One month into the season, Fournette is doing dastardly things and his name is the first to leave the lips of any analyst on any network that dares discuss the Heisman Trophy. Thus, it's time we here at ATVS dedicate some time and space to discussing the major Heisman candidates.
Fournette Watch Goes Nuclear
The football gods deemed that college football's best running back should be matched up against college football's worst run defense this week. The results were predictably devastating:
26 Carries, 233 Yards, 9.0 YPC, 3 TD
If you are looking for the performance within the performance, Fournette once again strapped the offense on his back and carried it to the promised land, breaking a 75 yard TD run on the first play in the 2nd half, because that's just Leonard being Leonard.
Considering the struggles LSU continues to present in the passing game, ranking 124th nationally, down there with all the Triple Option teams, Fournette pretty much is the offense. This is his third straight 200-yard performance.
Oh and this:
WOW. Leonard Fournette vs. the last 3 Heisman-Winning RBs from SEC. pic.twitter.com/NMZpjS5QpO— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) October 5, 2015
Well, level of competition isn't the greatest, but he's at least done this against three FBS schools, 3 of which were Power 5 teams, two of which were conference foes. That said, he's doing to inferior competition exactly what the best RB in the nation should: destroying it.
The Main Contenders
Ezekiel Elliott, RB, OSU
23 carries, 274 yards, 11.9 YPC, 3 TDs, 2 Catches, 12 Yards
The preseason favorite kind of fell out of the limelight while putting up good but not stellar production through the team's first four games. Then, Saturday happened.
Like Fournette, Elliot strapped the flailing Buckeye offensive attack on his shoulders and bulldozed them into victory. While the Buckeyes continue to figure out their QB dilemma, Elliott's starting to step up and remind Urban Meyer that he is the team's best player.
Like the rest of his team, Elliott has put up a pair of lackluster showings vs. inferior teams. It's far too early to sink his boat, but it took this week's monster performance to get people talking again.
Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU
20/35, 57.1%, 332 Yards, 5 TDs, 7 carries, 52 yards
Boykin's Horned Frogs absolutely laid waste to whatever remains of the University of Texas football. It's hard to find flaw in a 43-point victory.
Well, if we were to pick a flaw, it's not his most efficient performance. Boykin turned it over three times in his first three games, and turned in a lackluster performance vs. Minnesota in a highly publicized game. Still, his gaudy numbers should keep him right in the thick of the race.
Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
20 carries, 146 yards, 7.3 YPC, 1 TD, 1 catch, -5 yards
Chubb's end line looks like a good performance against a known great defense...
Anyone who watched the game knows Chubb was totally ineffective all afternoon. He did break out an 83 yard TD run, late, when the game was well in hand. Take that away and Chubb is 19 carries for 63 yards. Woof. The race isn't over for him, but when a better back in your own conference puts up three straight 200 yard performances, it's awfully hard to convince voters to go your way. Oh yeah, and his team lost in a very high profile, embarrassing manner.
Seth Russell, QB, Baylor
15/23, 65.2%, 286 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT, 12 carries, 86 yards, 2 TDs
6 TD days aren't common in most worlds, unless you are QB for Baylor (this is his third in four games). Russell and Baylor rolled up and on through Texas Tech, like a small bump in the road. Russell is not only efficient, he's producing video game numbers.
Well, 5 turnovers vs. teams the caliber of Baylor's opponents isn't stellar. Oh and yeah, if you are going to ding Fournette for lack of competition (you aren't), then you should outright disqualify Russell who hasn't played a defense with a pulse yet. Will voters discredit him based on the Baylor offense boost? Will his lackluster schedule hurt? You'd have to think so.
The Best of the Rest
26 carries, 148 yards, 5.7 YPC, 1 TD
Henry had a nice afternoon in Athens. He won SEC Player of the Week honors for his efforts. He's the best player on the Alabama offense.
But he's not putting up eye popping numbers. He's got two games of sub 100 yards this season. He's the third best back in his conference, even. He's gonna have to majorly elevate his performances to overtake Chubb and Fournette.
15 carries, 50 yards, 3.3 YPC, 4 catches, 100 yards 1 TD
Prosise is a shocking contender that emerged after injury ended starter Tarean Folston's season in the first game. Prosise took the rock and ran with it, literally. He put up 9 YPC efforts vs. his first three opponents as a starter, scoring 6 TDs in the process. Showed his versatility this week, snagging four passes for 100 yards.
He got bottled up on the ground vs. Clemson. Notre Dame's loss will make it tougher for him to overcome.
25/41, 61%, 322 yards, 2 TDs, 12 carries, 65 yards
Allen was efficient and steady vs. a solid Mississippi State team. 13 TDs/2 INT is quite the ratio, and he's adding some ground work as well to boost his resume. Team is undefeated in a high profile division in a high profile conference.
Allen's numbers are good but not video game like the guys from the B12. It's hard to convince voters to sway when two other players from your same state are putting up bigger numbers. That said, the SEC gives him street cred if he can keep it up.