Heisman Hopefuls Watch: Week 2

September 12, 2009

Here are the DSH rankings of the Heisman candidates after Week 2. Remember, team success is a big part of the process. At this point, the top 3 are fairly solid, while there is a lot of fluidity among the rest.

BIGGEST DROP: Terrelle Pryor, So. (QB), Ohio State

In the biggest game of the day, Pryor looked very ordinary against USC. Was it the conservative playcalling? Nerves? Or is he just overrated? It is still unclear, but the quarterback who appears to have all the physical gifts did not show them on Saturday night. His performance would not have been so damaging if the Buckeyes had pulled out the game. Instead, the late drive led by true Freshman QB Matt Barkley and the Trojans only made you wonder if he or the Buckeyes had the intangibles to get it done.

BIGGEST BOOST: Case Keenum, Jr. (QB), Houston

Keenum repeatedly dissected a Cowboy defense that looked great against Georgia only a week ago. Even after Oklahoma State regained the lead, Keenum showed poise and leadership in driving his team down the field for the eventual winning touchdown. Everyone knew he would have the stats, but now he has a victory over a top team to go on his resume.


1. Tim Tebow, Sr. (QB), Florida (Defeated Troy, 56-6)

Week 2: Passing: 15/24, 237 yds, 4 TD, 0 INT; Rushing: 13/71 yds, 1 TD.
Season: Passing: 25/39, 425 yds, 5 TD, 0 INT; Rushing: 15/72 yds, 2 TD.

After an early fumble and some 1st quarter struggles, Tebow and the top-ranked Gators got rolling. This game was a better example of why Tebow is special, as he made an impact throught the air and on the ground. He accounted for 5 scores in a rout against Troy. Tebow is now tied for 3rd on the all-time SEC rushing touchdown list with 45. Should have more fun next week against the hapless Tennessee Vols.

2. Jahvid Best, Jr. (RB), California (Defeated E. Washington, 59-7)

Week 2: Rushing: 17/144 yds, 1 TD; Receiving: 2 catches, 19 yds, 1 TD.
Season: Rushing: 27/281 yds, 3 TD; Receiving: 4 catches, 42 yds, 1 TD.

Best was effective once again while playing less than 3 quarters. Backup Cal running backs ran for an additional 5 touchdowns. Clearly coach Jeff Tedford has no interest in artificially boosting Best's stats, instead choosing to save him for bigger games in the future. However, Best is so effective when he plays that he still can't be ignored. He just missed another long touchdown run when it was ruled that his foot touched the sideline, turning a 75-yard touchdown into a mere 30 yard gain. As a result, Best's ypc dropped to 10.4.

3. Colt McCoy, Sr. (QB), Texas (Defeated Wyoming, 41-10)

Week 2: Passing: 30/47, 337 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT; Rushing: 9/44 yds, 1 TD.
Season: Passing: 51/76, 654 yds, 5 TD, 2 INT; Rushing: 16/41 yds, 1 TD.

After some first half struggles, McCoy and the Longhorns took the game over. McCoy was again the one-man show for his team's offense as he accounted for 381 yards of total offense and 4 scores. Of course, you would expect some big numbers when you throw the ball 47 times. McCoy and the Longhorns also deserve credit for traveling to Wyoming and performing in that hostile environment.

4. Darryl Clark, Sr. (QB), Penn State (Defeated Syracuse, 28-7)

Week 2: Passing: 20/31, 240 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT; Rushing: 2/-1 yds, 0 TD.
Season: Passing: 49/71, 593 yds, 6 TD, 2 INT; Rushing: 5/4 yds, 0 TD.

Clark looked solid for the 2nd week in a row. Penn State looks like the class of the Big Ten right now and Clark has stepped it up for his senior year. Clark's chances of winning the Heisman are directly related to his team's success. At a minimum they must win the Big Ten and reach the Rose Bowl. More likely, the Nittany Lions need to go undefeated for Clark to continue his rise.

5. Dez Bryant, Jr. (WR), Oklahoma St. (Lost to Houston, 45-35)

Week 2: Receptions: 5/85 yds, 0 TD; KR: 2/43 yds; PR: 1/82 yds, 1 TD.
Season: Receptions: 8/182 yds, 2 TD; KR: 2/43 yds; PR: 3/111 yds, 1 TD.

Bryant had some big moments in the loss to Houston, and his 82 yard punt return for touchdown was spectacular. However, the Cowboys fell short after overcoming a large first half deficit and confirmed some suspicions that they were not yet ready to challenge for a BCS birth. The biggest play of the game with Oklahoma State trailing 38-35 late in the 4th. Bryant had a tough catch go off of his fingers and a Houston cornerback caught the tipped ball and raced to the endzone to seal the Cowboys' fate.

6. Jonathan Dwyer, Jr. (RB), Georgia Tech (Defeated Clemson, 30- 27)

Week 2: Rushing: 18/66 yds, 0 TD.
Season: Rushing: 25/161 yds, 2 TD.

Although he didn't have a great game, his team survived a big test against Clemson and the Yellow Jackets are now in a better position to make a serious BCS run. Dwyer is still the best pure running back in the ACC and his numbers will inevitably rise.

7. Max Hall, Sr. (QB), BYU (Defeated Tulane, 54-3)

Week 2: Passing: 24/32, 309 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT; Rushing: 3/15 yds.
Season: Passing: 50/70, 638 yds, 4 TD, 3 INT; Rushing: 9/7 yds.

Hall put up some nice numbers in a romp over Tulane. However, he did throw another interception. Hall is a trendy candidate right now, but BYU must go undefeated if he is to have a serious chance.

8. Case Keenum, Jr. (QB), Houston (Defeated Oklahoma St., 45-35)

Week 2: Passing: 32/46, 366 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT; Rushing: 5/16 yds, 1 TD.
Season: Passing: 55/76, 725 yds, 7 TD, 1 INT; Rushing; 7/16 yds, 1 TD.

Keenum threw for over 5,000 yards last year but didn't enter this year as a significant Heisman contender. After all, most believed that Andre Ware and David Klingler were similarly overrated quaterbacks from Houston with big statistics. That deserves to change after Saturday, as the Cougars upset of Oklahoma State was impressive and puts Keenum on the map.

9. Jimmy Clausen, Jr. (QB), Notre Dame (Lost to Michigan, 38-34)

Week 2: 25/42, 336 yds, 3 TD, 0 INT.
Season: 40/60, 651 yds, 7 TD, 0 INT.

Another strong performance by Clausen helps validate his place on the list. However, the fact that his team lost prevents him from rising. A weak schedule ahead should allow him to keep his name alive, but he must help Notre Dame beat USC when he gets the chance to be a real contender.

10. (tie) Jacquizz Rodgers So. (RB), Oregon State (Defeated UNLV, 23-21)

Week 2: Rushing: 26/166 yds, 1 TD; Receiving: 10/65 yds.
Season: Rushing: 42/269 yds, 4 TD, Receiving: 14/97 yds.

While Jahvid Best may be the flashiest and best running back in the Pac-10, Rodgers is a true workhorse who is not that far behind. The Beavers offense relies heavily on him and his ability to carry the load, both on the ground and with short routes out of the backfield. The stocky sophomore running back is set to have another huge season, if only anyone will notice. For him to be a seroius candidate at the end, the Beavers must go the Rose Bowl.

10.(tie) Joe McKnight, Jr. (RB), USC (Defeated Ohio State, 18-15)

Week 2: Rushing: 16/59 yds, 0 TD; Receiving: 2/46 yds.
Season: Rushing: 30/204 yds, 2 TD; Receiving: 3/77 yds.

McKnight made up for what had been a poor performance by delivering in the clutch. With USC backed up at their own 5 yard line, McKnight was instrumental in the final drive. His 33 yards rushing, 21 yards receiving, and 2-point conversion reception helped the Trojans pull off the dramatic victory. Was it a sign of things to come? Perhaps, but to really get more Heisman consideration McKnight needs to play a complete game.

10.(tie) Terrelle Pryor, So. (QB), Ohio State (Lost to USC, 18-15)

Week 2: Passing: 11/25, 176 yds, 0 TD, 1 INT; Rushing: 10/36 yds, 0 TD.
Season: Passing: 25/46, 351 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT; Rushing: 16/66 yds, 1 TD.

Pryor is still young and the book on him is far from written. His performance against a tough Trojan defense was mediocre, but the season is far from over and he will have opportunities to redeem himself.


Evan Royster, Jr. (RB), Penn State (Defeated Syracuse, 28-7)
Kendall Hunter, Jr. (RB), Oklahoma St. (Lost to Houston, 45-35)
Noel Devine, Jr. (RB), West Virginia (Defeated E. Carolina, 35-20)
CJ Spiller, Sr. (RB), Clemson (Lost to G. Tech, 30-27)
Sam Bradford, Jr. (QB), Oklahoma - DID NOT PLAY

Manish Pandya
Staff Editor for TheDailySportsHerald.com

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