Heisman Watch 2013: Previewing the Top Contenders' Matchups for Week 6

Alex SimsCorrespondent IIIOctober 4, 2013

Heisman Watch 2013: Previewing the Top Contenders' Matchups for Week 6

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    It's conference cupcake week for the majority of college football's biggest Heisman Trophy candidates. Four of the top-five contenders will be engaged in conference play, though they won't exactly be squaring off with staunch competition.

    Oregon's quarterback Marcus Mariota will take on a frail Colorado defense in Boulder, while Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater and Clemson's Tajh Boyd will be in similar situations against Temple and Syracuse, respectively.

    Meanwhile, Lache Seastrunk and Baylor will begin Big 12 Conference play against an improved but still suspect West Virginia defense.

    Washington's Bishop Sankey will face the biggest challenge of all the Heisman hopefuls, as the Huskies will take on No. 5 Stanford.

    With Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel out of action this week, which Heisman candidate will come through and steal the spotlight?

    Note: Current Heisman Top 5 based on Bleacher Report's Top 5 Heisman rankings from Barrett Sallee and The Program.

Teddy Bridgewater: QB, Louisville

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    Week 6: at Temple, 12 p.m. EDT on ESPN 3

    After a week off, Louisville and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will be back in action for their first American Athletic Conference contest.

    As UL's AAC run begins, Bridgewater is almost guaranteed to have a big game, as he will be throughout much of their conference slate.

    Temple ranks No. 122 in the nation in total defense and is one of just five teams that has given up more than 500 yards per game on average. 

    The Cardinal signal-caller has probably been drooling while watching the Owls' game film all week. They also rank 123rd nationally against the pass and have allowed 322.5 yards per game through the air.

    The only thing that could work against Bridgewater is if UL scores too much too fast, and he is pulled early.

    Stat projections: 20-of-28, 371 YDS, 4 TD, 0 INT

Bishop Sankey: RB, Washington

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    Week 6: at No. 5 Stanford, 10:30 p.m. EDT, ESPN

    Washington running back Bishop Sankey faces the toughest test of any Heisman Trophy candidate this week.

    Currently the nation's leading rusher, Sankey will be put through the gauntlet against a stingy Stanford defense. 

    While the Stanford defense hasn't been quite as stout as in recent years, the Cardinal still defend the run very well. They currently rank No. 21 against the run, allowing only 105 yards per contest.

    Sankey, on the other hand, has tallied nearly 152 yards per game.

    Something has to give when the Huskies head to Stanford.

    Stat projections: 28 CAR, 123 YDS, 1 TD

Lache Seastrunk: RB, Baylor

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    Week 6: vs. West Virginia, 8 p.m. EDT, Fox Sports 1

    Baylor has been the most explosive offensive team in the country thus far, and Lache Seastrunk has been the biggest benefactor for the Bears.

    In just three games, Seastrunk has reached the end zone six times while running for 417 yards. With just 38 attempts, he has averaged 11 yards per carry, good for No. 3 in the nation.

    He'll be hoping Baylor can continue its incredible offensive clip against West Virginia. 

    The Mountaineers have been much improved on defense from 2012. WVU is No. 35 in the nation in total defense but is just 68th against the run and has allowed 157 rushing yards per contest.

    Look for Seastrunk to have another huge day.

    Stat projections: 16 CAR, 142 YDS, 2 TD | 2 REC, 25 YDS

Tajh Boyd: QB, Clemson

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    Week 6: at Syracuse, 3:30 p.m. EDT, ESPN 2 or ABC

    Like many of his Heisman competitors, Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd is poised for a big weekend against a weak foe.

    Syracuse has given up nearly 230 passing yards per game and ranks at No. 68 nationally against the pass.

    Meanwhile, Boyd has really only played two full games this season and has still amassed 13 total touchdowns. He has been incredibly efficient through the air, completing 64 percent of his passes for 994 yards, nine touchdowns and zero interceptions.

    He also as 158 rushing yards and four scores. He'll add to those totals in a big way this weekend.

    Stat Projections: 22-of-30, 340 YDS, 3 TD | 9 CAR, 43 YDS, 2 TD

Marcus Mariota: QB, Oregon

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    Week 6: at Colorado, 6 p.m. EDT, Pac-12 Network

    While Oregon has annihilated its opponents, Marcus Mariota has arguably been the most impressive player in the nation so far.

    That will continue this weekend when the Ducks head to Boulder to take on Colorado. The Buffaloes are No. 117 in the nation against the pass, though they do rank 10th nationally against the run.

    However, with contests against Colorado State, Central Arkansas and Oregon State, Colorado just hasn't faced a rushing offense anything like that of Oregon.

    Colorado can score relatively well, too, which could play into Mariota's favor if the game is relatively close.

    Regardless of how CU has done against the run, Mariota and the Ducks will find a way to post big numbers.

    Stat projections: 18-of-22, 313 YDS, 4 TD | 7 CAR, 70 YDS, 1 TD