Heis­man Watch: Jack­son leads

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Ralph D. Russo

There is only one ques­tion when it comes to the Heis­man Tro­phy: Can any­body catch Louisville quar­ter­back La­mar Jack­son in the race to col­lege foot­ball’s most pres­ti­gious player of the year award?

Af­ter one month there is only one ques­tion when it comes to the Heis­man Tro­phy: Can any­body catch Louisville quar­ter­back La­mar Jack­son in the race to col­lege foot­ball’s most pres­ti­gious player of the year award?

With enough games in the books and a clear pic­ture of the field emerg­ing, the AP be­gins its Heis­man Watch with Jack­son hold­ing a com­mand­ing lead.

The AP polled seven of its sports writ­ers who reg­u­larly cover col­lege foot­ball. None are of­fi­cial Heis­man vot­ers be­cause AP pro­hibits its re­porters from vot­ing for awards.

Each sub­mit­ted a top three and points were handed out in the same man­ner that they are for the ac­tual Heis­man vote. Three for a first-place, two for sec­ond, one for third.

The Heis­man Tro­phy will be awarded Dec. 10. Here are AP’s pro­jec­tions go­ing into Week 6:

4. J.T. BAR­RETT, QB, OHIO STATE (4)

So far: The sopho­more is the only player in the coun­try who ranks in the top 20 in both yards rush­ing (137 per game) and pass­ing (325). He leads the na­tion in touch­downs scored with 14 and has ac­counted for 28 TDs run­ning and pass­ing.

Next: Jack­son has this week off be­fore head­ing into a five-week stretch of sched­ule that looks fa­vor­able to say the least — Duke, North Carolina State, at Vir­ginia, at Bos­ton Col­lege and Wake For­est. Good luck catch­ing Jack­son.

So far: The pre­sea­son fa­vorite got off to a bit off a slow start, but in games at Auburn and against Louisville he showed off that clutch­ness that Heis­man vot­ers like. The num­bers def­i­nitely have some room to grow. He ranks 61st in the coun­try in passer ef­fi­ciency rat­ing (138.99), with 14 touch­down passes and seven in­ter­cep­tions. He has only run for 211 yards, with no touch­downs.

Next: at Bos­ton Col­lege, Fri­day night.

So far: The se­nior has done more da­m­age as a passer this sea­son, throw­ing for 331 yards per game and com­plet­ing 70.7 per­cent of his throws. When the Cougars have needed him to make big plays with his legs he has come through with five touch­downs.

Next: at Navy.

So far: The Buck­eyes’ ju­nior has only faced one big op­po­nent, but played great at Ok­la­homa. He is fifth in the na­tion in passer rat­ing (183.13) and has ac­counted for 17 touch­downs.

Next: In­di­ana.

1. LA­MAR JACK­SON, QB, LOUISVILLE (21 POINTS) 2. DE­SHAUN WAT­SON, QB, CLEM­SON (7) 3. GREG WARD JR., QB, HOUS­TON (6) 5. CHRIS­TIAN MCCAF­FREY, RB, STAN­FORD (2)

So far: The ju­nior was rolling along un­til the Car­di­nal were man­han­dled last week by Wash­ing­ton and he was held to 49 yards rush­ing, plus 30 re­ceiv­ing. He ranks 13th in the na­tion in rush­ing at 121.25 yards per game, but he’s No. 1 in all-pur­pose yards at 214.5. Last year’s run­ner-up needs to pick up the pace to get back to New York.

Next: vs. Wash­ing­ton State

Oth­ers re­ceiv­ing votes: Pa­trick Ma­homes, QB, Texas Tech (1); Mitch Tru­bisky, QB North Carolina (1).

AP Heis­man watch panel: Na­tional Writer Paul New­berry, Ge­or­gia; Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins, Texas; Sports Writer John Mar­shall, Ari­zona; Sports Writer Joedy McCreary, North Carolina; Sports Writer Eric Ol­son, Ne­braska; Sports Writer Steve Megargee, Ten­nessee; Col­lege Foot­ball Writer Ralph D. Russo, New York.

RAINIER EHRHARDT — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Louisville quar­ter­back La­mar Jack­son (8) stiff-arms Clem­son safety Van Smith (23) as he goes out of bounds dur­ing the sec­ond half of an NCAA col­lege foot­ball game on Satur­day in Clem­son, S.C. Clem­son won 42-36.

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