Arizona

Heisman watch: Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield way out in front

Heisman watch
PHOTOS BY USA TODAY SPORTS

As a Heisman Trophy voter, GN’s Mike Huguenin takes a weekly look at the Heisman race.

Here is our sixth Heisman watch of the season, spotlighting the top three contenders after 11 weeks of the season.

Remember that 14 of the past 17 winners have been quarterbacks, including six of the past seven.

3. Arizona QB Khalil Tate

Season stats: 111 rushes for 1,293 yards (11.7 yards per carry) and 11 TDs, and 65-of-105 (61.9 percent) for 998 yards, eight TDs and six interceptions in eight games.
Saturday’s stats: 16 carries for 206 yards (12.9 yards per carry) and two TDs, 5-of-7 for 68 yards and an interception in a 49-28 win over Oregon State.
The skinny: Tate headlined a devastating rushing attack in the Wildcats’ win over the Beavers; Arizona rushed for a school-record 534 yards. Tate scored on runs of 19 and 71 yards, running over a defender on the 19-yarder and sprinting untouched on the 71-yarder. It was his fifth run of at least 70 yards this season, the most in the nation. Despite starting just six games, he is seventh nationally in rushing yards and is second in rushing yards per game at 161.6. Saturday was his third 200-yard game of the season, and he has rushed for 100 yards in six consecutive outings.

2. Stanford RB Bryce Love

Season stats: 181 carries for 1,622 yards (8.96 yards per carry) and 15 TDs in nine games (180.2 yards per game).
Friday’s stats: 30 carries for 166 yards (5.5 yards per carry) and three TDs in a 30-22 victory over Washington.
The skinny: Love had a strong performance against Washington, whose defense had been No. 1 overall and sixth against the run (91.1 yards per game). In addition, Love scored as many rushing TDs in one game as the Huskies had allowed in their first nine. Love leads the nation in rushing yards per game, and his per-game average is almost 19 yards higher than anyone else (Tate is second). Love also leads in total rushing yards though he has missed one game. He has rushed for 100 yards in eight of nine games, has hit the 150-yard mark in seven games, the 200-yard mark in two games and the 300-yard plateau in one.

1. Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield

Season stats: 213-of-299 (71.2 percent) for 3,559 yards, 31 TDs and five interceptions, along with 231 rushing yards and five TDs in 10 games.
Saturday’s stats: 18-of-27 (66.7 percent) for 333 yards, three TDs and no interceptions and 50 rushing yards in a 38-20 win over Oklahoma State.
The skinny: Mayfield and the Sooners ripped through a TCU unit that came in ranked sixth in the nation in total defense to take control in the Big 12 race. It was his 23rd consecutive game with at least two TD passes. Mayfield is second nationally at 355.9 passing yards per game and is first nationally in completion percentage and yards per attempt (11.9); he is third in TD passes. Saturday’s outing was his ninth 300-yard game of the season and his third game with at least 50 rushing yards. He and OU play Kansas next; the Jayhawks have surrendered 26 TD passes, which is third-most nationally.

(You can follow Mike Huguenin on Twitter @MikeHuguenin)

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