Jeremiah Masoli: Heisman Contender?

Tyler AndreassenCorrespondent IJune 30, 2009

BERKELEY, CA - NOVEMBER 01:  Jeremiah Masoli #2 of the Oregon Ducks celebrates after scoirng a touchdown against the California Golden Bears during an NCAA football game on November 1, 2008 at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

We all know about the Tim Tebows and the Sam Bradfords and even the Colt McCoys. But what about Jeremiah Masoli?

Masoli showed great progression over the last three games of the 2008 season. The last three games Masoli average 276.6 passing yards per game, while holding a completion percentage of about 67 percent. He threw seven TDs over that span versus just one pick. He managed to maintain an astonishing passer rating of 196.26 over those three games.

I know these don't seem like Heisman-like stats, but look at the teams the Ducks played in those three games.



Masoli threw for about 280 yards in just the first half! He also ran for 89 yards and three TDs while throwing for two TDs and completed 80 percent of his passes


Civil War: Oregon State

The best civil war I ever watched! The Ducks manhandled the Beavers crushing their dreams of a Rose Bowl appearance. Masoli, being one of the reasons we ended the Beavers run, threw for 274 yards and three TDs versus no picks, and ran for 53 yards and a TD, but only completed 11-of-17 passes.


Holiday Bowl: Oklahoma State

Statistically for a quarterback, this was not his best out of the three, but stats don't tell everything.

Masoli did the little things in this game to help his team to victory, whether it was giving it up on the read option or simply throwing the ball away on a broken playthe point is he lead his team to victory over a very impressive Big 12 team. (Passing Stats: 18-of-32, 258 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT.)

On the other hand, Masoli provided a great rushing attack in this game, rushing for 106 yards for three TDs and averaging 6.6 YPC, and who can forget him trucking Quinton Moore in the open field for a 41-yard TD?


There was one Heisman winner about three years ago by the name of Troy Smith. Smith had body frame that was quite like Masoli's:

Smith: Ht. 6'0", 225 lbs.

Masoli: Ht 5'11", 214 lbs.

Although Masoli and Smith's styles weren't really identical—Masoli being a power runner and Smith being more of a slasher while Smith was a better drop back passer, but Masoli can throw better on the runMasoli isn't going to get criticized for his size. Smith was the outright choice in 2006 to win the Heisman.

The other reason I compare Masoli to Smith, is if Masoli carries his excellence from those last three games into next year his season will be comparable if not better than what Smith did in 2006.

Granted, Smith had a lot more talent surrounding him than Masoli has now, but Masoli has one thing that Troy Smith didn't have: Chip Kelley.

Just look what Chip did with Dennis Dixon over the course of one year. Dixon was the favorite to win the Heisman until Mike Belloti decided he wanted to run up the score against Arizona State and left Dixon in the game late in the fourth when we already had the game won, and got his star player hurt. Then he totally tears his ACL against Arizona then our season is over, but lets try to stay on point where talking about Masoli.

Kelley has already developed Masoli into a great runner, we know that, and his passing skills really showed at the end of the season. So if Kelley can keep developing Masoli and make him better and better by his senior year, if not this year, Masoli can truly be a contender for the Heisman Memorial Trophy.

I'm not saying that Masoli will ever win the Heisman, but something tells me he will do great things for Oregon footballI am so stoked for the next two years!

Go Ducks!!