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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Monday, May 20, 2024
Jonathan Taylor looks to be the first running back since Derrick Henry won the award in 2015. 

Jonathan Taylor looks to be the first running back since Derrick Henry won the award in 2015. 

Barkley, Mayfield lead the pack while Rudolph, Taylor surge up rankings

1. Saquon Barkley |Jr.| |RB| Penn State Barkley’s Stock: Neutral

Saquon Barkley enjoyed a bye for week seven yet is still the favorite to win the Heisman trophy. He has looked as electric as any college football running back since Reggie Bush in 2005. The star athlete is making a case for his name to be called in the first five picks come April, even with the loaded elite quarterback class. Barkley will look to continue his eye-popping season as the Nittany Lions take on a tough defense in the Michigan Wolverines next Saturday in Pennsylvania.

Next Game for Barkley: vs. Michigan on 10/20 at 6:30 p.m. on ABC

2. Baker Mayfield |R-Sr.| |QB| Oklahoma Mayfield’s Stock: Neutral

Baker Mayfield took a lot of heat after Iowa State planted its own flag into Sooner turf in week six. Yet the signal caller did his part in fighting off the Cyclones as he totaled 363 yards and three touchdowns, and finished with an impressive 91.8 quarterback rating on a 1-100 point scale. Mayfield was eventually let down by a defense that allowed 38 points to an average Iowa State offense.

The Oklahoma quarterback responded to that defeat in a major way by throwing for 302 yards on 27 attempts in a close victory over Texas in week seven. Mayfield led Oklahoma’s offense through his efficient passing and ability to extend plays in the pocket. He made a few beautiful throws to beat an above-average Texas defense in enemy territory and, finally, threw his first interception of the season on a fourth and one at the end of the first half. With that turnover, Mayfield ended his streak of over 200 pass attempts without an interception to start the year.

In the “Year of the Quarterback,” an extremely underrated Baker Mayfield continues to make his case for the Heisman trophy.

Next Game for Mayfield: @ Kansas State on 10/20 at TBD

3. Bryce Love |Jr.| |RB| Stanford Love’s Stock: Neutral

Bryce Love is inching closer and closer to the top of the Heisman watch rankings. After coming into this week averaging just over a ridiculous 200 rushing yards per game, the Stanford running back cruised to 147 yards on 17 carries. Love has done his best to carry his football team, as the Cardinals rank below average in passing offense and total defense, yet are still ranked in the top 25.

One of the few knocks on the junior running back is that he only contributes in the run game. Compared to the former star Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey, Love has been absent from the passing and return game — some key aspects of football that running backs must excel at nowadays. Thus, even with averaging over 30 more rushing yards per game than the next closest running back in college football, Love finds himself trailing in the Heisman watch.

Nearly locked into the top three with Mayfield and Barkley, Love will look to tear up Oregon State after a bye this upcoming week.

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Next Game for Love: @ Oregon State on 10/26 at 8 p.m. on ESPN

4. Mason Rudolph |Sr.| |QB| Oklahoma State Rudolph’s Stock: Up Three Spots

Whether it’s thanks to the offensive coordinator or the level of defenses he has faced, Mason Rudolph puts up video game numbers week in and week out for Oklahoma State. After a week off, the Cowboys’ gunslinger picked apart a horrific Baylor defense, compiling 459 passing yards and three touchdowns while also showing off deceptive athleticism on a one-yard touchdown run to extend the Cowboys lead to 18.

Rudolph has shown consistent elite production at a position where a lot of the big names have struggled this season. He currently sits at second in passing yards per game among quarterbacks in the FBS, averaging 381 yards per game, is tied for third in passing touchdowns with 16 and also leads a potent offense that is ranked second in the nation in total offense.

As the Cowboys take on some tough defenses in the schedule ahead, look for Rudolph to make his case for hoisting the trophy come early December.

Next Game for Rudolph: @ Texas on 10/21 at TBD

5. Lamar Jackson |Jr.| |QB| Louisville Jackson’s Stock: Down One Spot

Although Louisville dropped to 4-3 after playing Boston College this past Saturday, it is tough to put any blame on its quarterback. Lamar Jackson, the reigning Heisman trophy winner, torched an underrated Eagle’s defense with 512 total yards and five touchdowns. Jackson did most of his work on the ground racking up 180 yards rushing with three touchdowns, including a long scamper of 41 yards to tie the game late in the fourth quarter.

Jackson’s performance so far this season has justified another run at the Heisman trophy. However, his supporting cast has constantly let him down as his wide receivers can’t reel in throws and the Cardinal defense has played miserably over the course of the season.

Louisville has been underwhelming this season but Jackson’s year-to-date is worthy of winning the Heisman in back-to-back seasons.

Next Game for Jackson: @ Florida State on 10/21 at 11 a.m.

On The Bubble:

6. Sam Darnold |R-So.| |QB| USC Darnold’s Stock: Up Two Spots

7. Luke Falk |R-Sr.| |QB| Washington State Falk’s Stock: Down Two Spots

8. Jonathan Taylor |Fr.| |RB| Wisconsin Taylor’s Stock: Up One Spot

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