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Heisman Watch ‘18: Bryce Love Struggles While Grier Breaks Records Against Tennessee

Jonathan Taylor runs wild but Bryce Love did not

NCAA Football: Heisman Trophy Presentation Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Since we have our very own Heisman Trophy favorite, we figured it’d be nice to see where Will Grier stacks up against his competition every week.

Bryce Love

You may not be able to win the Heisman in August but it is quite possible that Bryce Love just lost the Heisman. That is likely hyperbole but for the front runner to have such a bad game in his first game out, against San Diego State Aztecs is troubling. Love totaled 29 yards on 18 carries with no touchdowns. His longest carry was 14 yards. It was going to be tough for a running back to win the Heisman given recent history and this is a big setback.

Jonathan Taylor

If Bryce Love lost the Heisman, Taylor showed how to kick off a Heisman campaign. Taylor carried 18 times for 145 yards and 2 touchdowns against Western Kentucky. Taylor had touchdown runs of 47 and 30 yards for the #4 Wisconsin Badgers.

Ed Oliver

Houston won which is highly important to Oliver’s campaign. Oliver collected 13 tackles (5 solo), 3.5 TFL and 2 quarterback pressures. It is important that Oliver play at an otherworldly level if he wants to win the Heisman given how dominant Ndamukong Suh was and he didn’t win.

Will Grier

Will Grier started slow, with only 154 yards in the first half before exploding in the third quarter with three touchdowns including strikes to David Sills, Gary Jennings and Kennedy McKoy. Grier finished the day with 429 yards and five touchdowns, the most the Tennessee Volunteers have ever given up in 20 years. Grier also became the Mountaineers all-time leader in games with five passing touchdowns. Pretty good way to start a Heisman campaign.

Trace McSorley

A loss to Appalachian State would have been hurtful to McSorley’s chances. Trace completed 21 of 36 passes for only 230 yards and 1 touchdown. McSorley did add 53 yards on the ground on 12 carries which makes him a dynamic playmaker but he will need bigger wins to get the bad taste of this game out of voter’s mouths.

Justin Herbert

Herbert was good and bad as a passer. He threw for 281 yards and 5 touchdowns. Good. He completed 10 of 21 passes. Bad. He also threw 2 interceptions. Bad. But he did add 41 yards on the ground and a touchdown. Good. Overall it was mediocre competition (Bowling Green) and Herbert was up and down. He’ll need to do better.

One week into the season and Jonathan Taylor has to be the favorite, given that he is playing on a likely playoff team while Will Grier had one of the most productive days. Until West Virginia gets closer to the top 10, Grier will need every week to be like this to keep voter’s eyes on him.