Heisman watch Week 11: Burrow and Tagovailoa to meet in SEC showdown

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Photo Credit: Raquel Higine | Daily Texan Staff

Week 10 didn’t add much to the conversation, with all four of our front-runners enjoying a bye week.

But as our candidates gear up for the final stretch of the season, the matchups are starting to intensify. Week 11 is set to produce one of the greatest events in college sports: a regular season No. 2 vs. No. 3 matchup between LSU and Alabama.

For the second time this year, two of our top contenders will face off, this time in the lion’s den of Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Here’s what to watch for in Week 11:

Tua Tagovailoa

Quarterback, Alabama

Game seven of the World Series. Overtime in the Super Bowl. Penalty kicks in the World Cup.

Only a handful of sporting events are analogous to the elitism of a regular season No. 2 vs. No. 3 matchup. Although the College Football Playoff rankings list LSU and Alabama as two and three, respectively, the AP and Coaches’ polls still list both schools as the top two. College football fans across the nation will turn their TVs to CBS for the 2:30 p.m. slot to watch the top-two Heisman candidates square off.

Tagovailoa, who is returning from an ankle injury, is reportedly good to go in Alabama’s highest-ranked matchup of the year.

Expect an instant classic in Tuscaloosa with Tagovailoa leading the way.

Joe Burrow

Quarterback, LSU

LSU heads into Tuscaloosa on a slightly different foot than Alabama, and with different questions to answer.

The Tigers have passed every test they’ve faced through their first eight games, knocking off three opponents ranked in the top 15. Now, for their next magic trick, they’ll try to end an eight-game losing streak to the Tide.

Led by Burrow, LSU’s questions center around its inconsistent defense against a potent Alabama squad. Can Burrow continue his hot streak against a perennially elite defense? Will Tagovailoa exploit the Tigers’ inconsistent defense?

The game of the year is just around the corner.

Justin Fields

Quarterback, Ohio State

Ohio State controversially climbed to the top of the season’s first College Football Playoff rankings Tuesday evening. It holds every quality of a top-ranked team — including a Heisman-caliber quarterback.

Sophomore Fields and the Buckeyes have yet to face a major test. Their toughest games so far have been against a Cincinnati team now ranked inside the top 20 and a home blowout over Wisconsin.

Fresh off a bye week, the dominating Buckeyes welcome the skidding Maryland Terrapins, who are 1–6 in their last seven games, to Columbus, Ohio.

Fields can expect nothing less than a field(s) day against the Terrapins, who have been outscored 164-59 in their last four games.

The two schools have only met five times, but Maryland is still without a win against Ohio State. Don’t expect that to change Saturday.

Jalen Hurts

Quarterback, Oklahoma

A loss to unranked Kansas State before Oklahoma’s bye week didn’t help Hurts’ Heisman ballot, which was already teetering on the edge of contention with front-runners Burrow and Tagovailoa.

While Hurts has the stats of a Heisman winner — among the top in quarterback rating, total yards and touchdown-interception ratio — his résumé was dealt a serious blow by a relatively shaky performance against the Wildcats.

It’s hard to imagine Hurts bringing home the hardware without a ghastly performance from either Tagovailoa or Burrow.