Heisman Watch: Week 12

Ethan Ferguson, Sports Reporter

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared as part of the November 19 Double Coverage flipbook.

The race to New York continues to get closer in Week 12, which could pose the biggest test for this year’s Heisman candidates.

C.J. Stroud — Quarterback

Freshman C.J. Stroud led the No. 4 Buckeyes to a decisive 59-31 win over No. 19 Purdue last week. With five touchdown passes and 361 yards on the day, Stroud’s talent was on full display. Out of 38 pass attempts, Stroud had an impressive completion rate of 81.6%, and a quarterback rating of 204.8. Ohio State had valid reasons to have nerves coming into a matchup against a Purdue team that has taken down two impressive programs this year against then-No. 2 Iowa earlier on in the season and then-No. 3 Michigan State in the latter part of the season. The real test awaits the freshman quarterback in a Heisman contender matchup on Saturday against No. 7 Michigan State. To close out the season, the Buckeyes will face No. 6 Michigan — a matchup that will be a true test for Stroud.

Bryce Young — Quarterback

Alabama star quarterback Bryce Young and team defeated New Mexico State last week in a dominating fashion. For No. 2 Alabama, there was a period of 44 seconds where the Tide were in fact losing, but it didn’t hold for long. Alabama won in typical fashion with a final score of 59-3, and the Tide defense limited the Aggies from scoring a single touchdown. Young found receivers in the endzone five times for 270 yards. The Heisman contender recorded 21-of-23 passing attempts for a completion rate of 91.3%. Young averaged 11.7 yards per play and earned a quarterback rating of 261.7. While he fumbled the ball once on the day, Young attempted to rush the ball four times with his longest run being 12 yards. The New Mexico State Aggies never posed a threat to the Crimson Tide, but the Tide’s luck could run out ahead of matchups against No. 21 Arkansas and Auburn in the next two weeks.

Matt Corral — Quarterback

Matt Corral and the No. 15 Ole Miss Rebels accomplished a much needed upset against No. 11 Texas A&M last week. With a final score of 29-19, Corral threw for one touchdown and 247 yards. With 37 pass attempts, Corral had a completion rate of just 64.9% — an expected completed passing rate against what is arguably one of the best defenses in the SEC West. Having earned a quarterback rating of 129.9, Corral and the now-No. 15 Ole Miss Rebels look to finish the season on a strong note with upcoming matchups against Vanderbilt and Mississippi State.

Kenneth Walker III — Running back

Spartan running back Kenneth Walker helped guide his team to a 40-21 win last week against Maryland. With 30 carries, Walker rushed for two touchdowns and recorded 143 yards on the day. The running back averaged 4.8 yards per carry with his longest play being a 36-yard run. Walker also brought in two receptions for 29 yards, averaging 14.5 yards per catch. This season, Walker has 227 rushing attempts averaging 6.5 yards per carry. In addition, the Spartan has 1,473 total rushing yards and 17 touchdowns to his name. No. 7 Michigan State will need Walker on his A-game when the Spartans travel to Columbus, Ohio to take on No. 4 Ohio State Saturday.