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Hunting the Heisman: Fournette Has Sizable Lead

Thanks to another performance that left college football fans picking up their jaws, LSU sophomore running back Leonard Fournette has taken a sizable lead in the early Heisman Trophy race.

Fournette, who racked up 244 yards and two touchdowns against Syracuse last Saturday, leads all Power Five running backs (at least 50 carries) with 8.6 yards per carry. He’s third overall in yards (631) and second in touchdowns (8).

He also has only played three games, which is one less than most of his competition. Had the Tigers played McNeese State in its scheduled opener (it was canceled due to poor weather conditions), we could have been looking at a far more ridiculous stat line heading into Week 5.

Fournette received 103 points from our Today’s U staff — 39 more than Nick Chubb, who is in second place —including 19 first-place votes.

There were 22 voters this week.

If Fournette continues to play with this same pace, not only should we expect him to run away with the Heisman in December (literally), but we will also likely see some records fall.

What do you think of the rankings? Let us know in the comment section below, or follow @TodaysUSports to tell us how you really feel.

*A point system was assigned, giving 5 points for a player with a No. 1 vote, 4 points for a No. 2 vote, and so on.


The Big 3

1. Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
2015 stats: 
73 carries, 631 yards (8.6 ypc), 8 TD
Last week vs. Syracuse: 26 carries, 244 yards (9.4 ypc) 2 TD

Why: Consider this: Through three games, Fournette is leading the country with 210.3 yards per game, and it’s not even close (Chubb comes in at No. 2 with 149.8). Eastern Michigan, LSU’s next opponent, allows an FBS-worst 373.3, which is 59.3 more than the second-worst run defense (Idaho). We’re not going to sit here and say that Fournette will break the single-game rushing record (427) on Saturday, but there’s not going to be a better opportunity to do so.

2. Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
2015 stats: 
71 carries, 599 yards (8.4 ypc), 6 TD … 3 rec, 37 yards, TD
Last week vs. Southern: 15 carries, 131 yards (8.7 ypc), 2 TD … 1 rec, 24 yards, TD

Why: Somewhat lost in the Fournette-for-Heisman hype is Nick Chubb, who is coming off his 12th straight 100-yard performance when he lit up FCS Southern for an easy 131 yards. He’s neck-and-neck with Trevone Boykin at the No. 2 spot on this list, but with a solid performance against an Alabama front seven that is allowing just 56.8 yards per game (4th FBS), he could set himself a little further ahead and closer to Fournette’s positioning, which is currently in the clouds.

3. Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU
2015 stats: 
99-of-153 (64.7 percent), 1,470 yards, 14 TD, 3 INT … 46 carries, 190 yards (4.1 ypc), 2 TD
Last week vs. Texas Tech: 34-of-54 (63.0 percent), 485 yards, 4 TD … 14 carries, 42 yards (3.0 ypc)

Why: Maybe TCU loses the game if the referees accurately call Trevone Boykin’s two-point conversion reception incomplete, but either way, the senior quarterback tallied over 500 yards of total offense and was the catalyst for the Horned Frogs’ back-and-forth scoring affair in their 55-52 win over Texas Tech last weekend. Four weeks in, and Boykin finds himself averaging 415 total yards and four touchdowns per game. At this point last season, he was averaging 359.0 yards and 3.5 scores. Just some food for thought.

In the Hunt

4. Cody Kessler, QB, USC: 89-of-122 (73.0 percent), 1,297 yards, 15 TD, INT
5. Paul Perkins, RB, UCLA: 82 carries, 514 yards (6.3 ypc), 6 TD … 8 rec, 99 yards
6. C.J. Prosise, RB, Notre Dame: 74 carries, 600 yards (8.1 ypc), 6 TD … 5 rec, 31 yards
7. Ezekiel Elliot, RB, Ohio State: 77 carries, 455 yards (5.9 ypc), 5 TD … 8 rec, 51 yards
8. Chad Kelly, QB, Ole Miss: 71-of-115 (61.7 percent), 1,219 yards, 10 TD, 3 INT … 19 carries, 57 yards (3.0 ypc), 3 TD

Keep Your Eye on

9. Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
10. Keenan Reynolds, QB, Navy

11. Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
12. Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama
13. Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
14. Adoree’ Jackson, ATH, USC
15. Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
16. Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
17. Matt Johnson, QB, Bowling Green
18. Jeremy McNichols, RB, Boise State
19. Jared Goff, QB, California
20. Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor


(You can view last week’s edition of Hunting the Heisman here.)

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