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Heisman Watch: It's Week 7 and Nobody Has Caught Up to Geno Smith

Lisa HorneSenior Writer IDecember 16, 2016

Heisman Watch: It's Week 7 and Nobody Has Caught Up to Geno Smith

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    Geno Smith continues to dominate the Heisman watchlist following a solid performance against Texas last Saturday.

    Can anyone catch him?

    There were some fantastic performances this last week, but as much as we would love to see a clear-cut No. 2, there isn't a consensus. It's still wide open as to who, if anyone, can catch Smith. 

    Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel and Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray dropped off my list this week. That doesn't mean they can't come back and win it, but their shocking losses don't help them at this point. 

    Here are my top nine Heisman candidates after six weeks of football.

No. 9: Kenjon Barner, Oregon

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    Running back De'Anthony Thomas had been on my watchlist for quite awhile.

    Unfortunately, Thomas isn't getting enough touches to stay on this list. He's one of the most exciting players in college football but we're just not seeing enough of him. 

    Thomas can thank his teammate, Kenjon Barner, for his low production. Barner currently has 727 yards and nine touchdowns to his credit. He also averages over 121 yards per game. 

    Against Washington, Barner had 20 carries for 122 yards

No. 8: Mike Gillislee, Florida

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    Like Kenjon Barner, running back Mike Gillislee is new to my Heisman watchlist.

    The Florida Gators beat LSU 14-6, and a great deal of that victory was due to great defense and a terrific running game. 

    Gillislee rushed 34 times for 146 yards and two touchdowns against the vaunted Tigers' defense. 

No. 7: Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina

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    South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore has been a little quiet lately and still hasn't had his Heisman moment, but he backed up his credentials with another solid game against Georgia. 

    Lattimore rushed for 109 yards on 24 carries and scored one touchdown.

    He also caught two passes for 24 yards. 

No. 6: Marqise Lee, USC

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    Receiver Marqise Lee had a fantastic day in the USC's 38-28 victory over Utah.

    Lee caught 12 passes for 192 yards and one touchdown.

    If Lee can continue to put up numbers like these, he could be a sleeper in the Heisman race. There are two factors that could go against him, however.

    First, he doesn't get the same amount of touches as a quarterback or running back, and that's usually why a receiver doesn't win the Heisman.

    Second, and most importantly, the guy throwing him the ball, Matt Barkley, is also a Heisman contender. 

No. 5: Manti Te'o, Notre Dame

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    Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o is the only defensive player on this list, but he certainly deserves the accolades.

    Te'o does a lot of stuff that stats don't show; he can cause offensive linemen to jump early or force quarterbacks to throw the ball away when he's showing blitz. He's a 2013 NFL Draft first-rounder. 

    The Irish pounded Miami 41-3 on Saturday and the defense played well as a unit.

    Te'o led the defense with 10 tackles.  

No. 4: Matt Barkley, USC

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    After taking a one-week sabbatical, USC quarterback Matt Barkley is back in the convo.

    Against Utah, Barkley went 23-of-30 for 303 yards and three touchdowns. 

    The most glaring statistic was what he didn't do and that was throw an interception.

    This season Barkley, has a 15-to-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio and is averaging over 261 passing yards per game.

No. 2 (Tied): Collin Klein, Kansas State and Braxton Miller, Ohio State

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    We always knew Braxton Miller was a good quarterback.

    We were just waiting for him to really floor us under Meyer's offense.

    And that he did.

    The Ohio State quarterback led the Buckeyes to a 63-38 rout over the Nebraska Cornhuskers, shooting himself to the top of the Heisman watchlist. 

    See Braxton run: 16 carries for 186 yards and one touchdown.

    See Braxton pass: 7-of-14 for 127 yards and one touchdown. 

    Consider us floored.

    On the flip side, Kansas State's Collin Klein is also a great dual-threat quarterback, but for some reason, he doesn't get the same hype as Miller.

    That's okay, I'll be glad to do it.

    Klein went 7-of-14 for 129 passing yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 116 yards on 10 carries and scored two touchdowns including one from 28 yards out. 

    These two quarterbacks are so close they're tied for second on my list. 

No. 1: Geno Smith, West Virginia

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    West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith still continues to impress. 

    He's still No. 1.

    Against Texas, Smith went 25-of-35 for 268 yards and four touchdowns. To date, he has thrown for 1,996 yards, 24 touchdowns and zero interceptions.

    His passer rating is 202.38 and his accuracy hovers around 81 percent. 

    We are not worthy. 

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