1. Oregon QB Marcus Mariota (So.)
Last Week (W, 42-14, vs. UCLA): 21-for-28, 230 yards, TD (18 rush yards)
Season: 144-for-225 (64.0%), 2,281 yards, 20 TD (511 rush yards, 9 touchdowns)
Mariota went another game without throwing an interception, leading his Ducks to victory over No. 12 UCLA. Oregon struggled early, coughing up two fumbles in the first quarter but recovered for 28 unanswered second-half points. Mariota did what was asked of him, though his stats from this contest don’t scream Heisman winner. Oregon’s game at No. 5 Stanford on Nov. 7 will have Pac-12 and national title implications, as well as serve as Mariota’s opportunity to showcase why he should win the Heisman.
2. Florida State QB Jameis Winston (Fr.)
Last Week (W, 49-17, vs. NC State): 16-for-26, 292 yards, 3 TD, INT
Season: 128-for-183 (69.9%), 2,177 yards, 23 TD, 4 INT (126 yards, 3 TD)
Winston was clearly in sync early, going 11-for-14 with 229 yards and three touchdowns in the first quarter, helping Florida State to take a commanding 35-0 lead less than 13 minutes into the contest. Winston’s numbers would’ve been more gaudy but he was pulled after the first series in the second half with the Seminoles already up, 42-0. Winston continues to impress and has now thrown for 19 touchdown passes and three interceptions in conference play. If he plays like he has the last few weeks this weekend against No. 7 Miami, he will claim the top spot on the Heisman Watch.
3. Baylor QB Bryce Petty (Jr.)
Last Week (W, 59-14, at Kansas): 20-for-32, 430 yards, 3 TD (22 rush yards, TD)
Season: 122-for-176 (69.3%), 2,453 yards, 18 TD, INT (73 rush yards, 6 TD)
Baylor is still the highest-scoring team in the country at 63.9 points per game and Bryce Petty is still the reason why. The Bears have broken 70 points in four of seven games but have yet to face an opponent with a winning record vs. FBS teams entering the game. This will change come Nov. 7 when Baylor hosts No. 10 Oklahoma. If the Bears’ offense continues its pace the last five games of the season, Petty will continue to garner more attention nationally in the Heisman race.
4. Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel (So.)
Last Week (W, 56-24, vs. Vanderbilt): 25-for-35, 305 yards, 4 TD, INT (11 rush yards)
Season: 184-for-252 (73.0%), 2,594 yards, 22 TD, 8 INT (497 rush yards, 6 TD)
So much for that shoulder injury. Manziel scored three touchdowns in the first quarter and added a fourth in the third quarter before exiting the game with over six minutes left in the third quarter. After a performance like this, there is no question about Johnny Football’s toughness, nor his abilities to dominate at the collegiate level. Manziel plays well on a consistent basis but he will need the three above candidates to struggle in order to claim his second Heisman.
5. Arizona RB Ka’Deem Carey (Jr.)
Last week (W, 44-20, at Colorado): 23 car, 119 yards, 4 TD (3 rec, 12 yards)
Season: 157 car, 924 yards, 10 TD (18 rec, 131 yards)
After being suspended for the first game, Carey has posted at least 125 rushing yards in all six contests, finding the end zone in five of them. In four Pac-12 games, he has rushed for 626 yards and six touchdowns, helping Arizona stay in contention for the Pac-12 South crown. The Wildcats host No. 20 UCLA next weekend, as well as No. 2 Oregon a couple weeks later in games that could put Carey in the national spotlight and solidify him as a Heisman contender.