Heisman Watch (cont.)
6. QB Case Keenum, Jr., Houston
Last week: 38-of-58 passing, 435 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 8 rushes, 27 yards, 1 TD in a 29-28 victory against Texas Tech
Season: 93-of-134 passing, 1,160 yards, 8 TDs, 2 INTs; 15 rushes, 43 yards, 3 TDs
Heisman-o-meter: Are you a Keenum believer yet? The Watch is. Like Clausen, Keenum engineered a clutch, game-winning drive in the final moments of the win over Texas Tech and put his name squarely in the discussion for the stiff-armed statuette. Keenum reminds The Watch of former Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel: He throws short passes in rhythm (see Keenum's first touchdown to James Cleveland) and has some surprising wheels (on the game-winning drive, Keenum converted a third-and-10 and scored the go-ahead touchdown on draw plays). He does a couple things better than Daniel though, like throwing on the run and passing from a variety of arm angles. Keenum did throw a fourth-quarter interception, which at the time looked huge, when Tech's Will Ford cut in front of a receiver, but the Cougars' quarterback definitely made a Case for himself Saturday night.
Up next: Saturday at UTEP
7. RB Jahvid Best, Jr., Cal
Last week: 16 rushes, 55 yards; 2 receptions, 14 yards in a 42-3 loss at Oregon
Season: 69 rushes, 467 yards, 8 TDs; 9 receptions, 73 yards, 1 TD; 1 kickoff return, 18 yards
Heisman-o-meter: Well, that was a short-lived stay at the top. After ascending to No. 1 last week, Best drops after a game in which he (and the rest of the Cal's offense) was completely neutralized. He didn't find any holes in the first half, and, with his team down big, the Bears abandoned the running game and gave Best only one carry (for no gain) in the second half. Not to mention, he and quarterback Kevin Riley had a failed exchange, which led to a fumble and an Oregon touchdown in the second quarter. After that performance, some may count out Best from the race, but I'm not so sure. With no one candidate standing out, he still has a chance. But he absolutely must have a big game on Saturday against a Trojans team that last season held him to 30 yards.
Up next: Saturday against No. 7 USC
8. QB Jacory Harris, Soph., Miami
Last week: 9-of-25 passing, 150 yards, 1 INT; 4 rushes, minus-28 yards in a 31-7 loss at No. 11 Virginia Tech
Season: 50-of-84 passing, 806 yards, 5 TDs, 3 INTs; 8 rushes, minus-31 yards, 1 TD
Heisman-o-meter: Put the order for that pink suit on hold, Jacory. With any more performances like the one against the Hokies, there will be no Heisman Trophy ceremony for Harris. Saturday's game was forgettable on many levels for Canes backers, not the least of which was the crashing of Harris' Heisman stock. The Miami quarterback looked nothing like the player who was sensational in big wins against Florida State and Georgia Tech, and much of that can be credited to Tech's pressure, which sacked him three times and hurried him countless more. Harris also lost one fumble and threw an interception, which led to two Hokies touchdowns. One can make a case for dropping Harris off the list, but I'll keep him on here because of his two wins over ranked teams (though that victory over Florida State is not looking so great right now). He must play well this Saturday to get back into the hunt.
Up next: Saturday against No. 8 Oklahoma
9. RB C.J. Spiller, Sr., Clemson
Last week: 26 rushes, 112 yards 1 TD; 3 receptions, 79 yards; 2 kickoff returns, 36 yards
Season: 67 rushes, 288 yards, 1 TD; 8 receptions, 150 yards, 1 TD; 5 punt returns, 182 yards 1 TD; 7 kickoff returns, 237 yards, 1 TD; 0-of-1 passing
Heisman-o-meter: Don't let the Tigers' 2-2 record fool you; Spiller has been an all-purpose demon so far this season. Every game he seems to come up with a big gainer, and he did it again on Saturday with a 60-yard pass reception against a strong TCU defense. On that play, Spiller joined Reggie Bush as the only players in D-I history with more than 2,500 yards in rushing, 1,500 yards in kickoff returns, 1,000 yards in receiving and 500 yards in punt returns. Amazingly, Spiller has already scored four different ways this season.
Up next: Saturday at Maryland
10. QB Russell Wilson, Soph., North Carolina State
Last week: 21-of-35 passing, 322 yards, 4 TDs; 10 rushes, 91 yards in a 38-31 victory against Pittsburgh
Season: 74-of-115 passing, 969 yards, 12 TDs; 32 rushes, 115 yards
Heisman-o-meter: After considering a slew of guys for this last (there were too many to list), The Watch finally landed on someone we've been eyeing for awhile. Wilson rallied the Wolfpack against an underrated Pitt defense, using his arm and his legs (he converted a fourth-and-14 with a 21-yard run) and has now thrown 364 passes without an interception, an NCAA record.
Up next: Saturday at Wake Forest
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