Not the Best of Weeks for the Front-runners.
Nasty weather did what opposing defenses have been unable to accomplish – slow down Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud, while Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker had more interceptions than touchdown passes in a game for the first time in his two seasons as the starting quarterback for the Volunteers.
Michigan running back Blake Corum, Oregon quarterback Bo Nix and North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye are among the players who are closing the ground on the top candidates according to the college football betting lines.
With just three weeks left in the regular season, performances by the top Heisman Trophy candidates become even more important. One Heisman moment or a nightmarish performance can make or break the dreams of one of the top contenders.
Here’s a look at how things shake out heading into Week 11.
Stroud Back on Top
The numbers were about as ugly as the weather conditions.
Stroud had completed 75.2% of his passes and 11 touchdown passes over the previous three games. However, the driving rain and heavy winds made the task of throwing the ball down the field rather challenging, if not close to impossible.
Stroud was just 10 of 26 for a season-low 76 yards. He had no touchdown passes for the first time in his two seasons as Ohio State’s starting QB.
Stroud did rush for a career-high 79 yards as Ohio State remained undefeated and very much in contention for the national title.
His odds to win the Heisman barely moved after the 21-7 win over Northwestern, going from +175 to +180 per the Las Vegas odds.
Hooker: Tough Day at the Office
Facing perhaps the toughest defense in the country proved to be an arduous task for Tennessee’s Hooker.
The favorite in the Heisman race going into last week’s huge game against Georgia, Hooker finished with a season-low 195 yards and, for the first time since taking over as the Tennessee starter, he failed to throw a touchdown pass.
Hooker had a season-best 18 rushing attempts and that resulted in just 17 yards in the 27-13 loss.
Hooker’s odds to win the Heisman moved from -135 to +300 after the loss to Georgia.
Corum Getting Closer
Blake Corum extended his string of 100-yard rushing games to six as he helped Michigan pull away for a 52-17 win over Rutgers.
Corum had 109 yards on 20 carries and scored twice. He is now fourth in the country with 1,187 rushing yards and tied for Pittsburgh’s Israel Abanikanda for the national lead with 16 touchdown runs.
TD 2️⃣ for BC2pic.twitter.com/CVrtdcpI9w
— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) November 6, 2022
Corum is priced at +700 in the odds to win the Heisman Trophy and he has put some distance on the other running backs. Alabama’s Jahmyr Gibbs and Chase Brown of Illinois, the nation’s leading rusher, come in at +10000.
Williams, Nix Get Passing Grades
The Pac-12 schedule makers dropped the ball.
Southern California’s Caleb Williams and Bo Nix of Oregon are both in the top five in the Heisman Trophy odds, with Williams priced at +700 and Nix checking in at +800.
The matchup of the two dynamic quarterbacks would be something to behold. However, the only way it will happen is a showdown in the Pac-12 title game.
With 12 teams in the conference and just nine Pac-12 games, there are some matchups that never materialize. Unfortunately, that means that Oregon and USC don’t meet during the regular season.
Nix has led Oregon to eight wins in a row since a season-opening loss to Georgia. He has completed 73.3% of his passes for 2,495 yards to go with 22 touchdowns and five interceptions. Add in 13 scoring runs, including five over the last two games, and it is no wonder that he is becoming a factor in the race for the most prestigious individual honor in college football.
Williams has been among the Heisman front-runners all season. With three straight games with more than 350 passing yards along with 14 touchdown passes and no interceptions during that time, Williams remains in the thick of the Heisman race.
He has thrown for 2,742 yards and 28 touchdowns while having just one interception and he is still a factor in the Heisman Trophy race.
Williams will be facing a Colorado defense that has allowed the most yards in the Pac-12 on Friday before ending the regular season with a pair of high-profile games against UCLA and Notre Dame. Those contests will certainly have the attention of those who bet online.
Freshman Continues to Shine
When the season started, Drake Maye was best known as the son of former North Carolina quarterback Mark Maye.
By the time his redshirt freshman season is over, he might pass most of his father’s career numbers in his first season.
His 31 touchdown passes in nine games are 11 more than his dad had in 33 career games back in the 1980s. With 2,964 passing yards, he is less than 500 behind his father’s career mark. With three more regular-season games, perhaps the ACC Championship Game and a bowl game, the younger Maye should have no problem topping that number.
Maye has completed 74% of his passes with 10 TDs and no interceptions over the last three games. He has passed for 1,061 yards and run for 205 yards in those contests.
He is now priced at +1000 in the Heisman Trophy odds.
Matchup of the Week
Alabama vs Ole Miss
- Date, time (TV): Saturday, Nov. 12th, 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
Alabama’s national championship hopes appear to be over following last week’s heartbreaking one-point loss to LSU.
The game probably ended quarterback Bryce Young’s chance of joining former Ohio State running back Archie Griffin as the only back-to-back Heisman Trophy winner.
Young completed 49% of his passes in the 32-31 loss. He had one TD pass and an interception. Two SEC quarterbacks (Hooker and Georgia’s Stetson Bennett) have better odds to win the Heisman than Young, who is now at +2500 according to the sportsbook.
Ole Miss is 10th in the SEC in passing yards allowed per game and 11th in passing efficiency defense so perhaps Young can bounce back.