2019 Heisman Watch: Burrow’s Race to Lose

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After weeks of trying to decipher the 2019 Heisman race, we finally have a front-runner: Joe Burrow. From the beginning of the season this seemed like a different LSU team, but of course, people were skeptical. Beating Texas in Austin didn’t matter, beating Florida and Auburn in a span of three weeks didn’t matter, but beating Alabama in Tuscaloosa? Now that definitely caught everyone’s attention! 

During the beginning of the season it was the runningbacks like Jonathan Taylor and Chuba Hubbard stealing the show. Then towards the middle of the season it became the Chase Young show. Now, 11 weeks into the season, it is finally the Joe Burrow show!

Outside of Burrow, I came to the conclusion that there are 3 others who have a chance at winning this award. They all need something drastic to happen, but they do still have a chance nonetheless.

1. Joe Burrow

joe burrow lsu 2
  • 236/299 Passing (79%)
  • 3,198 Passing Yards
  • 33 Passing Touchdowns
  • 4 Interceptions
  • 189 Rushing Yards
  • 3 Rushing Touchdowns

Burrow just put on one of the best college quarterback performances you will ever see this past Saturday. He went into Tuscaloosa against the most elite NCAA Football program in the nation and went crazy. He threw for 393 yards, three touchdowns, and ran for another 64 yards in an enormous win over arch-rival Alabama. The thing is, Burrow has been doing this all season. 

He is on pace to break almost every SEC single season passing record and he has already broken pretty much all of the LSU single season passing records. What Joe is doing is not just about this year. He is changing the culture at a school that has struggled to recruit and produce QBs. He is changing the direction of the entire program!

Heisman Moments

Now, if you want to talk about “Heisman Moments” then there is plenty to talk about after this week’s game. How about the numerous third down runs where he lowers his shoulder for extra yardage rather than sliding. What about the two drives he put together after Alabama made it a one possession game. How about getting carried off the field after the biggest win for LSU in 15 years? Those are the “Heisman Moments” people look for, and Joe Burrow had no shortage of them this week. 

At this point, this is his trophy to lose! He has at least three games left (at Ole Miss, versus Arkansas, and versus Texas A&M) and assuming they win all three of those, they will play Georgia in the SEC Championship game. Playing against Georgia in Atlanta is exactly where Tua lost the Heisman last year. Barring a collapse like Tua’s, Burrow will win this award regardless of what the three guys behind him do. 

2. Jalen Hurts

usp ncaa football texas tech at oklahoma e1569695920363
  • 151/206 Passing (73%)
  • 2,742 Passing Yards
  • 24 Passing Touchdowns
  • 4 Interceptions
  • 869 Rush Yards
  • 15 Rushing Touchdowns

Jalen, in his first year at OU, has been absolutely incredible this year. He lights up the box score every single week, but that loss to Kansas State really hurts. After transferring from Alabama with a 26-2 record as a starter, we didn’t know exactly what we would see from Hurts this year. Well, he has not disappointed!

Hurts came into OU and never skipped a beat. He went into the Red River Rivalry like this was his fourth one and he dominated Texas. If not for that one misstep against Kansas State, OU may be looking at their third straight Heisman winner. As it is, they lost to Kansas State pretty badly until some comeback touchdowns made the score look closer than the game actually was.

Now that the reasoning for him being first is out of the way, now might be a good time to tell you that he is really the only other guy with a shot at this thing! If Jalen keeps playing like he has been all season long (minus the Kansas State game), and Joe Burrow does collapse in the SEC Championship, Jalen will probably become your new Heisman Trophy favorite. Kyler snuck up and stole it from Tua last year, and Hurts has the best chance to do it this year.

The only thing in his control though, is continuing to play incredible football and getting OU in a position to make the playoff. Doing this is the only chance he has at stealing this trophy.

3. Justin Fields

justin fields ohio state
  • 144/211 Passing (68%)
  • 1,859 Passing Yards
  • 27 Touchdowns
  • 1 Interception
  • 347 Rush Yards
  • 10 Rushing Touchdowns

Fields has been ridiculous this year, and as much as nobody down in Athens wants to admit it, they screwed up. They chose Fromm over Fields, and now Fields is coming to haunt them and the rest of the SEC. The only issue is Fields does not have near the yardage that the other guys have. What I see when I look at Justin Fields though is a guy who will absolutely not lose a game for his team. Not only will he not make the mistakes to lose the game for you, but more than likely he will make the play with his arm or legs to win the game for you. He is just a baller and there is no other way to put it. 

Ohio State’s two closest games this season were 24 point blowouts of Florida Atlantic and Michigan State. That’s it! They have not been tested in the least bit, and most of the time Fields is not finishing these games. Believe this though: Fields still has a chance to win the Heisman. 

First, he needs to keep playing incredible football and then he needs to make sure OSU beats Penn State and Michigan. Once that is done, he needs some serious help. He needs both of the guys ahead him to collapse in big games. If Jalen falters during the Baylor game and if Burrow falters during the SEC Championship game, Fields is right back in the mix!

4. Tua Tagovailoa

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  • 166/234 Passing (71%)
  • 2,584 Passing Yards
  • 31 Touchdowns
  • 3 Interceptions
  • 2 Rush Touchdowns

Tua has been exactly what we thought he would be this year. The only problem is that there are three quarterbacks who have been better so far this season. He was bad in the first half against LSU and that really hurt him. That is why nobody is talking about his ridiculous 400 yard performance. He was part of the reason they were down by 20 at halftime. Games like this lose Heisman trophies and Tua should know that after last year. 

He is as long of a longshot as there is, but he too still has a chance to win this. He needs a huge collapse from Burrow and Hurts though. Burrow and the Tigers need to get upset before the SEC Championship for Tua to have any chance at all. Hurts and the Sooners will need to lose as well before the Big 12 Championship game. 

Like I said, it’s a longshot, but we know what Tua is capabale of, and he has a couple of chances left at that “Heisman Moment”. 

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