Weekly Heisman watch


Gameday Guide 10/12

After the sixth week of the season, the Heisman race has not changed much, and it is still clear who the top three candidates are.

After another stellar week, West Virginia’s senior quarterback Geno Smith is still leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. The Mountaineers’ first real Big 12 Conference test came last week against then-No. 11 University of Texas in Austin. Smith continued to pile up the stats by completing 71 percent of his passes for 268 yards and four touchdowns. 

Through five games, Smith has the Mountaineers ranked No. 5 in the nation and tied for first place in the Big 12 Conference. Without having thrown an interception this year, Smith has completed 81.4 percent of his passes for 1,996 yards and 24 touchdowns. Next up, Smith will have to lead the Mountaineers into Lubbock, Texas against Texas Tech University (4-1, 1-1).

In three of the last five years, a sophomore has won the Heisman Trophy. This year, Ohio State’s quarterback Braxton Miller could find himself among these sophomore trophy winners. No. 8 Ohio State is currently 6-0, including two top-25 wins against Big Ten Conference teams Michigan State and Nebraska. Miller has made it clear that he is one of the best, if not the best, dual-threat quarterback in college football. With 1,060 passing yards and nine touchdowns through the air to go along with 763 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns, Miller is taking care of business. 

Dual-threat quarterbacks are attractive in the eyes of voters. Their ability to make passes or make a play with their feet when plays break down make them both exciting to watch and easy to vote for. Similar to Miller, K-State’s senior quarterback Collin Klein has proven to be in the argument for the top dual-threat quarterback in the nation. 

The No. 6 Wildcats have started the season 5-0 for the second year in a row under Klein. With seven passing and seven running touchdowns this season, Klein has carried much of the scoring load for K-State so far. However, Miller has 241 combined passing and running attempts compared to Klein’s 167. 

There has only been one primarily defensive player to ever win the Heisman Trophy, but this year Notre Dame’s senior linebacker Manti Te’o is putting himself in the position to become the second. Te’o has been the focal point of the Fighting Irish’s dominating defense so far this season, a defense that has only allowed an average of 7.8 points a game. With opponents such as No. 13 Oklahoma and No. 11 Southern California left on the schedule, Te’o has the chance to make a major case for himself by the end of the year.