Heisman Watch – Week 10

Payne Williams, Senior Sports Reporter

Hendon Hooker

Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker continues his dominant season in the SEC. The senior is coming off his second-consecutive three-touchdown performance in last week’s 44-7 win over then-No. 19 Kentucky, and he isn’t slowing down. Hooker’s touchdown-interception ratio ranks him among the nation’s most efficient passers. Hooker’s “Heisman moment” may be Tennessee’s exhilarating game against then-No. 3 Alabama, which coincidentally featured Hooker’s sole interception on the season. However, Hooker will have another chance to prove himself this week against No. 1 Georgia, which is holding FBS opponents to just 12 points per game. Hooker may need to throw the ball more than he has been in recent weeks if Tennessee wants to defeat the nation’s best defense.

C.J. Stroud

While Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud is no longer the Heisman betting favorite, the junior is still near the top of the race as the country’s best player. The only knock on Stroud currently is his resume. The Buckeyes, tied for No. 2 in this week’s AP poll, haven’t faced nearly the same competition in the Big 10 East that Hooker and the Volunteers have in the SEC East, but Ohio State is coming off an encouraging win over then-No. 13 Penn State. However, Stroud is still, on paper, the nation’s most efficient quarterback with an FBS high in QBR (93.1) and passer rating (200.2). 

Blake Corum

Junior Blake Corum leads this list as the only non-quarterback and for a good reason. Corum is a major reason for the Wolverines’ success thus far. The Michigan running back has been a force over the last five games, in which he’s averaged over 168 rushing yards per contest. The junior’s recent success began in late September when he rushed for 243 yards and two touchdowns against Maryland, and Corum hasn’t received less than 25 attempts since. The junior has the nation’s second-most rushing touchdowns (14) and fourth-most yards (1078).

Drake Maye

Drake Maye isn’t the flashiest member of this list, but North Carolina’s starting quarterback is quietly raising his name in the Heisman odds. The freshman’s consistency and ability to find the endzone led to No. 17 North Carolina’s surprising 7-1 record. Last week, Maye played one of the best games of any quarterback this season. The Tar Heel threw for 380 yards on his way to five touchdowns and did so with a season-best 77% completion percentage. Maye is among the nation’s leaders in passing yards and QBR, and his 29 touchdown passes are tied with C.J. Stroud as most in the country. Maye will still need to make strides if he hopes to be one of the Heisman finalists, as UNC’s schedule isn’t as competitive as some of the other candidates.