Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday// photo credit Lisa Horne
by Lisa Horne
The Heisman race is still wide open after four weeks. A lot of teams were on byes last week so a few players took advantage and had spectacular performances. Others did not seize the moment and dropped out of the race.
One quarterback who failed to make any of my previous lists (but I've been watching him closely) has crashed the party.
Marcus Mariota, quarterback, Oregon
Mariota continues to do Superman things. Against Washington State, he went 21-of-25 for 329 yards and five touchdowns. He still has not thrown a pick and is my Heisman frontrunner.
Ameer Abdullah, running back, Nebraska
Abdullah rushed for more than 200 yards for the second time this season. Abdullah had 35 carries for 229 yards and averaged more than six yards a touch against Miami (FL). Abdullah is the closest challenger to Mariota at this point in the season.
Todd Gurley, running back, Georgia
Gurley rushed six times for 73 yards against Troy, including a 48-yard romp. Because the game was essentially over (48-0) at the half, Gurley was rested for upcoming conference play.
Amari Cooper, receiver, Alabama
Cooper had 10 receptions for 201 yards and three touchdown against a hapless Florida secondary. He's so fun to watch that perhaps that is why he is always so open—he mesmerizes defensive backs.
Kenny Hill, quarterback, Texas A&M
Hill went 16-of-22 for 265 yards, two touchdowns and one interception against SMU. Hill seems to prefer grass to turf so after this Saturday's date with Arkansas in Arlington, expect Hill's numbers to skyrocket.
Bryce Petty, quarterback, Baylor
Connor Halliday, quarterback, Washington State (new addition to this list)
Halliday has amassed 1,845 yards of total offense after only four games. No other player has produced more total yards thus far this season. We're not sure why he isn't garnering more Heisman hype—especially after his amazing performance against Oregon—but we'll be the first to give Halliday his just due.
Brett Hundley, quarterback, UCLA
Connor Cook, quarterback, Michigan State
Cook didn't do anything to take him out of the Heisman race but he didn't overwhelm either. Against a very bad Eastern Michigan team, Cook went 5-of-6 for 83 yards, two touchdowns and rushed for another before retiring in the second quarter.
Cody Kessler, quarterback, USC
Myles Jack, linebacker/running back, UCLA
Christian Hackenberg, quarterback, Penn State
Hackenberg had a very pedestrian day against an inferior Massachusetts team going 12-of-23 for 179 yards. He still has an unacceptable 4-5 TD-INT ratio.
Jake Waters, quarterback, Kansas State
Stats don’t always tell the whole story, especially in Waters' case. While he didn't throw any touchdown passes he did get picked twice, albeit one in the end zone was receiver Tyler Lockett's fault. Still, Waters is out of the race, for all intents and purposes.
Duke Johnson, running back, Miami
Johnson had his fourth-straight sub-100 yard game. For Johnson to get back in the Heisman race he has to average more than 15 carries a game and that doesn't look like part of Miami's game plan.
Taysom Hill, quarterback, BYU
Hill went 13-of-23 for 187 yards and two touchdowns against Virginia but he needed to do more. The rest of BYU's schedule won't help his campaign. BYU plays six Group of 5 teams, an FCS team and a resurgent Cal on November 29.