Rushing: 16 rushes for 83 yards, 1 TD

Luck? Who needs it when you can run for more than 400 yards in a game? That’s exactly what the Cardinal did last week in their 65-21 rout of Washington. Luck simply needed to run the clock out in this one so his numbers took a bit of a dip. The most important thing for Luck to do is keep winning. At this stage in the season, a loss is far more harmful to a potential Heisman candidate than a down week statistically. The Cardinal will travel to Los Angeles this week to face a USC team that has nothing to lose — this game could be a defining moment for Luck if the Trojans keep it close.

DOWN-

Russell Wilson QB Wisconsin
Week 8 vs. Michigan State- Passing: 14/21 (66.7%) for 223 yards, 2 TD 2 INT Rushing: 8 rushes for 30 yards, 1 TD
Season Stats- Passing: 109/149 (73.2%) for 1,780 yards, 16 TD 3 INT Rushing: 32 rushes for 212 yards, 3 TD Receiving: 1 reception for 25 yards, 1 TD

The result of the Spartans’ last-second touchdown last week did more than just deflate Wisconsin’s national title aspirations. Russell Wilson’s Heisman chances also faded as the Spartans were able to pull off one of the biggest and most exciting upsets of the year. Wilson had an uncharacteristic outing, throwing two picks and also giving up a safety when he was tackled in the end zone by a Spartan linebacker Denicos Allen. Much like what has happened to Robert Griffin III at Baylor, Wilson and the Badgers need some help in the form of other big teams losing in order for his Heisman chances to rise again.


ON THE RISE-

Sammy Watkins WR Clemson
Week 8 vs. North Carolina- 8 receptions for 91 yards, 1 TD
Season Stats- Receiving: 54 receptions for 819 yards, 9 TD Special Teams: 15 kickoff returns for 434 yards, 1 TD

This freshman has catapulted Clemson into the national picture and is just as good as advertised. Watkins goes big every time he’s on the field and even bigger when the game is on the line. No game on the Tigers’ remaining schedule really jumps out as a possible upset and that’s good news for Watkins’ Heisman hopes. If Watkins and the Tigers can keep up their incredible run there’s no reason they don’t deserve a shot at a national championship.