In order to win a Heisman Trophy, candidates must find a way to separate themselves from the competition. Each week, they are presented with one opportunity to showcase their skills and impress voters. One bad game can end a player’s Heisman aspirations, while one good performance can vault a player into the national spotlight.
In Week 8, the top four candidates on the Heisman Watch all played night games on Saturday. Let’s see who was able to seize the moment.
Kellen Moore threw for 281 yards and three touchdowns in Boise State’s win over Air Force. It was his 45th win as a starting quarterback, tying Colt McCoy for the most career wins in FBS history.
Moore completed 23-of-29 (79.3 percent) passes against the Falcons. It was his sixth game where he completed more than 70 percent of his passes and threw three touchdowns. That is two more such games than any other player in FBS. Moore threw two of his three touchdown passes in the red zone, giving him 17 red-zone touchdown passes this season, tied for the most in FBS.
Trent Richardson rushed for a game-high 77 yards and two touchdowns in Alabama’s 37-6 rout of Tennessee. It was Richardson’s sixth game this season with two or more touchdown runs, which is tied for the most in FBS.
Richardson was held under 100 yards on the ground for the first time since the season opener against Kent State (37 yards). Yet, he still managed to net 51 yards after contact. It was the fourth straight game that Richardson had more yards after contact than before. For the season, Richardson has now gained 513 of his 989 yards (51.9 percent) after contact.
Andrew Luck completed 16-of-21 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns in Stanford’s win over Washington. Stanford ran for a school record 446 yards in the 44-point blowout.
Luck was able to utilize the Cardinal’s success on the ground to help the passing game. He completed five of six passes off play-action for 78 yards and a touchdown. Luck is now completing 77.4 percent of his passes in play-action formations this season, including 10 touchdowns and no interceptions.
Russell Wilson passed for 223 yards and two touchdowns in Wisconsin’s loss to Michigan State. Wilson threw two interceptions in the game, with both coming on throws of 15 yards or longer. It was Wilson’s first two interceptions of the season on throws of this length.
He entered the game with five touchdowns and no interceptions on 39 throws of 15-plus yards this season. In fact, his last interception on one of these throws was 12 games ago (89 attempts), when he was playing for North Carolina State against East Carolina.