Penn State running back
Barkley started off Week Five with a bang, taking the opening kickoff 98 yards back for a touchdown against Indiana. The junior back added yet another play to his highlight reel this season, and once again proved why he deserves to be at the top of the Heisman polls.
Although this ended up being a rather quiet game for Barkley, he made sure his impact was felt one way or another. His versatility on the field evokes shades of former Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey, who was a Heisman finalist and also fielded kickoffs, being a threat in both the passing and running game.
Barkley should regain his footing this weekend as the No. 4 Nittany Lions travel to Evanston, Illinois to take on Northwestern, a team that has consistently given up over 150 rushing yards per game.
A week off didn’t help Mayfield’s Heisman stock, but it didn’t hurt him either. The redshirt senior leads the country with 13.2 yards per pass, and his knack for creating big plays on the fly keeps his name relevant in the Heisman conversation.
The No. 3 Sooners will return to action this weekend against Iowa State at home, a game in which they open as four-touchdown favorites.
Stanford running back
Love has stayed under the radar for much of the season due to Stanford’s unimpressive performances in big games, but his numbers speak for themselves: 1088 yards and eight touchdowns at only five games into the season.
The junior has also proved to be an extremely efficient back, gaining an average of 11.1 yards per carry and rushing for at least 160 yards in every game this season. Coming off a 301 yard, three-touchdown rushing display against Arizona State, Love is primed to run up the Heisman boards.
The Cardinal will look for their third straight win this weekend in a tough road test against No. 20 Utah, a team Stanford hasn’t beaten since 1995.
Washington State quarterback
Falk inserts his name into the Heisman conversation on the heels of a thrilling 30-27 victory over fellow Heisman candidate Sam Darnold and then-No. 5 USC. The senior led his team on a 60 yard drive in the closing minutes of the game to set up the Cougars’ game-winning field goal.
Washington State head coach Mike Leach implemented the air raid offense in Pullman, Washington upon his rival, and the results are finally starting to show, courtesy of Falk. With 1718 yards and 16 touchdowns on the year, he continues to pace the Cougars and put them in contention for a Pac-12 title.
The Cougars will embark on a two-game road trip, starting with a match against Oregon this weekend. Autzen Stadium proves a tough environment for visiting teams, and Falk’s poise will be put to the test come game time.