Here are a few early performances that will get the Heisman voters going.
Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson, Sr.: Boyd, already a talented prospect, made a statement on Saturday night, as he helped lead his Tigers to a thrilling 38-35 win over Georgia. Boyd completed 18 of 30 passes for 270 yards, three touchdowns and no picks. He also ran for 42 yards and two touchdowns. Clemson will have to continue winning to keep Boyd’s name in the Heisman race. Based on their schedule, which includes home games against Florida State and South Carolina, Boyd will have every opportunity to emerge as a Heisman favorite.
Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA, So.: Hundley’s versatility was a joy to watch. The sophomore threw for 274 yards and two touchdowns. He added 63 yards on the ground and two scores, too, in UCLA’s 58-20 win over Nevada. The Bruins are loaded this year and as long as they win in grand fashion, Hundley’s name will continue to be mentioned by the national college football writers.
Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon, So.: Has there ever been a season in recent memory where an Oregon quarterback is not considered a Heisman candidate? Even in Chip Kelly’s absence the Ducks can go crazy on offense. Mariota threw for 234 yards and a score and ran for 113 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday’s 66-3 win over Nicholls State. Ok, so Nicholls State is not in Oregon’s class, 66 points is 66 points.
Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State, Fr.: Winston completed 25 of 27 passes for 356 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran for 25 yards and a score. It might be a little too early to put him at the top of the Heisman list, but the fact that he had that kind of performance as the lone game on a Monday night on national TV can’t hurt. Johnny Manziel dismissed the notion that freshmen can't win the Heisman, so it shouldn't be a surprise if Winston, assuming he can build on Monday night's display, is seated among the finalist when the Heisman winner is announced.
Other noteworthy performances: Northwestern junior linebacker Collin Ellis had four tackles, three passes defended and most importantly two interceptions returned for touchdowns in the Wildcats' 44-30 win at Cal...Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater completed 23 of 28 passes for 355 yards, five touchdowns and one pick in the Cardinals' 49-7 win over Ohio. Oklahoma State sophomore quarterback J.W. Walsh ran for 125 yards and a touchdown and threw for 135 yards in the Cowboys 21-3 win over Mississippi State.