Anyone in State College, Pa., engaged in one of those ubiquitous Heisman Trophy Watches has an immediate problem: candidate overload. As shell-shocked Ohio State coach John Cooper said after Saturday's 63-14 loss to 7-0 Penn State, the Buckeyes' worst defeat in 48 years, "They've got everything—a great quarterback, great wide receivers, a great running back." Which is why the Heisman, which has been won only once by a Penn State player (John Cappelletti in 1973), is unlikely to end up in Happy Valley.
Just too many stars to choose from:
?The quarterback. Fifth-year senior Kerry Collins completed 19 of 23 passes for 265 yards and two touchdowns, with no interceptions, against Ohio State. "Today, it was pretty cool out there the way things were clicking," Collins said after the game. "I had people open all over the place and so much time to throw." His efficiency rating is now a ridiculous 194.75, the nation's best by 28.5 points.
Collins's proficiency is costing him—literally. Earlier this season he rewarded his offensive linemen for their contribution to his success by taking them to the State College Veterans Club, the local VFW, for $3.00 cheese steaks. "Of course, being offensive linemen, every one of them ordered two or three," Collins says. "The bill was, like, 40 bucks. Now I'm going to have to take them again."
?The wide receivers. Junior Bobby En-gram caught six passes for 102 yards and one touchdown on Saturday; sophomore Freddie Scott had five catches for 80 yards. Said Engram afterward, "You could say we were on today." Between them they now have 60 catches and are averaging 21.5 yards per reception.
Scott is continuing a career that was once pointed toward the more genteel ranks of New England Division III schools. His father, Fred Sr., played 11 years as a wide receiver in the NFL and USFL after coming out of Amherst in 1974. "I groomed my son for Amherst," says Fred Sr. The grooming included strict academic standards and schooling at Detroit Country Day. "But in his junior year in high school," says Fred Sr., "something just happened." Junior became too good at football for Amherst.
His son's blossoming skills left Fred Scott Sr. chatting early Saturday evening with Penn State alum Lydell Mitchell, a former Baltimore Colt teammate. Which brings us to...
?The running back. Junior tailback KiJana Carter rushed for 137 yards on 19 carries and scored four touchdowns. After the game Mitchell, one of the best ballcarriers in Penn State history, waited outside the locker room to meet Carter. "I just wanted to shake hands with somebody who reminds me a little bit of myself. It's my pleasure," Mitchell said to Carter.
Carter stood before Mitchell, pumping his hand and beaming. "No," he said, "it's my pleasure."
Mitchell played at Penn State from 1969 to '71. His teammates included Franco Harris, John Hufnagel and Jack Ham. None of them won the Heisman either.