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Mid-season Heisman report

TAJH BOYD Quarterback, senior, Clemson Boyd enters the

Quarterback, senior, Clemson
Boyd enters the 2013 season as college football’s top senior quarterback, racking up 3,896 pass yards and 36 touchdowns in 2012. Boyd has the speed to be considered a dual-threat quarterback (514 rushing yards, 10 rushing TDs in 2012), but has a pass-first mindset and only leaves the pocket when he has to. He would be an ideal fit for any team looking to implement the spread-option offense that’s sweeping the NFL. Credit: AP

Here’s a little mid-season Heisman Hype

In the thick of things…

Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson, Sr.: Boyd (1,783 yards, 15 TDs, 2 INT) doesn’t get the Heisman Hype other players get because he plays in the ACC. But the Tigers are 6-0 and have an excellent chance of making a BCS bowl appearance. Winning the ACC conference championship in addition to an undefeated regular season would raise Boyd’s stock in a big way. Saturday could be the ultimate test for Boyd as the Tigers host Florida State.

Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA, So.: Hundley had a marvelous performance in a 28-21 win over Cal, completing 31 of 41 passes for 410 yards and 3 TDs. Hundley (1,469 yards, 12 TDs, 4 INT) put himself on the Heisman map after the Bruins’ dismantling of Nebraska last month. He’ll need to do a little more to earn a trip to New York City, though.

Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon, So.: Mariota threw for 366 yards, 3 TDs and no interceptions in a 45-24 win at Washington. He also ran for 88 yards and a score. For the season, he’s completed 100 of 165 passes for 1,724 yards, 17 TDs and no interceptions. Rushing: 426 yards and 8 scores. There’s no doubt winning at Washington boosted Mariota’s Heisman profile. With Stanford being stunned by Utah, the Pac-12 North regular season title is Oregon’s to lose. Mariota would benefit from an undefeated conference season.

Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State, Fr.: (1,441 yards, 17 TDs, 2 INT): Winston was hyped as a prodigy before he even took his first snap. The redshirt freshman has lived up to the hype so far. The Seminoles are undefeated and he’s a big reason why. Winston blitzed Maryland for 393 yards and 5 TDs on October 5. A big game against Clemson on Saturday could cement Winston’s name as a true Heisman hopeful. No, his freshman status has no bearing on him winning. Johnny Manziel broke the mold last year.

Work to do…

Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville, Sr.: Bridgewater wasn’t at his best in a 24-10 win over Rutgers, throwing for 310 yards, 2TDs and 1 INT. The problem with Bridgewater (1,872 yards, 18 TDs, 2 INTs) is Louisville’s schedule is so weak he can’t afford to have a subpar game. Louisville needs to win big and Bridgewater needs to be the catalyst in every victory. Bridgewater was so-so against Kentucky last month. Another pedestrian effort will doom his candidacy.

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M, So.: Speaking of Johnny Football, he threw for 346 and 1 INT in a win at Ole Miss. He was actually more impressive running the ball, gaining 124 yards and 2 TDs on 19 carries. Although the off-the-field stuff is sure to have an impact on the voters, Manziel (1,835 yards, 14 TDs, 5 INT) is still a worthy candidate. But he will need to do more down the stretch.

Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia, Sr.: Murray played himself into the Heisman race after a 309-yard, 4-TD performance against South Carolina, and a 298-yard, 4-TD game vs. LSU. He might have played himself out of the race after tossing 2 INTs in a brutal 41-26 home loss to Missouri

On the rise…

Bishop Sankey, RB, Washington, Jr.: Although it’s unlikely Sankey (899 yards, 9 TDs; 14 rec. 134 yards, 1 TD)S) will win the award or even get invited to Manhattan as a finalist, he’s had an excellent season. He had his best games against Washington’s top opponents. He ran for 161 yards and 2 TDs in a win over Boise State, he totaled 167 yards and 2 scores in last week’s loss to Oregon and he ran for 125 and 2 TDs in a loss at Stanford on Oct. 5. Sankey has been a major force in Washington’s resurgence.

J.W. Walsh, QB, Oklahoma State, So.: Walsh (1,209 yards, 9 TDs, 3 INTs) has almost equaled last season’s passing numbers (1,564, 13 TDs, 3 INTs). What makes him a Heisman candidate is his running ability. Walsh has run for 265 yards and 3 TDS. At 4-1 (1-1 Big 12) in a weak Big 12, Walsh will have a hard time climbing the ladder. The Cowboys are currently 5th in the Big 12, but they play every team ahead of them. A strong finish coupled with some big games from Walsh will boost his candidacy.

Fading hopes…

Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina, Jr.: Sorry Gamecock fans, Jadeveon has no chance at Manhattan…

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