Heisman Hopefuls Week 3

September 20, 2009

Here are the DSH rankings of the Heisman candidates after Week 3. Of note is a change at the top.

BIGGEST DROP: Jonathan Dwyer, Jr. (RB) Georgia Tech

Dwyer's performance in the big ACC showdown with Miami may have destroyed his Heisman chances altogether. He rushed for 7 yards on 5 carries while nursing an injured shoulder. Dwyer's hopes rested heavily on his ability to put up big statistics for the year and Georgia Tech's ability to win the ACC. Both of those possibilities took a major hit.

BIGGEST BOOST: Jacory Harris, So. (QB), Miami

Harris stepped up for the second time this season on national television, this time against 14th ranked Georgia Tech. The Hurricanes destroyed the Yellow Jackets and Harris was extremely accurate once again. With two impressive performances against two good teams (Florida State being the other) Harris has demanded serious attention.


1. Jahvid Best, Jr. (RB), California (Defeated Minnesota, 35-21)

Week 3: Rushing: 26/131 yds, 5 TD; Receiving: 3 catches, 17 yds, 0 TD.
Season: Rushing: 53/412 yds, 8 TD; Receiving: 7 catches, 59 yds, 1 TD.

Best was absolutely dominant in the first half for the Bears as he ran for 114 yards on 13 carries. The Minnesota defense focused on him completely in the second half and slowed him and Cal down considerably. Nonetheless, Best made the necessary plays in the 4th quarter, scoring the critical two touchdowns to put the game away. He ran for all 5 Cal touchdowns leading the Bears to a confidence-building road victory and placing himself atop this week's Heisman rankings.

2. Tim Tebow, Sr. (QB), Florida (Defeated Tennessee, 23-13)

Week 3: Passing: 14/19, 115 yds, 0 TD, 1 INT; Rushing: 24/76 yds, 1 TD, 1 fumble.
Season: Passing: 39/58, 540 yds, 5 TD, 1 INT; Rushing: 39/148 yds, 3 TD, 2 fumbles.

Tebow struggled considerably more than expected against the Vols. Almost everyone expected the Gators to dominate and Tebow to put up big numbers. Instead, Tebow was mediocre throwing the football. While he did rush for 76 yards and a score, it took him 24 caries to do so. The two turnovers were also very uncharacteristic of the Florida QB. Clearly you had to grade this a disappointing performance by the standard we've come to expect from him.

3. Colt McCoy, Sr. (QB), Texas (Defeated Texas Tech, 34-24)

Week 3: Passing: 24/34, 205 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT; Rushing: 8/5 yds, 0 TD.
Season: Passing: 75/110, 859 yds, 6 TD, 4 INT; Rushing: 24/46 yds, 1 TD.

While McCoy led his team to victory in this crucial Big 12 contest, he didn't exactly play his best at home. McCoy was nonetheless steady when it mattered and allowed his superior team to put away Texas Tech down the stretch. His two interceptions are a little alarming as is the fact that McCoy has now thrown a pick in every game this year.

4. Darryl Clark, Sr. (QB), Penn State (Defeated Temple, 31-6)

Week 3: Passing: 16/26, 167 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT.
Season: Passing: 65/97, 760 yds, 8 TD, 3 INT.

Clark was steady in leading the Big Ten's best team to another comfortable victory. He threw for two more scores and managed the offensive while teammate Evan Royster finally made his mark this season. On the downside, he threw an interception for the third straight game.

5. Dez Bryant, Jr. (WR), Oklahoma St. (Defeated Rice, 41-24)

Week 3: Receptions: 9/161 yds, 2 TD;
Season: Receptions: 17/343 yds, 4 TD; KR: 2/43 yds; PR: 3/111 yds, 1 TD.

The best receiver in the country played like it on Saturday, putting up his best receiving numbers of the season. It was a good bounce back after last week's lost to Houston. With the Cowboys' high powered offense, Bryant should be getting to the end zone frequently this season.

6. Case Keenum, Jr. (QB), Houston (Did not play)

Week 3: Did not play.
Season: Passing: 55/76, 725 yds, 7 TD, 1 INT; Rushing; 7/16 yds, 1 TD.

Keenum and the Cougars did not play this week. However, they can make another statement against Texas Tech next week.

7. Jacory Harris, So. (QB), Miami (Defeated Georgia Tech, 33- 17)

Week 3: Passing: 20/25, 270 yds, 3 TD, 0 INT;
Season: Passing: 41/59, 656 yds, 5 TD, 2 INT; Rushing: 1 TD.

Harris was extremely accurate and seems to be leading a resurgent Hurricanes program. With back-to-back outstanding performances against quality teams, everyone should pay attention. The young Miami QB may turn out to be the biggest surprise of the year.

8. Jimmy Clausen, Jr. (QB), Notre Dame (Def. Michigan St. 33-30)

Week 3: 22/31, 300 yds, 2 TD, 0 INT.
Season: 62/91, 951 yds, 9 TD, 0 INT.

Clausen's accuracy and leadership are noteworthy. He led the Irish back from a heartbreaking loss the week before at Michigan to pull this one out against the Spartans. In many ways, this game might have saved Notre Dame's season as another loss could have led to a serious downward spiral. Clausen's ability to rack up yardage while avoiding INTs also stands out among quarterbacks this year.

9.(tie) Joe McKnight, Jr. (RB), USC (Lost to Washington, 16-13)

Week 3: Rushing: 11/100 yds, 0 TD; Receiving: 2/6 yds.
Season: Rushing: 41/304 yds, 2 TD; Receiving: 5/83 yds.

McKnight was one of the few Trojans who played well on Saturday during their embarrassing loss to Washington. The defeat is of course a significant setback to McKnight's Heisman hopes, but he is still on the radar. He needs more touches so that his 8+ ypc has a greater impact on the game.

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

Week 2: Passing: 17/28, 262 yds, 3 TD, 2 INT; Rushing: 12/110 yds, 1 TD.
Season: Passing: 42/74, 613 yds, 4 TD, 4 INT; Rushing: 28/176 yds, 2 TD.

Pryor bounced back nicely this week and hopefully the Buckeyes will not continue to suffocate his talent by making him a pure pocket passer. While it is true that he still is raw and is prone to throw interceptions, Pryor must be unleashed completely if Ohio State is going to benefit from his talents. Pryor is a dynamic athlete who should make plays with his legs like he did this week. While the jury is still out on him, if he can lead the Buckeyes to the Rose Bowl, he will deserve a ton of credit.


Evan Royster, Jr. (RB), Penn State (Defeated Temple, 31-6)
Kendall Hunter, Jr. (RB), Oklahoma St. (Defeated Rice, 41-24)
Noel Devine, Jr. (RB), West Virginia (Lost to Auburn, 41-30)
CJ Spiller, Sr. (RB), Clemson (Defeated Boston College, 25-7)
Sam Bradford, Jr. (QB), Oklahoma - DID NOT PLAY

Manish Pandya
Staff Editor for TheDailySportsHerald.com

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