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Heisman Watch: Is Geno Smith Still No. 1?

Nolan VasanContributor IOctober 12, 2016

Heisman Watch: Is Geno Smith Still No. 1?

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    Geno Smith showed his human side against Texas Tech and came crashing back to Earth on Saturday, setting up a huge matchup of our No.1 and No. 2 contenders in the Heisman Watch next week.

    The only question is, who's No. 1?

    It's finally starting to get interesting.

1) Geno Smith, QB West Virginia

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    Last Week: 29-for-55, 275 yards, 1 TD @ Texas Tech (14-49)

    Next Week: vs Kansas State

     

    You had to wonder if there was a game out there like this week's waiting for Smith and the Mountaineers.

    After dazzling with near-perfect performances through the first six weeks, we get a clunker here. In the week before their big showdown with K State, Smith and the Mountaineers  stumbled in Lubbock. Big time.

    Smith did throw for 275 yards, which isn't bad, but he only completed 53 percent of his passes. That's a far cry from the 81 percent he has had the rest of the season.

    The loss will hurt West Virginia in the standings, but it shouldn't kill Smith here in the Heisman Race. He'll hold onto the top spot for now, but this performance surely closes the gap between him and the rest of the contenders.

2) Collin Klein, QB Kansas State

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    Last Week: 16-for-24, 187 yards passing, 105 yards rushing, 3 TDs @ Iowa State (27-21)

    Next Week: @ West Virginia

     

    Unlike Geno Smith, Collin Klein and the K State Wildcats took care of their business before next's week big time matchup.

    Against a tough Iowa State team, Klein accounted for 292 yards and three scores. He did this while helping the offense control the ball for over 40 minutes.

    Collin Klein is never going to put up Geno Smith or even Braxton Miller numbers, but it's clear that his success might be more necessary to his team than anybody in college football.

    The gap is closing right now between Geno Smith and the rest of the competition, and if Klein and the Wildcats can beat West Virginia next week, we could see a new leader atop the race.

3) Braxton Miller, QB Ohio State

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    Last Week: 13-for-24, 211 yards passing, 2 TDs,1 INT, 149 yards rushing, 1 TD @ Indiana

    Next Week: vs Purdue

     

    In somewhat of a trap game, Braxton Miller did his job and got OSU the victory. Against a inferior Hoosier defense, he rushed for 149 yards and threw for another 211. He had a 67-yard rushing TD and threw TDs from 60 and 46 yards.

    Ohio State doesn't have a lot of weapons, but Miller is so dynamic in Urban Meyer's spread and he makes up for other deficiencies on offense. If it wasn't for Miller, Ohio State could have a couple of losses, especially against Indiana who pulled within three points at the end of the game.

    Miller's next game is against Purdue, who have some talent on defense. It should be fun to see how Miller will do against Purdue's DT Kawann Short.

4) De'Anthony Thomas, RB/WR/KR Oregon

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    Last Week: Bye

    Next Week: @ Arizona State

     

    Not a whole lot to discuss with Thomas here, since the Ducks are on a bye week, besides this being a great opportunity to highlight the season that Thomas is having.

    So far, the dynamic offensive threat has rushed for 377 yards and has 205 yards receiving. He is the second leading rusher on the team and the leading receiver. He has a combined nine TDs.

    Those aren't very big numbers, but the Ducks really look to limit Thomas's touches and save him more for big games.

    With the Ducks still playing Stanford, Oregon State and USC; we haven't seen the best from Thomas.

5) Matt Barkley, QB USC

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    Last Week: 10-for-20 167 yards 1 TD, 1 INT. @ Washington (24-14)

    Next Week: vs. Colorado

     

    Under normal circumstances, Matt Barkley would be out of the Heisman Watch. Barkley has struggled through most of the season with a few duds, and the Trojans are relying on their running game more and more.

    But there really isn't anybody waiting in the wings to rise up the boards, Barkley is still relatively in the hunt. Against Washington, Barkley was sub par.

    He completed only 50 percent of his passes for a measly 167 yards. He did have a TD pass, but also had a pick.

    Next week, USC hosts Colorado which should be an easy win and a chance for Barkley to put up some numbers, because if they want to get back to the National Title picture, they'll need Barkley at his best.

     

    Brian Johannes: NFL Draft Geek
    @NFLDraftGeek 

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