It was an incredible day of college football on Saturday, filled with top tier performances, and plenty of great back and forth football games. Now it’s time to revisit the action we have seen so far through the majority of Week 1, and rank the top candidates for the way too early PSF Heisman Watch Rankings list. Players made early Heisman statements and some made bad first impressions but ultimately it doesn’t really matter what you do in the first week rather the performances from there on out. Did Sam Darnold live up to his preseason Heisman favorite billing? What could Lamar Jackson do to start his campaign to win back to back Heisman Trophies? Did any surprise player enter themselves into the way too early race to the Heisman? These questions are answered now.
T1. QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma, Sr.
Baker Mayfield looked flawless on the field for Sooner Nation but you should take it with a grain of salt as they took on UTEP. Mayfield only played one half as Oklahoma crushed UTEP 56-7 but he was really good in this half as he finished going 19 of 20, for 329 passing yards, and 3 touchdowns. With that said, Mayfield has a huge opportunity to take a first step leap above the rest in the Heisman race next week as he leads Oklahoma into Columbus for a top ten showdown against the 2nd ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. The world is watching, Baker.
T1. QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville, Jr.
The defending Heisman Trophy winner had been slept on throughout the offseason and wasn’t expected to be a favorite for the award. It all changed last night after watching him torch a solid power five defense in the Purdue Boilermakers. He passed for 378 yards and 2 touchdowns, while running the ball for 107 more yards. The rest of the game wasn’t pretty but Louisville won 35-28, and Lamar Jackson made a statement to the rest of the field early in the season.
T1. RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State, Jr.
Barkley looked much the part of the freaky natured running back that is likely a future star in the NFL. Again, I suggest that you take it with a grain of salt as Penn State only played Akron but I give props to people when they are due. Barkley only took 14 carries in the Nittany Lions 52-0 rout, but he totaled an astonishing 172 yards on them as well as recording two touchdowns. Barkley will face better competition next week in an instate matchup against a hungry Pittsburgh squad out of the ACC, and Penn State lost to Pitt last season as well. Barkley will be out for revenge next week.
4. QB Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State, Sr.
Mason Rudolph is a special quarterback. He would be ranked higher if he had played against better competition in week 1 but his Cowboys took on a bad Tulsa squad to open up their season. Rudolph was phenomenal though and he is right in the thick of the early Heisman race. He finished going 20 of 24, for 303 yards, and three passing scores along with a rushing touchdown. The Cowboys and Rudolph may be in for a trap game next week as they head on the road to take on South Alabama. But who knows?
5. RB Derrius Guice, LSU, Jr.
Guice didn’t rack up the crazy yardage that some would’ve expected but he still had a ridiculously good running performance against BYU, who is probably the second best team any player on the list this week has faced after Purdue. LSU destroyed BYU however and Guice ran all over the field for a total of 120 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. Guice looks phenomenal and will be a grind it down the field type of runner for the Tigers this season.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed! Hit me up on Twitter @TristanBeckmann and give me your thoughts on these performances last night! Do you think another player outshined one of the guys on this list? Let me know! Peace!