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Heisman Watch: Heisman Watch (10/22)

Vince Russo

Vince Russo writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Heisman Watch (10/22)

*All rankings listed are BCS

Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State (Ranked No. 14)

No wide receiver has won the Heisman trophy since Desmond Howard in 1991, but Justin Blackmon is trying to make his case. He’s had double-digit receptions in four of six games and has scored in every game. With 955 yards receiving, he’s averaging 159 yards per game. Blackmon is also projected to haul in 24 scores this year, vs. Howard’s 21 total touchdowns in 1991. The road for Blackmon gets tougher as the Cowboys have four ranked opponents remaining, including No. 1 Oklahoma at the end of the year and a brutal matchup against No. 16 Nebraska this Saturday.

Last game: 10 catches for 207 yards and one touchdown receiving (20.7 YPC) @ Texas Tech

Next game: vs. No. 16 Nebraska

Stock: Way Up

LaMichael James, RB, Oregon (Ranked No. 2)

The numbers speak for themselves. James has scored twice in four of his six games played, and has scored at least once in every game. He has 971 yards rushing through six games, and is averaging over seven yards per carry. He’s projected to finish with 21 touchdowns, and Oregon looks like a team poised to go undefeated. Barring a disastrous finish, if he doesn’t win the trophy, he’ll be one of the invitees waiting to hear his name announced.

Last game: 123 yards and two touchdowns rushing (6.2 YPC), one catch for 25 yards receiving vs. UCLA

Next game: @ vs. USC

Stock: Up

Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford (Ranked No. 12)

Luck had a bye last week, but in the crazy world of college football where Oregon moved up to No. 2 in the polls despite being idle, you could argue that Luck’s Heisman candidacy improved without even playing. With six games remaining and Arizona as Stanford’s only ranked opponent, it’s conceivable that the Cardinal can run the table the rest of the way. If that happens, and you have an undefeated, Oregon team ranked No. 1 at the end of the season, it make’s Luck’s solid effort against them in the loss look that much better.

Last game: 285 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions passing (83 percent completed, 11.9 YPA), 40 yards and no touchdowns rushing (6.7 YPC) vs. USC

Next game: vs. Washington State

Stock: Steady

Taylor Martinez, QB, Nebraska (Ranked No. 16)

It’s hard to tell what was more dramatic: Nebraska’s drop to No. 16 in the BCS Poll, or Taylor Martinez’s struggles and brief benching against Texas. After accounting for 241 yards and five touchdowns against K-State, Martinez was held scoreless against Texas with 84 yards of total offense. Of the 13 points Nebraska scored, 10 came from a 95-yard punt return and a 45-yard field goal, as Martinez couldn’t get anything going. Considering the fact that Texas was heading into the game 3-2, with one of their worst seasons in recent memory, this loss and performance was crippling for Martinez.

Last game: 128 yards and one touchdown passing (71.4 percent completed, 18.3 YPA), 241 yards and four touchdowns rushing (16.1 YPC) @ Kansas State

Next game: vs. Texas

Stock: Way Down

Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State (Ranked No. 3)

Moore’s solid performance was a microcosm of Boise State’s constant battle with voters and the media. Moore played almost perfectly in guiding his team to a three-touchdown lead after the first quarter, and a 41-0 lead at halftime. However, the Bronco’s 31st straight regular-season victory came against un-ranked, 1-6 San Jose State, and Moore didn’t even have to play the second half. For the season he has 16 touchdowns and one interception, and is projected to throw for over 3,000 yards. Will it be enough?

Last game: 231 yards and two touchdowns passing (87.5 percent completed, 14.4 YPA) vs. San Jose State

Next game: vs. Louisiana Tech (after the bye)

Stock: Steady

DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma (Ranked No. 1)

With quarterbacks like Cameron Newton, Denard Robinson and Taylor Martinez hogging the highlights, Murray was a bit under the radar to start the season. However, when your team jumps to No. 1 in the polls the same week that you break Steve Owen’s all-time school record for touchdowns from scrimmage, you’re bound to get a little more notoriety. Murray’s projected to total 1,686 yards from scrimmage and 26 touchdowns at the 12-game mark. He’s been a workhorse for a Sooner team averaging 36 points a game.

Last game: 112 yards and two touchdowns rushing (5.6 YPC), 28 yards and one touchdown receiving vs. Iowa State

Next game: @ No. 11 Missouri

Stock: Up

Cameron Newton, QB, Auburn (Ranked No. 4)

Newton has now scored at least four times in the last two games. He’s scored at least twice in every game, and is the center of an offense averaging 40.7 point a game. Currently Newton is projected for a ridiculous 22 passing touchdowns and 20 rushing touchdowns for the season. However, he has his toughest match-up yet against No. 6 LSU and their defense that is only allowing 14.4 points per game. Newton needs to perform the same way he has all season against LSU.

Last game: 140 yards, one touchdown passing (71.4 percent completed, 10 YPA), 188 yards and three touchdowns rushing (7.5 YPC) vs. Arkansas

Next game: vs. No. 6 LSU

Stock: Sky High

Terrelle Pryor, QB, Ohio State (Ranked No. 10)

The dream of an undefeated season went down the tubes in Ohio State’s 31-18 loss to Wisconsin, as did the likely chances of Terrelle Pryor taking home Heisman hardware. An 18-point first half lead for Wisconsin proved insurmountable for Pryor as he failed to throw or run for any scores for the first time all season. With all due respect to Wisconsin, who is ranked 27th in the nation in point allowed (18.9), this was the chance for Pryor to stage a late comeback on the road and have a ‘Heisman moment.’ It didn’t happen.

Last game: 156 yards, one interception passing (50 percent completed, 5.6 YPA), 56 yards rushing (3.1 YPC) @ Wisconsin

Next game: vs. Purdue

Stock: Way Down

Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan

With the score tied at seven in the second quarter, Robinson threw an interception that ultimately led to an Iowa score, and the Hawkeyes never looked back in handing Michigan their second straight loss, 38-28. What’s worse is that Robinson injured his shoulder in the third quarter and had to be relieved by Tate Forcier. It appears that the shoulder will be ok, and that Robinson will start at Penn State, as head coach Rich Rodriguez publicly stated that Robinson is the unquestioned starter. In any event, Robinson needed to make more of a statement against No. 15 Iowa and he left the game down two scores. Not good.

Last game: 96 yards and one touchdown and one interception passing (72.2 percent completed, 5.3 YPA), 105 yards rushing (5.8 YPC) vs. Iowa

Next game: @ Penn State

Stock: Way Down

Today’s Verdict: Cameron Newton

Last week’s verdict had Terrelle Pryor winning the Heisman, and shortly afterward he didn’t come through vs. Wisconsin. So we go to the next dual-threat, undefeated quarterback in Auburn’s Cameron Newton. His stats are overwhelming as he’s accounted for over 2,000 yards of offense and 25 scores through seven games. The true tests for Newton will come this Saturday vs. undefeated, sixth-ranked LSU, and at No. 8 Alabama in the season finale. If Newton wins both of those games with strong performances, the Tigers will most likely finish undefeated and Newton will win the trophy.