Heisman watch: Mac Jones falls behind Kyle Trask, still among favorites
Kyle Trask continued to roll as other Heisman Trophy contenders faltered over the weekend. According to the FanDuel Sportsbook, the Florida quarterback is the odds-on favorite to win the award at 5/7 followed by Alabama quarterback Mac Jones (3/1), Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields (4/1) and Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16/1)
Here’s a look at where the top contenders stand heading into Week 13 of the season.
Florida quarterback Kyle Trask
Last week: Trask completed 26 of 35 (74.3 percent) passes for 383 yards and three touchdowns without an interception during Florida’s 38-17 victory over Vanderbilt.
Season stats: Through seven games, Trask leads the nation with 31 passing touchdowns while throwing three interceptions. He ranks second averaging 364.9 yards and is tied for sixth with a 70.7 completion percentage. His 197.09 passer efficiency rating ranks fifth among college quarterbacks.
Outlook: It’s hard to argue against Trask’s consistency. The Florida quarterback has thrown for three or more touchdowns in each of his seven games and leads the nation with 31 scores through the air — 13 more than Jones, who has the second-highest passing touchdown total among Heisman frontrunners.
This week, Trask and Florida will face a Kentucky pass defense that frustrated Jones at times over the weekend. However, even if Trask stumbles, he’ll have two more games against struggling secondaries in Tennessee and LSU to pad his stats.
Trask’s biggest obstacle should come in a potential matchup against Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. He’ll likely need to lead Florida to a win over the Tide as two losses, including one to a Heisman challenger, would be tough for voters to ignore.
Alabama quarterback Mac Jones
Last week: Jones completed 16 of 24 (66.7 percent) passes for 230 yards and two touchdowns with an interception during Alabama’s 66-3 victory over Kentucky. His 166.3 passer efficiency rating was his lowest of the season.
Season stats: Through seven games, Jones ranks second in the nation with a 77.1 completion percentage. He also ranks second averaging 12.1 yards per attempt while his 205.06 passer efficiency rating ranks third. Jones ranks fourth averaging 346.6 passing yards per game and has 18 touchdowns to three interceptions.
Outlook: Jones’ Heisman resume took a brief hit over the weekend, but things could have been worse. The Alabama quarterback posted his lowest passer efficiency rating of the season and threw a careless interception while nearly getting picked off on a couple of ill-advised throws early against Kentucky. However, the sub-standard performance can partially be written off due to rust and will likely be forgotten in Alabama’s 66-3 blowout of the Wildcats.
Jones has a potential Heisman moment brewing this week as he looks for redemption against an Auburn defense that tallied two pick-sixes against him during last year’s Iron Bowl. Despite his two blunders, the Alabama quarterback torched the Tigers for 335 yards and four touchdowns during last season’s defeat. He could put up similarly big numbers this year against a secondary that ranks No. 64 in the nation, allowing 237 yards per game through the air.
Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields
Last week: Fields completed 18 of 30 (60 percent) passes for 300 yards and two touchdowns with three interceptions during Ohio State’s 42-35 victory over Indiana. He also added 78 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.
Season stats: Through four games, Fields leads the nation with a 79.6 completion percentage. His 202.10 passer efficiency rating ranks fourth while he ranks sixth averaging 10.7 yards per attempt and 15th averaging 302 passing yards per game. Fields has 13 touchdowns passes compared to three interceptions. He has also added 135 yards and three scores on the ground.
Outlook: Despite accounting for 378 total yards and three touchdowns against Indiana, Fields’ Heisman momentum came to a crashing halt over the weekend. Playing in his first real test of the season, his three interceptions and 60 percent completion rate against Indiana puts his previously hot start into question.
Fields was already at a disadvantage given the Big Ten’s shorter schedule. With three regular-season games against non-ranked opponents remaining, he’ll need to get back to posting eye-popping numbers to make up for last week’s setback.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence
Last week: Lawrence was once again kept on the sidelines as Clemson’s game against Florida State was postponed due to COVID-19. The Tigers quarterback hasn’t played in a game since Oct. 24 against Syracuse.
Season stats: Through six games, Lawrence is tied for sixth in the nation with a 70.7 completion percentage. He has thrown for 1,833 yards and 17 touchdowns with two interceptions and has a 178.57 passer efficiency rating. He has also rushed for 71 yards and four touchdowns.
Outlook: At this point, you have to feel for Lawrence. When Clemson hosts Pittsburgh on Saturday (knock on wood), it will have been 35 days since the quarterback has stepped onto the field for the Tigers.
Two missed games, an open week and a postponement later, Lawrence is looking to finally get back in action against a Panthers team that has won its last two games after dropping four straight.
The way this season has gone, a Heisman Trophy doesn’t seem to be in the cards for the Clemson quarterback. However, his numbers from earlier in the year are strong, and he certainly has the talent to get back into the race. That is if he ever gets back on the field.
BYU quarterback Zach Wilson
Last week: Wilson completed 10 of 16 (62.5 percent) passes for 212 yards and four touchdowns without an interception against North Alabama. He also added a 33-yard rush.
Season stats: Through nine games, Wilson leads the nation with 34 total touchdowns. He’s tied for second with 26 passing touchdowns and has thrown just two interceptions. He also ranks second with a 205.32 passer efficiency rating and is third in yards per passing attempt (11.5) and fourth in completion percentage (74.3 percent). He ranks 14th averaging 302.7 yards per game through the air. On top of his passing, Wilson has added 191 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground.
Outlook: As long as Wilson leads the nation in touchdowns and BYU is undefeated, he has a place on this list. However, his Heisman run appears to be coming to a close.
Wilson failed to light up a winless North Alabama team over the weekend and has just one game remaining against San Diego State on Dec. 12. BYU is an independent meaning it won’t get a conference championship game to add to its schedule. At this point, Wilson would need complete chaos and possibly a berth in the College Football Playoff to even have a chance at winning the award.