Heisman Hopefuls: Here’s who to watch this year

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The battle for Heisman glory is rapidly narrowing to three hopefuls. Here are Sports Radio America’s picks.

1. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Any concerns by Crimson Tide fans Tua Tagovailoa’s play might be hindered by his sprained right knee were quickly put to rest after Alabama’s 58-21 beatdown on Tennesseee Saturday. 

Last week saw another Heisman-worthy performance from Tagovailoa. He completed 19 of  29 passes for 306 yards and four touchdowns. He’s up to 25 touchdown passes on the year without tossing a single interception. That’s not a typo, the man has zero interceptions.

Tagovailoa is on a record-setting pace for efficiency held prior by last year’s Heisman Trophy Award winner Baker Mayfield. Through eight starts, his rating is 238.8, nearly 40 points higher than Mayfield. Tagovailoa hasn’t played in a fourth quarter all year but his services might finally be needed for a full game. Alabama travels to No. 4 LSU after its bye that has college football implications.  

2. Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Sooners bounced back from their only loss of the season with a blowout of TCU 52-27 in Fort Worth. Kyler Murray lead the effort in the victory with 213 yards and four touchdown passes. During the game, he completed 19 of 24 passing attempts, increasing his completion percentage on the year to 72.3 percent, which 4th best in the country.

If Tagovailoa wasn’t playing, Murray’s efficiency would be on par to his predecessor, Mayfield. Murray still put up huge numbers in the loss against Texas. Like Tagovailoa, Murray (224.9) is well ahead of Mayfield’s record for QB rating in a season (198.9). Murray is tied with Tagovailoa for No. 3 nationally with 25 touchdown passes. His 428 rushing yards are 13th-most among QBs. There is still a shot for Murray if we wins out and Alabama has trouble against LSU and the SEC Championship.

3. Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

Ohio State still has a chance at the college football playoffs, but their defense let them down Saturday. Dwayne Haskins completed 49 passes for 470 yards, but it wasn’t enough for Ohio State to get past Purdue. The Buckeyes inability to run the football were exposed in the 49-20 loss and the defense without defensive end Nick Bosa showed flaws. Other than a bad interception, it was no fault of Haskins. He set OSU records for completions and passing yards while topping the 400 yard mark for the third straight game.

Haskins threw the ball a ridiculous 73 times. But, he couldn’t make plays in the red zone. OSU made five trips to the red zone and the Buckeyes came away with just six points. His two touchdown passes came in the fourth quarter with Purdue maintaining a comfortable advantage.

Those two scores gave him 30 for the season. That total, like his 2,801 yards, is No. 1 in the country. His 71.1 completion percentage (on 315 attempts), ranks sixth. But, with a bad loss to Purdue, his Heisman campaign looks shut even with the great overall year he’s had.

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