Heisman Watch: week three

Steve Helwick

  • Christian McCaffrey, Stanford running back
  • 2016: 126 rushing yards, 40 receiving yards, 2 rushing touchdowns

Nothing changed for McCaffrey in week two. Benefiting from a bye week, the 2015 Heisman runner-up rises to the top of the rankings before a series of tough tests. The junior from Castle Rock, CO confronts an inconsistent USC defense that allowed 52 points and 465 yards to Alabama in week one but seemed to remedy this issue in week two. In the 2015 Pac-12 Championship Game, McCaffrey delivered against the Trojans with a 461 all-purpose yards. His impressive résumé in the 41-22 victory included a passing, rushing and receiving touchdown, embellished with 207 rushing yards. After dismantling a tough Kansas State defense in week one, McCaffrey faces the Trojan team he dominated a year ago.

  • Lamar Jackson, Louisville quarterback
  • 2016: 697 passing yards, 318 rushing yards, 13 total touchdowns

If you changed the channel during a Louisville game, odds are you missed Lamar Jackson score. In his first 57 minutes of action this season, the sophomore quarterback accounted for 13 touchdowns. The breakout star became the second player in history to pass for 400 yards and rush for 150 in a game in a 62-28 victory over Syracuse. When out of the pocket, Jackson crushes opposing defenders with striking agility and quickness. His highlight of the season occurred when he completely hurdled a Syracuse defender on a way to another touchdown. Individually, Jackson ranks third in the nation in rushing yards but leads a Cardinals team that is first in the FBS in scoring and offensive yards.

  • Nick Chubb, Georgia running back
  • 2016: 302 rushing yards, 3 rushing touchdowns, 5.8 yards per carry

In 2014, Chubb assumed the starting running back position for the first time on the road in Columbia, MO. Since that 143-yard performance in the victory at Missouri, Chubb has only rushed under the 100-mark twice. Last Saturday, in an uninspiring 26-24 win over FCS foe Nicholls State, Chubb was limited to 80 yards. Georgia’s offensive line was shockingly overmatched by a tough front-seven by Nicholls State’s defense. Chubb’s Bulldogs escaped with the win, but it is imperative for the junior to revert to success at Missouri this Saturday to maintain his position as an early Heisman frontrunner.

  • Kalen Ballage, Arizona State running back
  • 2016: 193 rushing yards, 69 receiving yards, 8 total touchdowns

The FBS individual record for most touchdowns in a game was tied late Saturday night in week two. Ballage erupted onto the national scene with eight total touchdowns, and accounted for 48 points in a 68-55 shootout win over Texas Tech. Most impressively, Ballage only touched the ball 15 times in the noteworthy performance. The junior running back leads a Sun Devils offense averaging a Pac-12-best 56 points per game. Ballage travels to San Antonio Friday night to combat the UTSA Roadrunners.