Arizona

Heisman watch: Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield leads the way

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 fourth Heisman watch of the season, spotlighting the top three contenders after 10 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: 95 rushes for 1,087 yards (11.4 yards per carry) and nine TDs, and 60-of-98 (61.2 percent) for 930 yards, eight TDs and five interceptions in seven games.
Saturday’s stats: 26 carries for 161 yards (6.2 yards per carry) and one TD, 14-of-31 for 146 yards, two TDs and two interceptions in a 49-35 loss to USC.
The skinny: Tate played his worst game in his five outings as the starter, yet still had 307 yards of total offense and accounted for three TDs in the loss to the Trojans. USC scored twice in the final 5:37 for the win, but Tate’s three TDs came in a 22-0 run covering the latter part of the third quarter and the early part of the fourth period that tied it. Despite starting just five games, he is 12th nationally in rushing yards and is third in rushing yards per game at 155.3.

2. Stanford RB Bryce Love

Season stats: 151 carries for 1,456 yards (9.6 yards per carry) and 12 TDs in eight games (182.0 yards per game).
Thursday’s stats: 16 carries for 69 yards (4.3 yards per carry) and one TD in a 24-21 loss to Washington State.
The skinny: Love scored on a 52-yard TD run against Washington State – giving him a run of at least 50 yards in all eight games he has played – but he didn’t do anything else of note in the loss to the Cougars. He leads the nation in rushing yards per game, and his per-game average is almost 22 yards higher than anyone else. He is second in total rushing yards – and the guy in first (San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny) has played two more games than Love.

1. Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield

Season stats: 195-of-272 (71.7 percent) for 3,226 yards, 28 TDs and five interceptions, along with 181 rushing yards and five TDs in nine games.
Saturday’s stats: 24-of-36 (66.7 percent) for 598 yards, five TDs and two interceptions in a 62-52 win over Oklahoma State.
The skinny: Saturday’s magnificent performance was his 22nd consecutive game with at least two TD passes. Yes, “Bedlam” featured zero defense, but Mayfield still had to be sharp to outduel Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph (he threw for 448 yards and five TDs). Mayfield is second nationally at 358.4 passing yards per game and is first nationally in completion percentage and yards per attempt (11.9); he is tied for third in TD passes. Saturday’s outing was his eighth 300-yard game of the season and his second with 400 yards; it also was the second 500-yard game of his career.

(You can follow Mike Huguenin on Twitter @MikeHuguenin)

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