Heisman Watch: Week 13

Ethan Ferguson, Sports Reporter

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared as part of the November 23 Double Coverage flipbook.

C.J. Stroud — Quarterback

C.J. Stroud had a sensational showing against then No. 7-ranked Michigan State on Saturday. The now No. 2-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes won the highly anticipated matchup 56-7, an absolute landslide. Stroud threw for six touchdowns and 432 passing yards on the day. With a completion rate of 91.4%, Stroud only missed on three passing attempts to his receiving corps. Having averaged 12.3 yards per pass, the freshman earned a quarterback rating of 251.7. His exceptional performance against a more than capable Michigan State team not only increased his standings in the Heisman race, but proved that he is a top contender. The highlight of Stroud’s performance against the Spartans came on a 77-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Garrett Wilson in the first quarter. It was his longest touchdown on the season. Ohio State’s season is not over yet as the Buckeyes are set to take on rival No. 6 Michigan at the Big House come Saturday. And with Stroud at the helm, Ohio State will see itself  in a New Year’s Six bowl led by a stellar quarterback.

Bryce Young — Quarterback

At this point in the season, the battle for the Heisman Trophy is appearing to be primarily between quarterbacks Stroud and Young. No. 3 Alabama had a crucial win against a top-25 ranked Arkansas team with a final score of 42-35. Young’s talent was on display just as much as Stroud’s. The sophomore set an Alabama record in the contest for most passing yards by any Alabama quarterback in school history. Young threw for five touchdowns and 559 passing yards. He earned a completion rate of 77.5% on 40 attempts and a quarterback ranking of 236.1. Averaging 14 yards per completion, Young’s highlight play was a 79-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jameson Williams with just over five minutes left in the first half. The No. 3 Crimson Tide will travel to Auburn, Alabama, to meet the 6–5 Tigers in the highly anticipated Iron Bowl to close out the season.

Matt Corral — Quarterback

Matt Corral and now No. 8-ranked Ole Miss took care of business against Vanderbilt winning comfortably with a final score of 31-17. Corral passed for 326 yards and two touchdowns with a completion rate of 75% on 36 attempts. He averaged 9 yards per completion. The junior did, however, throw one interception with just over five minutes remaining in the game. On the season, Corral has just three interceptions. The Rebels have a must-not-lose matchup come Thursday against an unranked Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl as Corral and team look to make it to a New Year’s Six bowl.

Kenneth Walker III — Running back

Kenneth Walker III’s standing in the Heisman race fell following Michigan State’s second loss on the season to now-No. 2 Ohio State. The Spartans’ limited depth on the roster became evident following an injury suffered by Walker that sidelined him for a large portion of the game. With only six rushing attempts on the day, Walker gathered 25 yards with an average of 4.2 yards per carry. He was also able to bring in one reception for 4 yards. Walker has still had a more than impressive season and remains in the Heisman hunt as No. 12 Michigan State prepares to take on Penn State to wrap up the season.