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Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Robinson passes way into Heisman race

By Toby Petitpas, Sharon Katz, Gil Bransford, Jason Starrett and Nate Salinas


Brian Spurlock/US Presswire
Denard Robinson passed for 337 yards (one shy of his career high) Saturday against Northwestern.

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 6, we saw several outstanding performances by potential Heisman Trophy candidates. Here are the candidates who helped themselves the most.

(1) Denard Robinson, Michigan Wolverines
Denard Robinson threw for 337 yards and ran for another 117 in Michigan’s win over Northwestern. This was Robinson’s 13th 100-yard rushing game since the start of last season, which is tied for the most such games in FBS with Western Kentucky’s Bobby Rainey. Robinson continues to make improvements with his passing game in Michigan’s new system. Robinson completed all six of his pass attempts, including two for touchdowns, from under center on Saturday. He has completed 72.0 percent of his passes from under center this season to go along with seven touchdowns and just one interception.

(2) Robert Griffin III, Baylor Bears
Robert Griffin III threw for 212 yards and ran for 107 in Baylor’s win against Iowa State. Griffin III completed his first 11 passes to start the game, marking the fifth time this season he has completed 10 or more consecutive passes in a game. Griffin III also showed that he could make plays with his legs, as six of his 24 carries (25 percent) went for 10 yards or more. He only had eight such carries coming into Saturday’s game.

(3) Andrew Luck, Stanford Cardinal
Andrew Luck threw for a season-high 370 yards and three touchdowns in Stanford’s win over Colorado. It was the most yards that Luck had thrown for in a single game since October 2009, when he threw for 423 against Arizona. Luck was at his best when throwing the ball downfield against Colorado. On throws of 15 yards or longer, he completed 8-of-9 passes for 211 yards and a touchdown. For the season, Luck is completing 62.2 percent of his passes for 653 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions.

(4) Kellen Moore, Boise State Broncos
Kellen Moore continued his excellence this weekend, completing 23-of-31 passes for 254 yard and three touchdowns in a win over Fresno State. Moore was efficient in the red zone, where he completed 5-of-7 attempts including all three of his touchdowns. For the season, Moore has the second-most touchdowns (13) and the third-highest completion percentage (76.0) inside the red zone among quarterbacks with 15 or more pass attempts. Moore utilized newly reinstated wide receiver Geraldo Boldewijn, targeting him three times inside the opponent’s 20-yardline, which led to two touchdowns.

(5) Trent Richardson, Alabama Crimson Tide
Trent Richardson rushed 107 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries Saturday in a win over Vanderbilt. Richardson had four carries of 10 yards or more, which tied his single-game career high. It was the eighth time that Richardson has rushed for more than a hundred yards and scored at least one touchdown in a game, second among SEC players since the start of the 2009 season. Richardson had found the majority of his success against the Commodores when running up the middle, as 68 of his 107 yards came between the tackles, including his touchdown run.