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Heisman Watch ‘18: Grier and Taylor Keep Pace

The Heisman front runners continued their torrid paces against weak competition

Heisman Trophy Presentation - Press Conference Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Jonathan Taylor

Taylor set a personal best with 253 yards on 33 rushes. Taylor has to be considered the favorite right now given that Wisconsin is going to likely win their division and play for a conference title. The Wisconsin offensive line will make sure Taylor gets his yards. With his big game, Taylor is now on pace for Barry Sanders 1988 NCAA record setting season of 2,628 yards rushing. Assuming Taylor plays in a conference title game and a bowl game (14 total) he would break Sanders’ record with 2,786 yards

Season stats: 51 rushes, 398 yards, 5 touchdowns.

Will Grier

Grier overcame another “slow” start to pour on the yards in the second half. Playing Youngstown State who was selling out to stop the pass, Grier finished the first half with only 163 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Penguins frustrated the Davidson, NC native early, picking off a pass on the first drive before the offense settled down. Grier finished the game 21-of-26 for 332 yards and four touchdowns. Grier has to be the favorite quarterback in the race and if the Mountaineers remain in the conference race all year, Grier will be in New York.

Season stats: 46/60 (76.6%), 9 TD, 1 INT, 5 rushes, -3 yards

Tua Tagovailoa

It looks like, according to rumors, that Tagovailoa will be the QB for Nick Saban’s crew this season. Tua finished 13/19 on the day with four touchdowns and 223 yards. Playing on a playoff contender who is going to likely roll through their schedule and win their conference is going to keep Tua’s name in the conversation and the anaconda-like death grip Alabama puts on its opponents will mean that Tua doesn’t need to do everything to win a game. He will need to throw for more yards in order to compete with Grier but he will be in the conversation due to his team’s record and his dynamic skill set.

Season stats: 25/35 (71.4%), 455 yards, 6 TD, 9 rushes, 46 yards

Dwayne Haskins

Haskins enters the Heisman discussion thanks to playing on a team that has a chance to win its division. Haskins threw four touchdowns against Rutgers on 20 of 23 passing. He threw for only 233 yards which won’t be enough when compared to some of the other quarterbacks but right now on the young season he is winning games big with lots of touchdowns. Haskins will have a chance later in the season when Ohio State plays Penn State and Michigan. Next week against the TCU Horned Frogs will give voters a good idea of how good Haskins is when they face that Gary Patterson defense.

Season stats: 42/53 (79.2%), 546 yards, 9 touchdowns, 1 INT, 4 rushes, 13 yards.

Others in consideration: Ed Oliver - had 5 tackles against Arizona and contained Khalil Tate but Oliver needs a big Heisman moment to really be considered. Bryce Love put himself back into talks with 136 yards on the ground. Love needs a few more games like that to wash that Week One dud from the memory of voters. It may not matter if Taylor is running like he is. Kyler Murray at Oklahoma may also be putting himself into consideration as the Sooners look to have the best offense in college.