2011 Heisman Watch: Week 9

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David Wilson RB Virginia Tech

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

UP:

Andrew Luck QB Stanford
Week 9 vs. USC- Passing: 29/40 (72.5%) for 330 yards, 3 TD 1 INT Rushing: 9 rushes for 36 yards, 1 TD
Season Stats- Passing: 174/242 (71.9%) for 2,218 yards, 23 TD 4 INT Rushing: 25 rushes for 119 yards, 2 TD

Despite tossing a crucial interception late against the Trojans last week, Luck played well and carried his team to a tough three overtime win. The Cardinal face Oregon State on the road this week before they host Oregon next weekend. This time of year any conference road game has upset potential, and there’s the possibility the Cardinal look ahead to next week’s game, so they must stay focused. In the end, Luck should have no worries about the Beavers’ defense and the Cardinal should remain unscathed, one win closer to the Fiesta Bowl.

Case Keenum QB Houston
Week 9 vs. Rice- 24/37 (64.9%) for 534 yards, 9 TD 1 INT
Season Stats- 218/303 (71.9%) for 3,219 yards, 32 TD 3 INT

Shasta! That’s actually the name of the Houston Cougars’ mascot, but it could become an acceptable exclamation any time Keenum tosses a touchdown. Nine scores in one game is absolutely ludicrous. As a team, the Cougars amassed nearly 700 yards of offense, with 534 coming through the air from Keenum. He also broke the NCAA record for total offense when he recorded his 139th career touchdown pass against the Owls’ 115th-ranked defense. The Cougars sit at No. 14 in this week’s BCS standings and have four games remaining on their schedule. There is a lot of football left to be played, but maybe the Cougars will have a shot at a BCS game come late November.

DOWN:

Russell Wilson QB Wisconsin
Week 9 vs. OSU- 20/32 (62.5%) for 253 yards, 3 TD
Season Stats- Passing: 129/181 (71.3%) for 2,033 yards, 19 TD 3 INT Rushing: 38 rushes for 200 yards, 3 TD Receiving: 1 reception for 25 yards, 1 TD

It’s really tough to see Wilson and the Badgers lose their second game in as many weeks on such dramatic plays. This time around it was Buckeyes’ signal-caller Braxton Miller delivering the decisive last-second touchdown to defeat the Badgers. Now with two conference losses the Badgers’ Big Ten title hopes are hanging by a thread, let alone Wilson’s Heisman chances. Nevertheless, Wilson has proved that he is more than adequate at the quarterback position and has given NFL scouts no reason to not consider him come April’s draft.

Tajh Boyd QB Clemson
Week 9 vs. Georgia Tech- 23/40 (57.5%) for 295 yards, 1 TD 2 INT
Season Stats- Passing: 195/318 (61.3%) for 2,674 yards, 25 TD 5 INT Rushing: 81 rushes for 165 yards, 4 TD

Clemson finally played like the young team they are and lost its first game of the season to Georgia Tech last weekend. A big second quarter from the Yellow Jackets was enough to take the lead for good as Boyd and the Tigers were unable to mount any sort of a comeback. No longer undefeated, the Tigers can still contend for the conference title, but all hope of a national championship has been lost. There’s simply no margin for error for teams at this stage in the season. Conference races are shaping up and this is when we learn the most about what players are made of. Unless Boyd unleashes some Keenum-like numbers the rest of the way it seems as if his short-lived run as a Heisman candidate has come to an end.

ON THE RISE:

David Wilson RB Virginia Tech
Week 9 vs. Duke- 23 rushes for 148 yards (6.4 ypc)
Season Stats- Rushing: 187 rushes for 1,185 yards (6.3 ypc), 7 TD Receiving: 16 receptions for 99 yards, 1 TD

Another ho-hum day for Wilson as he notched his sixth-straight game of more than 120 yards rushing. The month of October proved fruitful for the junior back, as Wilson racked up more than 600 yards and two scores in five games. At 8-1 the Hokies are still very much in the hunt for an ACC Championship and the BCS at-large bid that comes with winning the conference. The Hokies travel to Atlanta to take on a good Georgia Tech squad fresh off a huge upset of No. 5 Clemson. But there’s no reason to believe the Yellow Jackets will be able to contain Wilson, no other team has.