After Week 13 in college football, we take another look at who's in line for the Heisman in our weekly Heisman Watch.
1. Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Last Week: 1st
Burrow didn't necessarily light the world on fire against Arkansas like it seemed he may on paper but he was certainly dominant. Still. he finished by completing 23-of-28 passes for 327 and three scores – a generally awesome task in and of itself when a 300+-yard performance is just a ‘ho-hum' outing for Burrow. The trophy is his to lose at this point and remains but with the amount of national attention Chase Young is primed to get with a game against Michigan and then for the Big Ten Championship, Burrow will have to stay on his game against Texas A&M and Georgia to close out the year.
2. Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
Last Week: 2nd
Another 3-sack, 5-total-pressure performance for Young as he valiantly returned from a 2-game suspension to singlehandedly change the Penn State offensive gameplan in just the first quarter. He's as disruptive a pass-rusher that we've seen this year and perhaps even ever at the college football level and Young continues to push the boundaries of what we have come to expect, even from him. He's by far the highest-graded player in college football and is currently on pace to be the highest-graded player we've ever seen in our six years of grading college. He has a nose for the football and is winning over 30% of his pass-rushes still, this late in the season, which is an absurd figure. He'll have two more marquee games against NFL-ready offensive tackles to prove his worth against Michigan and the winner of Wisconsin-Minnesota in the Big Ten Championship and with two more big-time performances like the one he had against Penn State, the discussion for him being the second defensive player to win the Heisman will only heat up.
3. Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State
Last Week: 3rd
It took 13 weeks for the Cowboys to utilize Hubbard in the passing game and although that seems like a mistake to not utilize him sooner as he's likely all but out of a first-place vote for the Heisman, it's likely something to help Hubbard's draft stock come that time. Hubbard was targeted seven times in the win over West Virginia, hauling in all seven for 88 yards and a whopping 118 yards after the catch. He churned out four first downs on his catches and had more receiving yards in this game than he had in all previous 10 contests combined. While his grip on 2,000 yards and the national lead in terms of total rushing yards is decreasing, he's still the country's best in terms of most yards after contact with 1,152 and ranks fifth in overall grade among backs. He has a showdown with Oklahoma to prove his candidacy and place among the nation's top running backs while he can also get to 2,000 yards with a 166-yard performance against the rival Sooners.
4. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Last Week: 4th
Shaken up a bit at the end of this game, Fields showed resiliency against Penn State as the Buckeyes were finally tested in 2019. They avoided a slip-up that we've become accustomed to in recent years, especially against the Nittany Lions as Fields connected on 5-of-8 passes targeted at least 10 yards downfield for 93 yards and two touchdowns. At this point, he's likely losing any first-place votes he would normally receive to his own teammate in Chase Young but if 2019 is any indication, he'll be the biggest offseason betting favorite not-named Trevor Lawrence for the 2020 Heisman. Like Young, he's got two more marquee matchups to prove his worth as his trip to New York is likely not in question.
5. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Last Week: 7th
We warned everyone to watch out for Lawrence a few weeks back and all he's done in that time is put back-to-back-to-back elite-level performances at the helm of the Clemson Tigers. With three elite game grades in a row, Lawrence is looking more and more like the offseason favorite to win this year's Heisman and more and more like the odds-on favorite to win next year's. Since a forgettable quarter against Louisville, he's looked every bit of the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and has caught fire at the right time for the Tigers National Title defense. In fact, he's now the highest-graded quarterback since Week 8 and oh, he's just so happened to garner serious Heisman contention in the process.
6. Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma
Last Week: 5th
Hurts keeps putting the Sooners in tough spots and then climbing out of them with stellar play but since putting forth the highest game grade we've given to a quarterback all season (Week 8 vs West Virginia), Hurts is just the 59th highest-graded quarterback. One thing is for sure, however, and that is the fact that Hurts has dramatically increased his ability when throwing down the field, completing 86-of-127 attempts for 2,058 yards and 18 touchdowns on throws targeted at least 10 yards downfield. His Heisman chances have taken a hit over the past few weeks but a dominant game against Oklahoma State and then in a rematch against Baylor in the Big 12 Title Game will likely aid the blow of those turnovers as of late.
7. Tyler Huntley, QB, Utah
Last Week: 8th
Huntley is the nation's fourth-highest-graded quarterback this season and holds the country's fifth-highest passing grade. He's throwing a catchable pass on 86.2% of his passes this year, by far the nation's highest among quarterbacks with at least 100 attempts while he is also the nation's second-highest-graded quarterback on throws targeted at least 10 yards downfield. He's thrown just 75 passes at least 10 yards downfield but has completed 50 of them for 1,416, 10 touchdowns against just two interceptions averaging the nation's highest yards per attempt on such throws and that's even with seven dropped balls in the process. Mentioned last week, he continues to be every bit of an elite quarterback and completely deserving of every bit of praise he receives this season. Take note, watch and behold Huntley because we only get him for a guaranteed three more games this year.
8. Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
Last Week: 10th
The numbers that Etienne is putting up on the ground are staggering, considering his workload. Among running backs with at least 100 carries, Etienne leads the country by forcing a missed tackle on 46% of his attempts. He's broken 70 tackles on 152 carries and is on pace to shatter the former record of 33% set by David Montgomery. He's perhaps the nation's biggest home-run threat in the backfield and he's gained 1,327 yards including 874 after contact on almost half as many carries as Hubbard and Jonathan Taylor above him. He's not just a home-run threat because of run-blocking like he has been in year's past as he's ripped off 874 yards after contact and broken those 70 tackles, the latter figure which ranks fourth in the country. In an otherwise dominant year, he's set to break his personal bests for yards per carry, yards after contact and even total rushing yards as he's already broken 18 more tackles than he did a season ago.
9. Zack Moss, RB, Utah
Last Week: 11th
Moss has broken the 100-yard plateau in four straight games (and was 1 yard away from making it six straight) as he's really turned it on following his injury during the USC game. He's set his own personal records in touchdowns, broken tackles, yards after contact and is a few yards away from topping his career-best in total rushing yards as he's been as dominant a back since Week 7 that we've had in college football. His quarterback is receiving correct praise but it's time to continue to sing Moss'. He'll have at least three more games in his Utes career as well and then it's off to the NFL.
10. Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
Last Week: 15th
It would take something miraculous for an offensive tackle to win the Heisman Trophy but Sewell is that miraculous event. The Ducks lost their last outing but if there is one thing for sure, with an elite pass-blocking grade and no penalties against him against Arizona State, Sewell was certainly not to blame. A year after finishing with the highest grade we've ever given a true freshman tackle, Sewell is breaking more records, but this time at all levels of play. He's not only the highest-graded tackle in college football, but he's also the second-highest-graded player regardless of position this year and is on pace to break the single-season PFF record for highest grade we've given to any offensive player in a season. There may be no stopping him in 2020 if he keeps up this pace.
11. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
12. Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU
13. J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
14. Ceedee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma