Point-Counterpoint: Who will win the Heisman Trophy?

It’s been an entertaining college football season so far, but who will find himself at the top?

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Point-Counterpoint: Who will win the Heisman Trophy?

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa looks to throw against Louisville during the Camping World Kickoff at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida., on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa looks to throw against Louisville during the Camping World Kickoff at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida., on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)

TNS

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa looks to throw against Louisville during the Camping World Kickoff at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida., on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)

TNS

TNS

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa looks to throw against Louisville during the Camping World Kickoff at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida., on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)


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Tua Tagovailoa

With just a few weeks left in the regular season, the Heisman Trophy contenders continue to dwindle down as Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has started to pull away from the pack.

His lead got even bigger last weekend when he lit up the vaunted LSU defense in Tiger Stadium for 295 yards and 3 total touchdowns next to just 1 pick.

It was the biggest game of the season for Alabama, and Tagovailoa helped turn it into a statement win for the Crimson Tide.

What helps make Tagovailoa the clear favorite here is the fact that last weekend’s performance was arguably his worst of the season.

His passer rating numbers back that up. Before the Nov. 3 game against LSU, Tagovailoa’s lowest rating in a game was 199.7. On Saturday, it was 129.5.

This season, Tagovailoa has accumulated 2,533 total yards and 30 total touchdowns with a completion percentage of 68 percent, while only throwing 1 interception.

Oh, and he’s only had to play in the fourth quarter once.

Sure, Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins have been entertaining this year, but both have lost big-time games. Tagovailoa hasn’t.

Jordan Zuniga 

 

Kyler Murray

Kyler Murray is the best player in college football, but he’s not even a football player.

He’s technically a member of the Oakland Athletics who was granted a season of college football by his employer, and boy, does he look good.

Murray has thrown for 2,689 yards and 31 touchdowns in just nine games this season. He’s also ran for 574 yards and 7 touchdowns.

He’s the most electrifying player in all of college football; he’s got the footwork and speed of Michael Vick and the arm strength of an NFL quarterback.

Oklahoma is just outside the top-four for the College Football Playoffs right now, but if the Sooners can sneak in, it’ll be interesting to see what he does against some of the country’s best competition.

His best game of 2018, by far, came against Baylor. Murray threw for 432 yards and 6 touchdowns. He added 45 yards and a score on the ground.

Adam Hensley 

 

Dwayne Haskins

Dwayne Haskins has thrown the ball a lot this year (He had 73 attempts against Purdue on Oct. 20. Who does that?). But Haskins has made the most of his opportunities.

The sophomore from Potomac, Maryland, has eclipsed the 300-yard mark on six separate occasions this year, while throwing for 400 three times.

That’s a big reason why Ohio State ranks third in the country with 369.1 passing yards per game, trailing only Washington State and Texas Tech, both of which are known for their air raid tactics on offense.

It just proves how instrumental Haskins has been to the Buckeyes’ success this season.

Haskins is also tied for No. 1 in the country with Hawaii’s Cole McDonald with 32 touchdown passes, topping other Heisman hopefuls such as Tua Tagovailoa, Kyler Murray, Will Grier, and Gardner Minshew.

Haskins hasn’t had a bad game all year. Even in Ohio State’s 49-20 loss to Purdue, he threw for 470 yards and 2 touchdowns.

The Buckeyes haven’t had a quarterback win the Heisman since Troy Smith accomplished the feat in 2006. That year, Smith threw for 2,542 yards and 30 touchdowns.

Haskins has already shattered those marks just nine games in. Give the man the Heisman.

Pete Ruden 

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Will Grier

I just want to start this off by saying when I Google’d “Heisman Trophy”, an article on Will Grier was the first thing that came up. Coincidence? I think not.

Let’s follow that tidbit up with the fact that he has a 69.7 percent completion rate, which is nice.

In all seriousness, Grier averages 327.2 passing yards per game and has a season total of 2,618, which is good. But, if the numbers aren’t enough for you, his highlight reel of Nov. 3 against Texas should be.

He threw for 346 yards after completing 28 of his 42 pass attempts and throwing for 3 touchdowns. To end the game, a touchdown and a quarterback rush into the end zone for a 2-point conversion gave West Virginia a 1-point win to bump up into the top-10 of the rankings.

The entire game was a reel for Grier’s Heisman résumé, and despite the wide field of contenders, he’s hard to overlook.

Anna Kayser