Heisman Watch Week 10: Tagovailoa continues to stand out as frontrunner

Donnavan Smoot

After yet another big week for the leaders in the Heisman race, the top candidates are now preparing for some of the biggest matchups of the season. Here’s the latest on Tua and everybody else:

#13 Tua Tagovailoa, quarterback, No. 1 Alabama

It’s no secret how great Tua has been. His numbers have been spectacular, and they have translated to wins. If there was one asterisk to put on this season, it’s that despite being in the highly regarded SEC, he hasn’t played any serious competition. The Crimson Tide have played against teams like Arkansas State, UL-Lafayette and will play Citadel in two weeks. The strength of schedule argument is a common one when it comes to Nick Saban’s squad. 

This week, on the other hand, Tagovailoa and Alabama will finally face a formidable test when the Crimson Tide go on the road to Baton Rouge for a matchup with No. 3  LSU, where all eyes will be on the young phenom quarterback in this heavyweight primetime matchup. If the game goes as anticipated, Tagovailoa will have to play in the fourth quarter for the first time since the National Championship game in January. If he is able to show up and show out on Saturday, the Heisman should have Tagovailoa’s name inscribed on it by the end of Sunday.

#1 Kyler Murray, quarterback, No. 7 Oklahoma 

It was just another day at the office for Kyler Murray. He had another 350-yard game to go along with three touchdowns through the air and one on the ground. What Murray is doing shouldn’t be overlooked. He’s on pace to account for more touchdowns and have a higher touchdown-to-interception ratio than Baker Mayfield produced last season. Murray is having one of the most dynamic seasons in Oklahoma history.

Murray will definitely be in New York when the Heisman announcement is made at the end of the season. The only question posed about that time is whether or not he will be on the team that won the 2018 Big 12 Championship, which is the primary focus of Murray and the Sooners right now. With Texas Tech next on the schedule, Murray will try to continue to be electric on the field and raise the profile of not only his team, but of himself as well.

#7 Dwayne Haskins, quarterback, No. 10 Ohio State 

Haskins’ arm took a toll the last time he was on the field. The sophomore quarterback threw the ball an astonishing 73 times. After the loss to Purdue, Haskins’ chances of winning the Heisman took a hit along with Ohio State’s chances of going to the playoffs. However, Haskins can still have a successful season. He is still a top three Heisman candidate. Also, he still has two season-defining games with Michigan State and Michigan — which will be on the road — left on the schedule. 

Like many of the other candidates, Haskins has had a wonderful season. Once the season gets to this point, deciding the winner becomes a matter of splitting hairs. He’s thrown for 30 touchdowns and only five interceptions, and has compiled more yards than Tua Tagovailoa and Kyler Murray. At this point, Haskins is trying to end the season on the highest note possible and attempting to keep the momentum through the offseason to try and return next year for another climb toward the mountaintop.