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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / 2023 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 9 Power rankings, Here comes McCarthy as Penix and Williams struggle

2023 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 9 Power rankings, Here comes McCarthy as Penix and Williams struggle

Publish Date: 10/25/2023
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

Power Rankings

8) Caleb Williams, USC Trojans

Williams’ hopes of becoming only the second two-time Heisman Trophy winner were dealt a serious setback Saturday when USC fell 34-32 against Utah. Williams completed 24 of 34 passes for 256 yards without throwing a touchdown pass – his first time without a TD pass! However, with 1:46 remaining, Williams did score a rushing touchdown to give USC an early 32-31 lead before Utah put together a game-winning drive, which resulted in a late 38-yard field goal kick from their QB.

7) Drake Maye, North Carolina Tar Heels

Maye has rapidly moved up the Heisman board over the past two weeks with two outstanding performances against Syracuse and Miami but struggled during North Carolina’s 31-27 upset loss against Virginia on Saturday. Maye completed 24 out of 48 passes for 347 yards with two touchdowns but also committed one costly interception late in the game, which ultimately proved costly in helping Virginia achieve victory.

6) Jayden Daniels, LSU Tigers

Daniels put up another impressive stat sheet performance on Saturday against Army, leading the Tigers to a 62-0 win and totaling 11 of 15 passes for 279 yards and three touchdowns – adding one on the ground – in their 6-2-0 triumph. Now, through eight games this season, this do-it-all senior QB has amassed over 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns!

5) Bo Nix, Oregon Ducks

Nix made NCAA history during Oregon’s 38-24 win against Washington State on Saturday, compiling 18-of-25 passes for 293 yards and two touchdowns while setting an NCAA career start record with 54 starts. Nix also scored one rushing touchdown as Oregon became bowl-eligible by notching its sixth win of the year.

4) Jordan Travis, Florida State Seminoles

On Saturday, Florida State defeated No. 16 Duke by 38-20 behind an outstanding performance by senior quarterback Jordan Travis. Travis completed 27 of 36 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for 62 yards and one score on the ground. Travis excelled late in the game when Florida State needed three straight scoring drives led by Travis to secure the win and improve to 7-0, thus making them one of the few remaining unbeaten ACC teams.

3) Dillon Gabriel, Oklahoma Sooners

Gabriel continued his stellar play against his former team, UCF Knights, this past weekend, leading Oklahoma to a 31-29 win with 253 yards passing and three touchdowns on 38 passes completed (nine receivers totalling) including redshirt freshman Nic Anderson’s five receptions of 105 yards for two scores! Gabriel has totalled 2,131 passing yards and 230 rushing yards this year, leading Oklahoma to their perfect record!

2) J.J McCarthy, Michigan Wolverines

Michigan keeps winning, with McCarthy playing like a Heisman Trophy quarterback. In Michigan’s 49-0 victory against Michigan State, McCarthy was near-perfect in their 49-0 victory, completing 21 of 27 passes for 287 yards and four touchdowns while not playing much of a second half due to having a 42-0 lead midway through the third quarter. Overall, this season, he has completed 78% of his passes for 1,799 yards while scoring 21 total touchdowns!

1) Michael Penix, Washington Huskies

Penix entered Saturday’s Pac-12 matchup against Arizona State as an early favorite to be named the Heisman Trophy winner, yet his performance left something to be desired. While Washington eventually pulled off an unexpected 15-7 win, Penix completed just 27 of 42 passes for 275 yards and two interceptions en route to victory – again failing to throw any touchdown passes for Washington for the first this season.

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