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The Countdown

A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.

The 2010 Heisman

P.S.R. 2010 Heisman Watch: Week 2

After one week of play, Kellen Moore continues to top the Pre-Snap Read Heisman list.

With one week in the books, the Heisman race is only just beginning to round into shape. We know a few things after the first weekend, however. Kellen Moore is the early favorite, thanks to his performance in Boise State’s 33-30 win over Virginia Tech. Terrelle Pryor was impressive in Ohio State’s win over Marshall, though the competition was far weaker than what Moore faced on Monday night. Mark Ingram’s chances for a repeat continue to plummet with each game he misses due to injury, while Navy’s Ricky Dobbs is hurt by his team’s defeat and his own battle with turnovers. Likewise with Oregon State’s Jacquizz Rodgers, who was largely held under wraps in his team’s loss to T.C.U.

1. QB Kellen Moore, Boise State (Last week: No. 1)

Week 1 W 33-30 vs. Virginia Tech (23-38 for 215 yards, 3 TD, o INT)
Year to date 23-38 for 215 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT

It was the type of performance we wanted to see from Moore: consistent, careful with the football, with a deciding drive that Heisman voters love. Moore really couldn’t have done any better, to be honest. No team the rest of the way will test the junior quite like Virginia Tech, though Oregon State certainly gave T.C.U. a handful on Saturday night. After a bye this coming Saturday, Moore gets back to work on Sept. 18 at Wyoming. I don’t expect the Broncos to be looking ahead to Oregon State on the following Saturday.

Week 2 bye

2. QB Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State (Last week: No. 2)

Week 1 W 45-7 vs. Marshall (17 of 25 for 247 yards, 3 TD, o INT; 5 carries for 32 yards)
Year to date 17 of 25 for 247 yards, 3 TD, o INT; 5 carries for 32 yards

Both Pryor and Ohio State took care of business, dispatching a lesser opponent in convincing fashion in the season opener. Pryor continued to flash the passing acumen that defined his performance in last season’s Rose Bowl, completing 17 of his 25 attempts for 247 yards and 3 touchdowns. He didn’t do as much with his legs, though there’s nothing wrong with 32 yards on the ground, especially when he had such success through the air. He’ll have a big stage on Saturday, when Jacory Harris — another Heisman favorite — and the Hurricanes come to Columbus.

Week 2 vs. Miami (Fla.), Saturday

3. RB John Clay, Wisconsin (Last week: No. 5)

Week 1 W 41-21 at U.N.L.V. (17 carries for 123 yards, 2 TD)
Year to date 17 carries for 123 yards, 2 TD

Wisconsin didn’t need the big back to do much in Saturday’s win over U.N.L.V., but Clay delivered in his minimal action. He showed the type of size and agility we’ve grown accustomed to seeing over his first two seasons, scoring once from in close and again from 16 yards out. His numbers will only grow more impressive as the year goes on, but look for a similar performance against San Jose State on Saturday: between 15-20 carries, between 100-130 yards rushing and a touchdown or two.

Week 2 vs. San Jose State, Saturday

4. QB Jacory Harris, Miami (Fla.) (Last week: No. 7)

Week 1 W 45-0 vs. Florida A&M (12 of 15 for 210 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT)
Year to date 12 of 15 for 210 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT

Harris did his work early, throwing each of his three touchdown passes in the first 19 minutes of Miami’s lopsided win over undermanned Florida A&M. This is what we expected from Harris against such a lackluster opponent. Like Pryor, Harris’ case will grow far stronger or lose steam in Saturday’s game against Ohio State. Put forth a strong showing in a win, and Harris will vault into the top two on this list. Lose but play well, and Harris might drop a spot or two, but that’s all. Lose in ugly fashion, and the junior will take quite a slide. The same can be said of his team.

Week 2 at Ohio State, Saturday

5. QB Case Keenum, Houston (Last week: No. 6)

Week 1 W 68-28 vs. Texas State (17 of 22 for 274 yards, 5 TD, 2 INT)
Year to date 17 of 22 for 274 yards, 5 TD, 2 INT

A typical performance for Keenum: lofty numbers, though those two picks were disappointing. The offense continued to roll, in Keenum’s favor, and Texas State is a bit more feisty than your typical F.C.S. opponent. Keenum did not take a snap in the second half; when he departed at halftime, the Cougars held a 54-7 edge. Pretty much par for the course. Up next is a rematch with UTEP, which shocked Houston in a high-scoring affair a year ago. Look for Keenum and the U.H. offense to keep its foot on the gas — the result, of course, is a big day for the senior quarterback.

Week 2 vs. UTEP, Friday

6. RB DeMarco Murray, Oklahoma (Last week: No. 9)

Week 1 W 31-24 vs. Utah State (35 carries for 218 yards, 2 TD)
Year to date 35 carries for 218 yards, 2 TD

Murray looked great, even if Oklahoma did not. Landry Jones was horrible, completing only 17 of his 36 attempts, leaving Murray as the standard bearer for this typically powerful offense. He came to play, delivering the finest rushing performance of his career. I wonder if Murray, who has had some injury issues, can keep up this pace if Jones and the passing game continues to stumble; he can’t handle 35 carries a game, but I think Murray can handle a 25-touch workload. He was the biggest mover in this list, moving up from No. 9 to No. 6. Another big day might be in store on Saturday, when O.U. takes on Florida State’s young front seven. This is a marquee game for Murray.

Week 2 vs. Florida State, Saturday

7. RB Mark Ingram, Alabama (Last week: No. 3)

Week 1 W 48-3 vs. San Jose State (Out due to injury)
Year to date –

Ingram deserves to remain on this list, ahead of those who played this past weekend. He’s the reigning Heisman winner, after all, and should return to his former self once injury-free. The big question: when will he be back on the field? His availability for this weekend is in doubt, with word likely not coming until Friday, if not the day of the game. Ingram will continue to slide down this list as he remains off the field, though he could make a splash if he returns to action in a high-profile game against Penn State on Saturday.

Week 2 vs. Penn State, Saturday

8. QB Ryan Mallett, Arkansas (Last week: –)

Week 1 W 44-3 vs. Tennessee Tech (21 of 24 for 310 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT)
Year to date 21 of 24 for 310 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT

Like Keenum, Mallett put forth impressive numbers in limited action against a second-class opponent. Mallett did play a bit more, to be fair, throwing a pair of touchdown passes in the third quarter before giving way to his backup in the final frame. In all honesty, I’m wondering why I have Keenum ahead of Mallett when both are making noise based on their lofty statistics; Mallett will eventually do it against better competition, though Keenum and the Cougars will face three B.C.S. conference opponents before the end of the regular season. As long as Mallett continues to produce — and does so in SEC play — he’ll begin to climb up this list. For now, Keenum holds the edge.

Week 2 vs. Louisiana-Monroe (in Little Rock, Ark.), Saturday

9. QB Matt Barkley, U.S.C. (Last week: –)

Week 1 W 49-36 at Hawaii (18 of 23 for 257 yards, 5 TD, 0 INT)
Year to date 18 of 23 for 257 yards, 5 TD, 0 INT

As a whole, U.S.C. did not impress against Hawaii on Friday night. The defense was terrible. The lack of depth, due to some attrition, was already evident. Lane Kiffin’s decision to attempt not one, not two — I actually lost count — two-point conversions was puzzling, though we can’t hold that against Barkley. We can’t hold U.S.C.’s defensive performance against Barkley either, of course. The sophomore was right on point in the season opener, tying a U.S.C. record with his five touchdown passes. That surely counts for something, even if Hawaii was even more horrific defensively than the Trojans. Barkley has a hill to climb to break into the Heisman mix, in my opinion, as I believe people will hold U.S.C.’s probation against the sophomore. If he keeps playing like he did last Friday, he’ll be impossible to ignore.

Week 2 vs. Virginia, Saturday

10. QB Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech (Last week: –)

Week 1 L 33-30 vs. Boise State (15 of 22 for 186 yards, 2 TD, o INT; 16 carries for 73 yards)
Year to date 15 of 22 for 186 yards, 2 TD, o INT; 16 carries for 73 yards

Even in defeat, Taylor impressed. He was terrific against Boise State, putting together the type of dual-threat performance we knew he was capable of in his senior season: more than 250 yards of total offense, when all was said and done. His rushing total is negatively impacted by a few Boise State sacks, as well as the slight yardage he gained while escaping pressure. He had a terrific game, and should have plenty of confidence as Virginia Tech takes on James Madison on Saturday and prepares for A.C.C. play.

Week 2 vs. James Madison, Saturday

Dropped out

RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon State (Last week: No. 4)
QB Ricky Dobbs, Navy (Last week: No. 10)

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  1. Burnt Orange says:

    Keep an eye on Kendall Hunter at Okie State. He is healthy and was borderline spectacular against an admittedly bad Washington State defense. I am calling it now – he is in New York for the ceremony in December.

  2. Zaboo says:

    Give me 12 games at RB against Wazzou and I’ll be in New York.

    I think Montana State keeps it relatively close this weekend. Decent FCS team, historically futile BCS team.

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