Tuesday, October 9, 2012
SEC Heisman Watch: Week 7
By Edward Aschoff
Another weekend has our Heisman list looking very different. Some players are out, but one other crept back into the race:
1. AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama: He was off this past week, so he didn't do anything to hurt his status on our watch list. The thing about McCarron is that, although he hasn't put up flashy numbers this season, he hasn't made mistakes and he's leading his team to wins. Oh, and he's the quarterback for the No. 1 team in the country. McCarron has 999 passing yards, 12 touchdowns and zero interceptions. He's one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the country, and, if his team keeps winning and Nick Saban starts giving him the chance to air it out more, he might make it to New York.
2. Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina: Every week, Lattimore just looks better and stronger. He's fresh off another big day against Georgia, which really sounds like a broken record at this point. The bruising back rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown on a season-high 24 carries. He also caught two passes for 24 yards. He has at least one rushing touchdown in each game this season, with a total of nine. Lattimore is second in the SEC with 549 rushing yards and is tied for first in touchdowns.
3. Mike Gillislee, RB, Florida: He's back after a stellar performance against LSU's vaunted defense. The Tigers have the nation's third-best defense, but Gillislee wasn't afraid to go right at that unit, as he gouged LSU for 146 yards and two touchdowns on a career-high 34 carries. Gillislee did most of his work in the second half, carrying the ball 22 times for 112 yards and two TDs. The senior back is third in the SEC in rushing (548) and touchdowns (seven), but he leads the SEC in rushing yards per game at 109.6.
4. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M: The freshman just keeps impressing us. Against Ole Miss this past weekend, he brought his team back from a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit thanks to a flashy 29-yard touchdown run and a perfectly thrown 20-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Swope with a little more than a minute left. Although he had only 191 passing yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, Manziel was once again deadly with his legs, as he carried the ball 20 times for 129 yards and a touchdown. On the season, Manziel is fourth in the SEC with 1,285 passing yards and has 11 touchdowns and two interceptions. He also has run the ball 72 times for 495 yards and seven more TDs.
5. Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia: Murray took a major tumble in our watch after a below-average performance on the big stage against South Carolina. Murray remains the only Georgia quarterback in the Mark Richt era who hasn't beaten a top-10 team. He has just two career wins over Top 25 teams, as well. Murray looked rattled for most of the night, passing for 109 yards and an interception on 11-of-31 passing. Murray isn't out of this race, by any means, but he'll have to keep winning and keep putting up the numbers he was heading into this past week's game.