Heisman Trophy 2012: Week 7's Best and Worst Showings in Heisman Hunt
Here we are in the second half of the 2012-13 college football season, and the battle for the Heisman Trophy is heating up.
West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith has been the leading candidate for the prestigious honor for many people in the first half of the season, but a couple of dual-threat quarterbacks appear to be closing the gap.
We've seen Oregon speedster De'Anthony Thomas do what many thought he would do this season (dominate), while Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o has predictably been an absolute beast.
Here's a look at the best and worst performances from this season's Heisman candidates in Week 7.
Best: Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State
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Collin Klein is one of the leading contenders to upstage Geno Smith this season.
He's completed 67 percent of his passes for 9.1 yards per attempt while tossing seven touchdowns to two interceptions and rushing for 510 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Against a solid defense in Iowa State in Week 7, Klein went 16-of-24 for 187 yards (7.8 yards per attempt) and rushed for 105 yards and three touchdowns in the 27-21 victory.
Worst: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
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By Geno Smith's standards, it was a disappointing performance against explosive Texas Tech in a 49-14 loss in Week 7.
Smith tossed another touchdown pass and once again took care of the pigskin (he has 25 touchdowns to zero interceptions this season), but he also completed just 53 percent of his passes while averaging 5.0 yards per pass attempt.
There was certainly more expected out of the senior in Lubbock.
Best: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
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What more can one say about the job freshman Johnny Manziel has done for the Aggies under center?
Manziel went off against Louisiana Tech in Week 7. He not only went 24-of-40 for 395 yards and three touchdowns to one interception, but he also rushed for 181 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries.
Texas A&M ended up needing every bit of that, emerging victorious, 59-57.
Worst: Matt Barkley, QB, USC
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After a splendid performance against Utah, Matt Barkley came back down to Earth against Washington in a pivotal Pac-12 matchup in Week 7.
Barkley completed just 50 percent of his passes for 167 yards while tossing one touchdown to one interception.
Washington doesn't have the most formidable pass defense, so a lot more was expected out of Barkley, even though the Trojans emerged with a 24-14 victory.
Best: Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State
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Braxton Miller may have faced a weak defense in Indiana in Week 7, but you can't hold that against him.
Miller still averaged 8.8 yards per attempt while throwing two touchdowns to one interception, and he decimated the Hoosiers on the ground, rushing for 149 yards and a touchdown in the 52-49 shootout.
Worst: Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina
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Marcus Lattimore was rolling along for South Carolina before meeting LSU in Week 7 and getting stuffed throughout the game.
It wasn't all on Lattimore, but when you rush for 35 yards on 13 carries that's not exactly lighting it up.
The Gamecocks ended up losing to LSU, 23-21.
Best: Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame
Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE
If Manti Te'o doesn't get serious consideration for the Heisman this season, then perhaps a linebacker was never meant to win the award.
Te'o is leading a Notre Dame defense that has allowed 8.7 points per game this season (second only to No. 1 Alabama), and he's coming off a brilliant performance against Stanford.
In the 20-13 victory, Te'o finished with a game-high 11 tackles while the Fighting Irish defense refused to let Stepfan Taylor tie the game in overtime, stopping him four times from within the five-yard line.
1. Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
After a brutal loss to Texas Tech, Geno Smith faces a beatable Kansas State pass defense in what figures to be a shootout with Collin Klein.
2. Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State
After a strong performance against Iowa State, Collin Klein may have to take to the air more against a weak West Virginia pass defense. The Mountaineers are allowing just 3.26 yards per carry this season, tied for 20th in the nation.
3. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State
After dismantling Indiana, Braxton Miller faces a 3-3 Purdue team next, which has lost its last two games to Wisconsin and Michigan.
4. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Johnny Manziel faces big and bad LSU next in what should be a true test for the freshman. The Tigers have allowed 14.0 points per game this season (eighth in the nation) and are coming off a big win versus South Carolina.
5. Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame
Manti Te'o leads the Fighting Irish against BYU next, a strong defensive team that has trouble scoring points at times.
6. De'Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon
After dismantling Washington, De'Anthony Thomas and Co. face Arizona State next, which has limited opponents to 14.2 points per game while giving up just 3.23 yards per carry.
7. Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon
Kenjon Barner has rushed for a combined 317 yards in his last two games, but he faces a stiff test against Arizona State, along with Thomas.
8. E.J. Manuel, QB, Florida State
E.J. Manuel faces off against a Miami Hurricanes squad that is allowing 32.3 points per game this season and gave up 41 points to Notre Dame. Expect Manuel to go off.
9. Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Matt Barkley has been sliding down the rankings, but he is matched up against a Colorado defense allowing 41.3 points per game next. So there's that.
10. Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina
As if losing to LSU wasn't bad enough, Marcus Lattimore and the Gamecocks face Florida next, which has allowed 12.3 points per game this season (sixth in the nation). That includes limiting opponents to 3.27 yards per carry. This could be yet another tough game for Lattimore.