Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Lattimore making huge push for Heisman
By Toby Petitpas, Sharon Katz, Gil Bransford, Tyler Norsworthy, Jason Starrett and Nate Salinas
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 3, we saw several outstanding performances by potential Heisman Trophy candidates. Here are the top seven.
(1)Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina
Lattimore ran for a career-high 246 yards on 37 carries in South Carolina’s win over Navy. Lattimore had eight rushes of 10 yards or longer, the most by any player in a game this season against a FBS opponent. The last time a player had more runs of 10-plus yards in a game against an FBS school was when Lattimore had nine such runs at Florida last season. He leads FBS with 16 such runs this season.
(2)Chris Rainey, Florida
Rainey racked up 212 yards of total offense in Florida’s win over Tennessee, including a career-high 104 receiving yards. It was the first time Rainey had over 100 yards rushing and receiving in the same game and the first time a Gator had done it since Percy Harvin in 2007. Rainey showcased his ability to win one-on-one matchups, with all of his receiving yards coming after the catch and 86 of his 108 rushing yards coming after contact.
(3)Andrew Luck, Stanford
Luck notched his first 300-yard passing game of the season and added two touchdowns in Stanford’s win at Arizona. Both of Luck’s touchdowns went to his tight ends; his seven touchdowns this season and 10 since the start of last season to tight ends both lead FBS.
(4)LaMichael James, Oregon
James ran for 204 yards and three touchdowns in Oregon’s victory over Missouri State. James was effective running both inside and outside, racking up 120 outside the tackles and 84 yards inside the tackles. His versatility was highlighted by two touchdown runs of 50-plus yards, one coming from inside the tackles and the other from outside. James now has 11 runs of 50 yards or longer since the start of the 2009 season, most in FBS.
(5)Robert Griffin III, Baylor
Griffin threw for 265 yards and three touchdowns in just three quarters during Baylor’s weather-shorten win against Stephen F. Austin. Among the 120 FBS quarterbacks that have attempted 30 passes this season, Griffin leads the country in completion percentage (83.7), passing efficiency (244.5), yards per attempt (12.7), touchdowns per attempt percentage (16.3) and percentage of passes for completions of 20+ yards (18.4).
(6)Kellen Moore, Boise State
Moore completed 32 passes (career-high) and threw five touchdowns in Boise State’s rout of Toledo. Moore completed passes to nine different receivers, amassing 455 yards on 42 attempts. After completing only one throw over 15 yards against Georgia, he went 8-of-9 for 183 yards and two touchdowns on passes of that distance. Moore has 23 touchdowns and two interceptions the past two seasons when throwing 15 yards or farther.
(7)Russell Wilson, Wisconsin
Wilson threw for 347 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Northern Illinois. He was outstanding passing off play action, going 11-of-16 with two touchdowns. Wilson has completed 70 percent of his passes after a run fake this season and continues to have success running the ball on third down and five yards or more. He tallied two more first downs Saturday and has 16 since the start of last season, most in FBS.