Leonard Fournette, Trevone Boykin, and Ezekiel Elliot remain in the Today’s U Hunting the Heisman “Big 3” after yet another stellar week of performances, as all three candidates look to continue paving the way for competitors in pursuit of college football’s most prestigious award.
Fournette, the undisputed leader, is coming off what was just another walk in the park in what’s been an unbelievable first half of the season for the sophomore stud. He fell 20 yards short of hitting the 200-yard mark for what would have been the fourth time in 2015, finding the end zone twice in a marquee win over Florida.
Boykin had no trouble lighting up the scoreboard against a hapless Iowa State defense, putting together a near-perfect highlight reel with a career-best 97.2 QBR. He’s now on pace to total at least 55 total touchdowns this season.
Now with 12 straight games with 100 yards rushing or more, Ezekiel Elliot continues to be the heart and soul of Ohio State’s offense. That streak shouldn’t be in any kind of jeopardy this upcoming weekend at Rutgers, as the Scarlet Knights have allowed an average of 4.2 yards per carry (66th nationally) to this date.
Names such as Seth Russell, Dalvin Cook, Corey Coleman, Josh Doctson, and Derrick Henry will not back down without a fight and should all have the opportunity to hop right into the mix at any time, but it’s clear that our “Big 3” have set the bar for the second half of the season.
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*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: 150 carries, 1,202 yards (8.0 ypc), 14 TD … 6 rec, 56 yards
Last week vs. Florida: 31 carries, 180 yards (5.8 ypc), 2 TD … 1 rec, 15 yards
Why: Dating back to the 2014 season, LSU is now 5-0 and averages 32.8 points when Fournette receives 25 carries or more. The Tigers can’t afford to look over a Western Kentucky (6-1) opponent that is no stranger to inflating scoreboards, but shouldn’t have an issue riding Fournette against a Hilltopper front seven that allows 172.7 yards per game (77th) before meeting up with Alabama in Week 10.
2. Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU
2015 stats: 166-of-250 (66.4 percent), 2,539 yards, 25 TD, 5 INT … 77 carries, 440 yards (5.7 ypc), 5 TD
Last week vs. Iowa State: 27-of-32 (84.4 percent), 436 yards, 4 TD … 13 carries, 74 yards (5.7 ypc), TD
Why: Boykin’s near-perfect performance in a 45-21 win over Iowa State last week was the third time he reached 400-plus yards passing this season, and the fifth time he passed for four touchdowns or more. It’s also the third time that he’s thrown multiple touchdowns while also finding the end zone on the ground. The Horned Frogs are entering a bye week, so we’ll have to wait another week before watching his uncanny ability to find the end zone — which will be on a Thursday night against West Virginia.
3. Ezekiel Elliot, RB, Ohio State
2015 stats: 148 carries, 988 yards (6.7 ypc), 11 TD … 20 rec, 131 yards
Last week vs. Penn State: 27 carries, 153 yards (5.7 ypc), TD … 4 rec, 21 yards
Why: You have to travel all the way back to Week 13 of the 2011 season to find the last time Penn State allowed a single rusher to hit 150-plus yards (Montee Ball — 156). Elliot’s 153 yards against a typically stout Nittany Lions defensive front seven is quite the accomplishment in itself, but it’s something that we’ve come to expect from the junior workhorse. Trailing behind only Fournette (1,202) and Oregon running back Royce Freeman (997) in rushing yards, Elliot has firmly established himself as one of the most elite members of any backfield in the game.
Still in the Hunt
4. Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State: 110 carries, 955 yards (8.7 ypc), 10 TD … 11 rec, 131 yards, TD
5. Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor: 41 rec, 877 yards (21.4 ypr), 14 TD … 8 carries, 32 yards (4.0 ypc)
6. Seth Russell, QB, Baylor: 103-of-163 (63.2 percent), 1,907 yards, 27 TD, 5 INT … 41 carries, 338 yards (8.2 ypc), 5 TD
7. Josh Doctson, WR, TCU: 60 rec, 1,067 yards (17.8 ypr), 12 TD
8. Christian McCaffery, RB, Stanford: 130 carries, 844 yards (6.5 ypc), 5 TD … 16 rec, 172 yards, TD
Keep Your Eye on
9. Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
10. Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama
11. C.J. Prosise, RB, Notre Dame
12. Matt Johnson, QB, Bowling Green
13. Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
14. Greg Ward, Jr., QB, Houston
15. Devontae Booker, RB, Utah
(You can view last week’s edition of Hunting the Heisman here.)