Tagovailoa, Murray battle for top spot in Heisman Watch

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Photo Credit: Albert Lee | Daily Texan Staff

Through five weeks, the Heisman race has boiled down to a few quarterbacks around the country. Here’s how the top candidates performed this past week:

#13 Tua Tagovailoa, quarterback, No. 1 Alabama

The Crimson Tide show no sign of slowing down, especially with superstar quarterback Tua Tagovailoa at the helm. Over the weekend, Tagovailoa put on yet another show. As of late, though, Tua’s performances usually only last one half. He went 8-for-8 passing for 128 yards and two touchdowns as Alabama completely
thrashed UL-Lafayette.

According to Bovada Sportsbook, Tagovailoa’s odds to win the Heisman are 10/11, making him the favorite at this moment. His season has been spectacular thus far, exceeding any level of expectation prior to the season. And considering the fact that for the rest of the season, Alabama will only play two currently ranked teams, he has a very realistic chance of putting up video game-like numbers for the rest of the year.

#1 Kyler Murray, quarterback, No. 7 Oklahoma

If Tagovailoa is ahead of Kyler Murray for the Heisman, it isn’t by much. Murray demonstrated that he can be just as, if not more, explosive than Tagovailoa. He threw for over 430 yards and six touchdowns, and rushed for one touchdown in Oklahoma’s 66-33 win over Baylor. Murray’s seven touchdowns tied a Sooner record for most touchdowns in a game — last accomplished by Baker Mayfield in 2016.

Murray is performing every week at a high level. Although he is currently trailing Tagovailoa, he has an opportunity to jump him in the rankings when the
Sooners play the Texas Longhorns in the Red River Rivalry. College GameDay will be in attendance, making this a highly anticipated matchup. This is Murray’s biggest opportunity yet to have his Heisman moment and take control of the race.

#7 Dwayne Haskins, quarterback, No. 3 Ohio State

Haskins is trying to keep the Heisman race as open as possible, even as Murray and Tagovailoa begin to separate themselves from the pack. During last Saturday’s comeback win over then-No. 9 Penn State, Haskins showed he isn’t going to let people erase his name from the ballot. The sophomore signal caller led the Buckeyes on a 96-yard drive at the end of the game to lead Ohio State to a 27-26 road win. 

With the exception of
Saturday, every Ohio State game has been decided by more than 10 points. Haskins has stepped into J.T. Barrett’s position and has quickly assumed a leadership role for the Buckeyes. Even if he doesn’t win the award this season, he has set himself up to be a favorite for the award in his junior season.

#7 Will Grier, quarterback, No. 9 West Virginia

Will Grier is an electrifying quarterback in an electrifying conference. The senior quarterback is performing up to the expectations placed on him a year ago. He has led a high-powered offense that ranks in the top 10 in the country. Against Texas Tech, he put up 370 yards and three touchdowns. 

In addition to his statline, Grier has shown he can play efficiently. He has a touchdown-to-interception ratio of nearly 6:1. Grier’s biggest game will come at the end of the season. He and the Mountaineers will play fellow Heisman candidate Kyler Murray and the Sooners in a game that could very well end up deciding who wins the Big 12. Until that day, Grier will have to continue impressing to further raise his chances of
becoming a Heisman winner.