With the Heisman Trophy favorite Tua Tagovailoa off this week and Dwayne Haskins and the Ohio State Buckeyes licking their wounds from a beatdown against Purdue, Will Grier used a Thursday night primtime game to showcase that the loss against Iowa St. Cyclones was a one-off and not the beginning of a Jersey Shore Ronnie-esque spiral.
Grier started the night off with a 53-yard touchdown pass to Gary Jennings, who was left uncovered. After some back and forth, figuring out the Baylor defense, Grier hit David Sills on a 25-yard throw where Sills just snatched the ball from the defender looking as graceful as a dancer. After a Baylor 3-and-out, Grier once again found Sills, this time on an even longer touchdown - 65 yards - where Sills made two defenders run into themselves. Grier then capped off the scoring bonanza with a one-yard QB sneak. Grier was pulled at the end of the third quarter.
Kyler Murray used Saturday as his own announcement that he wasn’t done yet. Murray put up almost identical numbers to Grier. Murray threw three touchdowns and ran for another. The Oklahoma Sooners were more methodical in their destruction of Bill Snyder, scoring at least 14 points in the first three quarters. Murray was pulled midway through the third quarter with OU leading 48-7.
While these two re-inserted themselves into the Heisman conversation, the award is still Tua’s to lose. It would take a monumental collapse at this point for Tua to not win the award, but that doesn’t mean that both Grier and Murray can’t make a statement. In almost any other year, both of these players would be Heisman favorites, they just got stuck in a year where the best team in the country has a quarterback who is so damn good, he rarely plays the fourth quarter and has yet to throw an interception.
What Grier and Murray are most likely playing for, besides conference supremacy and an outside shot at the College Football Playoff spot, is who will be invited to New York for the ceremony. If both teams have corrected their mistakes and continue to win while both players put up special numbers, the November 23rd game in Morgantown could be used to decide who gets to sit in New York.
Tua Tagovailoa - 107/152 (70.4%), 2066 yards, 25 TD 0 INT
Dwayne Haskins - 224/315 (71.1%), 2801 yards, 30 TD, 5 INT
Kyler Murray - 134/183 (73.2%), 2329 yards, 25 TD, 3 INT (428 yards rush, 5 TD)
Will Grier - 154/219 (70.3%), 2272 yards, 25 TD, 7 INT