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Heisman Watch: Heisman Watch (11/5)

Vince Russo

Vince Russo

Vince Russo writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Heisman Watch (11/5)

*All rankings listed are BCS, players listed alphabetically by last name



Robert Griffin QB, Baylor (Ranked No. 21)font>


The case against Robert Griffin is that he’s lost twice, including a shootout with Texas Tech and a 45-10 loss to No. 4 TCU. But Griffin has compiled impressive numbers, including 2,592 yards passing, ranking him second in the nation to Hawaii’s Bryant Moniz. It will be interesting to see if Griffin can keep pace with Brandon Weeden and the high-scoring Cowboys this week, and Griffin also has his hands full against No. 8 Oklahoma in the regular season finale. Barring any disasters, Griffin is projected to throw over 3,400 yards with 27 touchdowns which should get his name on the ballot. And all this is to say nothing of the 401 yards and seven touchdowns Griffin has on the ground

Last game: 219 yards, two touchdowns and one interception passing (66.7 percent completed, 9.1 YPA), 17 yards and one touchdown rushing (1.1 YPC) @ Texas

Next game: @ No. 17 Oklahoma State

Stock: Up

LaMichael James, RB, Oregon (Ranked No. 1)


James needed a strong performance against USC to keep pace with Cam Newton, and he delivered. The sophomore topped 200 yards rushing in a game for the third time this season and has scored at least twice in five of the seven games he’s played in. The Ducks rank first in the nation averaging an astounding 54.9 points per game, and James’ 15 touchdowns are a big reason why. James’ Heisman candidacy was further bolstered by Oregon leapfrogging Auburn for No. 1 in the BCS standings.

Last game: 239 yards and three touchdowns rushing (6.6 YPC), one catch for -2 yards receiving @ No. 24 USC

Next game: vs. Washington

Stock: Sky High

Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford (Ranked No. 13)


After a pair of Stepfan Taylor touchdowns runs and a 28-0 lead early in the second quarter, Andrew Luck didn’t have much of an opportunity to pad his stats against Washington last week. However, that didn’t stop Luck from contributing another solid performance in the 41-0 victory. In the first quarter, Luck ran a beautiful play-fake to Taylor and scampered down the sideline for 51 yards and the game’s first score. Luck’s only interception (sixth of the season) came on the last play of the first half on a ball he threw up for grabs near the end zone.

Last game: 192 yards, one touchdown and one interception passing (73.1 percent completed, 7.4 YPA), 92 yards and one touchdown rushing (18.4 YPC) @ Washington

Next game: vs. No. 15 Arizona

Stock: Steady

Taylor Martinez, QB, Nebraska (Ranked No. 7)


A week after throwing for five touchdowns in a 51-41 shootout over Oklahoma State, Martinez’s production was hampered by a second quarter leg injury and a big day from running back Roy Helu. The Cornhuskers took a first quarter 24-0 lead after scoring runs of 66 and 73 yards from Helu, and Martinez never returned to play in the second half. Recent reports indicate the Martinez is day-to-day with a sprained ankle, but he should be ready to go against Iowa State this week. Martinez did manage one score on a 40-yard touchdown pass and has 21 total touchdowns.

Last game: 115 yards, one touchdown passing (66.7 percent completed, 12.8 YPA), 16 yards rushing (1.3 YPC) vs. No. 6 Missouri

Next game: @ Iowa State

Stock: Down

Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State (Ranked No. 4)


Facing an unranked Hawaii team with a defense that gives up 22.3 point per game, the pressure will be on Kellen Moore to not only win the game, but to win with impressive numbers. The intriguing matchup here will be Boise State’s defense (third in the nation allowing 13.4 points per game) versus a Hawaii offense that is scoring nearly 40 points per game. Oregon’s LaMichael James and Auburn’s Cam Newton show no signs of slowing down, so Moore has to play the numbers game, including padding his stats in easy, late-season victories against teams like Idaho and Fresno State.

Last game: 298 yards, two touchdowns and one interception passing (71.4 percent completed, 10.6 YPA), one catch for seven yards and one touchdown receiving (7.0 YPC) vs. Louisiana Tech

Next game: vs. Hawaii

Stock: Steady

DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma (Ranked No. 8)


Murray’s offensive production to a hit last week thanks to an amazing day by wideout Ryan Broyles, who set a school record with 208 yards receiving off of nine catches with three touchdowns. While the Sooners were busy passing for 488 yards on the day, Murray was limited to only 11 rushing attempts. He did manage a late rushing score to seal the 43-10 blowout over Colorado, and set a career high with 10 catches out of the backfield. Murray has now scored at least once in all eight games, and has 15 total scores to go along with 40 receptions.

Last game: 40 yards and one touchdown rushing (3.6 YPC), 10 catches and 73 yards receiving (7.3 YPC) vs. Colorado

Next game: @ Texas A&M

Stock: Down Slightly

Cameron Newton, QB, Auburn (Ranked No. 2)


Putting the Kenny Rogers sports agent story aside for the moment (we’ll get to that later), let’s examine Cameron Newton’s most recent game: In addition to rushing and throwing, Newton added catching and tackling to his exploits. He caught a 20-yard touchdown pass on Auburn’s first possession of the game, and later made a potential touchdown-saving tackle off an Auburn fumble. Newton has now accounted for an amazing 30 scores through nine games, with only five interceptions, and is completing 66.7 percent of his passes on the season. Look for him to keep up the gaudy numbers against Chattanooga.

Last game: 209 yards, two touchdowns passing (75 percent completed, 8.7 YPA), 45 yards rushing (4.1 YPC), one catch for 20 yards and one touchdown receiving (20 YPC) @ Ole Miss

Next game: vs. Chattanooga

Stock: Sky High

Terrelle Pryor, QB, Ohio State (Ranked No. 11)


After the 31-18 loss at Wisconsin, Terrelle Pryor and the Buckeyes have taken out their frustrations on Purdue and Minnesota, as they’ve won their last two games by a combined score of 101-10. Pryor is projected to throw 27 touchdowns, but has his hands full with three quality Big Ten opponents in Penn State, No. 16 Iowa, and Denard Robinson and Michigan. Pryor’s best case is to win out with numbers above his projections, and have No. 15 Arizona beat No. 1 Oregon, and No. 6 Alabama beat No. 2 Auburn. That’s a lot to ask for.

Last game: 222 yards, two touchdowns and one interception passing (81.8 percent completed, 10.1 YPA), 55 yards and one touchdown rushing (11 YPC) @ Minnesota

Next game: Bye (followed by Penn State)

Stock: Steady

Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan


It’s not his fault that Michigan can’t play defense. Robinson scored on three runs, including a pump-fake and 32-yard sprint to tie the game early. Down by three scores in the third, Robinson connected with Kevin Koger on a 60-yard touchdown, and scored on two more runs to cut the lead to 38-31. Down 41-31 on their last possession, Robinson failed to complete a fourth down pass, which sealed the game for Penn State. Three losses in a row have made it tough on Robinson, but you can’t criticize his last performance. Robinson leads the nation with 1,287 rushing yards.

Last game: 190 yards and one touchdown passing (47.8 percent completed, 8.3 YPA), 191 yards and three touchdowns rushing (7.1 YPC) @ Penn State

Next game: vs. Illinois

Stock: Down


Today’s Verdict: Cameron Newton


At press time, there’s an ongoing investigation regarding Newton’s alleged connection to the shady dealings of a potential sports agent. The representative, alleged to be former Mississippi State player Kenny Rogers, supposedly made monetary demands in exchange for Newton’s commitment. This is obviously a huge issue and will ruin Newton’s Heisman candidacy if the allegations turn out to be true. If we’re to give Newton the benefit of the doubt (assuming no legitimacy to this story), based upon his on-the-field accomplishments, his biggest obstacle to the trophy would have been No. 6 Alabama. But it’s safe to say there are bigger obstacles working against Newton right now.

THE BIG BOARD


1. Cameron Newton, QB, Auburn (Last week: 1)
2. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon (Last week: 2)
3. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State (Last week: 3)
4. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford (Last week: 6)
5. Robert Griffin, QB, Baylor (Last week: Not listed)
6. Taylor Martinez, QB, Nebraska (Last week: 4)
7. Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan (Last week: 7)
8. DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma (Last week: 5)
9. Terrelle Pryor, QB, Ohio State (Last week: 8)


Keep an eye on: Darron Thomas (QB, Oregon), Ryan Broyles (WR, Oklahoma), Ed Wesley (RB, TCU), Andy Dalton (QB, TCU)