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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Heisman Trophy Week 8 Power rankings: Penix Pulls ahead

Heisman Trophy Week 8 Power rankings: Penix Pulls ahead

Publish Date: 10/17/2023
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

Heisman Rankings

The Heisman race has heated up and from where I am looking at this, these are the seven men that still have a legitimate shot to win the trophy.

7) Caleb Williams, QB, USC Trojans

On Saturday, USC quarterback Jesse Williams struggled mightily in their 48-20 upset loss against Notre Dame. Despite completing 23 of 37 passes for 199 yards and one touchdown pass – all while tossing three interceptions, all coming before halftime as USC trailed 24-6 at halftime and could never recover; additionally, this loss marked Williams’ first time this season wherein he failed to top 200 yards passing total in any one game.

6) Dillon Gabriel, QB, Oklahoma Sooners

Gabriel’s Heisman moment happened in the Sooners upset win over Texas last week as he led a game-winning touchdown drive to win the game. Gabriel has played well all year, and if the Sooners can stay undefeated, he has a chance. Oklahoma had a bye this past weekend.

5) J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan Wolverines

Michigan stands out among college football teams so far this season thanks to McCarthy. Michigan’s junior quarterback has enjoyed an outstanding year thus far and was outstanding again on Saturday in Michigan’s 52-7 win against Indiana. After starting slow, McCarthy picked it up late and completed 14 of 17 passes for 222 yards and three touchdowns while also adding 27 yards on the ground – connecting with Roman Wilson, Colston Loveland, and Semaj Morgan for touchdowns along the way. Through seven games this season, he is completing 78% of his passes for 1,512 yards and 14 touchdowns!

4) Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

Maye has seen his Heisman stock increase after an outstanding showing this week against No. 25 Miami, in which he completed 17 of 33 passes for 273 yards and four touchdowns – three going to Tez Walker, who returned after missing four games due to NCAA eligibility issues – totalling 21 touchdowns over six games played this year. Maye now boasts 1,902 passing yards through six contests played this season, and 16 total touchdowns passes!

3) Jordan Travis, QB, Florida State Seminoles

Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis continues to dazzle as Florida State powers through their first-half schedule. In their 41-3 win against Syracuse, Travis completed 23 of 37 passes for 284 yards and one touchdown while also running in two scores on his own – all while also leading Florida State past 30 points for an eighth consecutive game! Florida State improved to 6-0 for the first time in eight years, while Travis led them past 30 points in 12 consecutive contests!

2) Bo Nix, QB, Oregon Ducks

Nix was impressive in Oregon’s 36-33 loss to Washington, completing 33 of 44 passes for 337 yards and two touchdowns while failing to convert on fourth down on three separate occasions – including late in the game – leading directly to Penix’s game-winning drive for Washington. Through six games this season, he is completing 79% of his passes with 17 touchdowns against just 1 interception.

1) Michael Penix Jr. QB, Washington Huskies

Every Heisman Trophy winner has his “Heisman moment”, the play or drive that cements their status as the best in their sport. Washington quarterback Michael Penix provided such an unforgettable moment late in a 36-33 win against Oregon at Husky Stadium with just two minutes remaining when Washington trailed by fourโ€”throwing back-to-back picture-perfect passes – one to Rome Odunze for an 18-yard touchdown to give his Huskies victory; 22 of 37 attempts completed for 302 yards and four touchdowns as Washington improved to 6-0 and 72.1% completion ratio overall for 2,301 yards and 20 touchdowns thus far this season!

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