Pac-12 Heisman tracker
September, 11, 2012
By Kevin Gemmell | ESPN.com
Checking in with our Heisman tracker after Week 2, there were some impressive numbers from our front-runners, and we have a new addition to this list in UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin. Washington quarterback Keith Price dropped off the radar after a rough outing at LSU. But that doesn't mean he'll never come back. Robert Griffin III dropped off the radar for about four weeks last year before surging at the end.
Matt Barkley, USC, quarterback
Matt Barkley, USC, quarterback
- Week 2 numbers: Completed 23 of 30 passes for 187 yards with six touchdowns and an interception.
- Season numbers: 46-of-68 (67.6 percent), 10 touchdowns, 1 interception
- What went well: Six touchdowns in a game is a pretty good start. Barkley now leads the nation in touchdown passes, which is exactly what you'd expect from a Heisman front-runner playing against inferior competition. He also bumped up his completion percentage significantly from 60.5 against Hawaii to 76.7 versus Syracuse.
- Any questions? Barkley can't control the weather (or can he?). The Trojans weren't particularly crisp in this game and Barkley threw for only 187 yards. But as the numbers indicate, he made the most of his completions. Having Robert Woods helps.
- Week 2 numbers: Carried the ball seven times for 102 yards and touchdowns. Caught four balls for 26 yards.
- Season numbers: 10 carries for 166 yards and three touchdowns. Eight catches for 81 yards and two touchdowns.
- What went well: For starters -- his 39-yard and 51-yard touchdown runs were awfully impressive. Credit to Marcus Mariota for waiting until the last possible minute to pitch to Thomas on the 39-yard option. And the 51-yarder was vintage Thomas (I think he's earned vintage status). Right up the gut, bounced off a player and hit top speed all over again. Nothing but highlights from this guy.
- Any questions? He might not have been the best running back in the game. Teammate Kenjon Barner plowed for 201 yards on 34 carries with three touchdowns. That's going to be a major storyline in the Thomas for Heisman campaign, how much does Barner steal the show?
- Week 2 numbers: Had 26 carries for 217 yards. He also caught three balls for 59 yards and a touchdown.
- Season numbers: 41 carries for 431 yards and three touchdowns. Four catches for 63 yards and a touchdown.
- What went well: Franklin refused to be tackled. He was explosive when he had to be and physical when he had to be. He went around tackles and he went through tackles. After two weeks, he's the nation's rushing leader, averaging a robust 10.5 yards per carry.
- Any questions? Can he keep it up? Expect another big game against a porous Houston rush defense, but then it's on to Oregon State, which yielded just 35 yards to Wisconsin. The Bruins have quickly taken to new head coach Jim Mora and new offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone and they put up big numbers against a quality Nebraska team. At least for now, Franklin and the Bruins have to overcome the "are they for real?" stigma.