Many players are still looking to find their rhythm in the second week of the college football season, but some are already in midseason form. Week 1 was a great introduction to what some of these stars could do, but Week 2 is where they showed what they could do consistently.
While one candidate from last week’s watchlist had a down game, others continued their hot starts to the season. And yet another player emerged from the crowded field with an unreal performance under the prime-time lights with most of the nation’s eyes on him.
Here are the players who helped their Heisman cases the most this past week.
Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin
One may be the loneliest number, but it isn’t so bad when you’re the only running back on this Heisman watchlist. Clemson’s Travis Etienne couldn’t sustain his Week 1 production when he played against Texas A&M this past weekend, while the Badgers’ Jonathan Taylor had no trouble dominating Central Michigan to the tune of 102 yards on 19 rushing attempts and three touchdowns.
He also continued to be a threat in the passing game where he caught three balls for 17 yards and a score. In two games this season, Taylor has already notched eight touchdowns — half of his production in that category from last year.
The junior running back continues to be a workhorse from first through third down. That kind of volume will put him in a great position to build his Heisman résumé.
Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
It was another average day of excellence for the Crimson Tide’s star quarterback, who had no trouble carving up New Mexico State like a chainsaw crafting an ice sculpture. Tagovailoa ended his day halfway through the third quarter but not before he threw for 227 yards and three touchdowns.
While the Hawaiian native is known for his sweet passing touch, many forget he has some wheels too. Tagovailoa showed that with a 25-yard scamper for a score.
Few opponents will be as easy as the Aggies were on Saturday, but the junior quarterback has a great chance be one of the last men standing with games like this.
Justin Fields, Ohio State
With every passing week, Fields’ decision to go to Columbus looks better and better. It took a quarter for them to get going, but the Buckeyes shut out the Cincinnati Wildcats with the help of their transfer quarterback.
Fields had no trouble finding the open man, completing 20 of his 25 passing attempts. He ended the game with 224 yards through the air and 42 yards on the ground, adding four total scores to continue his fast start with Ohio State.
The former Georgia quarterback is moving forward, and the outlook is bright.
Joe Burrow, LSU
Under the hot air of Austin and with all eyes on him, Joe Burrow came up huge for LSU in the biggest game of Week 2. A lot of quarterbacks may fold under the spotlight of a prime-time game, but the sophomore signal-caller thrived.
With his family at Texas Memorial Stadium, Burrow lit up the Austin sky with one of the best performances of the week, completing 31 of his 39 pass attempts for 471 yards. The loud Longhorn crowd bore down on him for 48 minutes, but he led the Tigers with four touchdown passes, giving Texas fans the pageant wave as he left the state with a big win to start the season.
It’s been a while since LSU had an offense to brag about, but Burrow may be the man to get the people talking again.
Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma
The South Dakota Coyotes may not strike fear in a lot of Division I teams, but Jalen Hurts definitely should. The Sooners made quick work of the Coyotes, and Hurts ended their misery quickly.
Hurts played less than three quarters, but he still had 259 passing yards while completing 14 of his 18 passing attempts. He threw for three scores and added 47 rushing yards. He continues to be accurate at every level, and that’s a bad thing for any opponent in front of the Sooners.
Oklahoma has UCLA before starting its Big 12 schedule, and Hurts looks like he can roll through anyone who comes through Norman.
By: Daniel Tran