Big East Heisman watch

September, 20, 2011
9/20/11
10:30
AM ET
Here is a look at potential Big East candidates for the Heisman. Sure they are long shots, but it is early enough in the season where half the players in college football could be considered candidates.

Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia. Smith continued his tear against Maryland, notching career highs in completions (36), attempts (49) and passing yards (388). This was one week after throwing for a then-career high 371 yards and four touchdowns in a win over Norfolk State. Smith ranks No. 8 in the nation in passing and No. 4 in total passing yards (1,008), not a surprise considering the type of offense the Mountaineers run. Coach Dana Holgorsen says Smith has done well, but still needs to have complete trust in the system in order to be even more successful. Smith faces his toughest test of the season Saturday against LSU.

Ray Graham, RB, Pitt. Graham led the nation in rushing going into Week 3, but failed to notch 100 yards rushing for the first time this season in a loss to Iowa. Graham finished with 97 yards and no touchdowns, bringing his season total to 419 yards and six scores. He still ranks No. 5 in the nation in rushing, but now that Pitt has lost, it is going to be much more difficult for him to be a legitimate candidate unless the Panthers run the table and he puts up monster yards.

B.J. Daniels, QB, USF. Daniels has played well enough in three games to merit at least a mention. Daniels already has thrown for 869 yards, is completing 67 percent of his passes and has six touchdown passes to one interception. He looks like a bona fide quarterback, the result of the hard work he put in during the offseason and his comfort level in being in the same system for a second straight season. If USF keeps winning, and he keeps playing well, folks should talk notice.

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