Trent Richardson, Alabama
Nuff said with the video already. With one stutter step/juke move, Richardson broke the ankles of five defenders in pursuit, on his way to a 76 yard touchdown run during a route of Ole Miss Saturday night.
Add to that one run, 183 yards and 4 touchdowns on 17 carries. He averaged a herculean 10.3 yards per rush! This will go down as one of his best weekends of all time, the move he made especially. Re-watch it and look at No. 21 on Ole Miss in particular. His ankles are literally broken as he fell to the ground.
It not every season you see 5 opposing defenders in pursuit of a running back, all of which have great angles on the ball to make the tackle, and then SNAP. In one second, everybody’s angle on Richardson disappeared. Touchdown in beast mode. With this weekend’s performance, Richardson clearly vaults himself ahead of every contender, having now his signature Heisman Moment that he can put at the top of his resume.
Tajh Boyd, Clemson
Clemson trailed 35-17 in the third quarter, something nobody on that young team is used to. So what did Clemson do? Led by Boyd, Clemson outscored Maryland 38-10 in the final 25 or so minutes of the game. Three of Boyd’s 4 touchdown passes came in that run.
No matter the circumstance, Boyd has surprised everyone in the nation, as I am now preaching every week. But this weekend’s victory is another Heisman Moment out of the many Clemson highlights all season. Remember, too, this is the game when Boyd returned from being injured last week during the game.
Most impressive, nobody on Clemson’s team panicked, and Boyd led a dramatic comeback. Even last in the fourth quarter, when Maryland scored to hault the Clemson run and go up 45-42, Clemson came right back and took the game away with a couple more big plays to put it in the bag, and keep the Tigers undefeated.
Russell Wilson, Wisconsin
The reason Andrew Luck was originally on this list was because of his play at wide receiver. Now, Wilson helps his cause (sort of) by making a great catch this weekend. Unlike Luck, Wilson’s was for a touchdown.
On a wide receiver reverse pass, Wilson was wide open on a wheel route after a lateral to a wide receiver. He caught the pass and took it to the house, in Wisconsin’s route of Indiana this weekend. They scored 59 points to Indiana’s 7.
So on the season, Wilson has one catch for 25 yards and a touchdown. How many quarterbacks can say that? Well, Luck can (except the touchdown part). But Wilson really benefited from making this great play this weekend. Through the air, Wilson wasn’t as high rolling as he has been, so to have a highlight like this makes a difference. Unfortunately for him, the stats don’t balance as well as players ahead of him. He was No. 1 in the rankings last week… down to No. 3 this week.
Sammy Watkins, Clemson
Clemson was coming back, had taken a lead, and then Maryland finally answered. They had retaken the lead and thought, probably, “OK, we have regained control.” Nope, think again. Watkins, already have had a big return earlier in the game on a kick off, took back the ensuing kickoff 89 yards for a Clemson touchdown.
Add to that a record-setting game, breaking CJ Spiller’s total offensive yards record from a few years ago. Watkins totaled 345 total yards (207 kick return yards) and three touchdowns. The 345 yards is the record, and is an amazing statistic this season. That’s more than some quarterbacks, like Wilson, passed for this weekend. That’s the reason why Watkins, absent from the top 10 and watch list last week, is No. 4 this week.
Kellen Moore, Boise State
It should be no surprise that Boise State dominated Colorado State by 60 points this weekend. Leading the way was Kellen Moore, who threw the same number of touchdowns as incompletions. That’s 4 touchdowns and 4 incompletions (that’s RG3 early season stats right there).
Granted, we’ve always known Moore to be accurate, this weekend was a showcase of all of his talents. He only threw 4 incompletions, and completed passes to 9 different wide receivers on his way to a classic shalacking. It was 35-0 before Colorado State scored. Down for the count, ladies and gentlemen.
So Moore continues to gain momentum throughout all of the games, but he has a problem — other players pass him up each week because they’re having huge games against better opponents.
Landry Jones, Oklahoma
In a surefire blowout, Kansas hung around with Oklahoma for a while. Going into the fourth quarter, Oklahoma only led 30-17. Then, they scored 17 points. Jones led the charge the whole game, throwing for 363 yards and three touchdowns.
While not his most impressive outing, he was still the leader of the team and sticks up in the middle of these rankings. Jones competed two specific big plays to go-to receiver Ryan Broyles. One was for 57 yards and another (the one in the fourth quarter) for 43. So Jones had some big plays going his way.
Jones has had a big couple weeks, just emerging in these rankings last week. He’s shown himself as the leader of that team and it’s always important for a Heisman Trophy winner to be the team leader. Jones has great stats, but we’re all still waiting for his big coming out, Heisman-type game. He hasn’t had that moment quite yet. But he will. Even if it comes at the end of the season in the end-of-year showdown against Oklahoma State.
Andre Ellington, Clemson
If not for Watkins, Ellington would be the player from the Clemson-Maryland game this weekend who had the hot name tag. Ellington has quietly been the LaMichael James of this season.
Against Maryland, Ellington carried the ball 24 times for 212 yards and 2 touchdowns, including a 44-yarder. But the 44-yarder wasn’t even Ellington’s longest run, having had a highlight reel 55-yard run earlier in the game.
Ellington has all the right tools to be a Heisman contender — the speed, the versatility, the stats, the highlights, and the flashiness.
Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State
Against a ranked team, Weeden didn’t have his best game ever like he did the week prior. So that’s one demerit his way. Against Texas, he only passed for 218 yards and one touchdown. In contrast, the Oklahoma State running back ran for 2 touchdowns.
So Weeden is on a cold streak this week, but has time to make up for it, just like Landry Jones before him has. They’ll play each other and the winner of that game will likely be ahead of the other in my Heat Index, but not guaranteed to be up that high unless they’ve had some great weeks surrounding that last week.
His only touchdown was just 15 yards, and even worse, Weeden forced a safety onto himself by stepping out of the back of the endzone. That safety could have put Texas right back into the game; in fact it gave them hope for a while. Still, Oklahoma State survived.