Heis­man Watch: Can Four­nette en­ter race?

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

Leonard Four­nette is poised to make some noise in the Heis­man Tro­phy race. The LSU run­ning back is com­ing off one of the most im­pres­sive in­di­vid­ual per­for­mances of the sea­son.

Even af­ter miss­ing four games with in­juries, Leonard Four­nette is poised to make some noise in the Heis­man Tro­phy race.

The LSU run­ning back is com­ing off one of the most im­pres­sive in­di­vid­ual per­for­mances of the sea­son, run­ning for 284 yards and three touch­downs on 16 car­ries in a rout of Mis­sis­sippi.

The No. 19 Tigers are off this week and pre­par­ing for No. 1 Alabama on Nov. 5.

When Four­nette plays, he is as good as ad­ver­tised. The ju­nior has reached 100 yards in each of the four games he has been able to get on the field, av­er­ag­ing 8.1 per carry and scor­ing five touch­downs.

Four­nette was one of the head­lin­ers in a star-stud­ded Heis­man field en­ter­ing the sea­son. They have all been over­taken by Louisville quar­ter­back La­mar Jack­son.

Clem­son’s De­shaun Wat­son is still draw­ing con­sid­er­able Heis­man at­ten­tion, but other big names have fallen off.

Last sea­son’s Heis­man run­ner-up, Chris­tian McCaf­frey of Stan­ford, has missed games with in­juries and been un­able to cut loose in the Car­di­nal’s strug­gle of­fense. Hous­ton quar­ter­back Greg Ward has slipped out of the race with the Cougars los­ing two of three.

Florida State’s Dalvin Cook is in po­si­tion to make a late push. Ohio State’s J.T. Bar­rett can likely do the same.

How about Four­nette? With high-pro­file games left against Alabama, No. 14 Florida and No. 9 Texas A&M and the pos­si­bil­ity of lead­ing his team to the SEC cham­pi­onship game, don’t rule out Four­nette re­ceiv­ing an in­vite to New York city for the Heis­man pre­sen­ta­tion on Dec. 10.

Here’s how AP col­lege foot­ball writ­ers rank the Heis­man con­tenders go­ing into Week 9:

1. LA­MAR JACK­SON, QB, LOUISVILLE (21 POINTS)

Last week: Jack­son went off on North Carolina State for 431 yards, with three TD passes and a touch­down run.

This week: at Vir­ginia. The Cava­liers are third from the bot­tom in the ACC in de­fense (6.17 yards per play al­lowed). Ex­pect an­other big game for Jack­son.

2 (TIE). JAKE BROWNING, QB, WASH­ING­TON (10 POINTS)

Last week: The sopho­more threw three touch­down passes and ran for a score in a rout of Ore­gon State. He only com­pleted 50 per­cent of his throws, which dropped his passer rat­ing to sec­ond in the coun­try (199.62), but still on pace to set a sin­gle­sea­son record. This week: at No. 17 Utah. The Utes are in the mid­dle of the Pac-12 pack de­fen­sively in yards per play (5.76, sev­enth in the con­fer­ence), but they lead league with 14 in­ter­cep­tions and are fourth in sacks with 22.

2 (TIE). DE­SHAUN WAT­SON, QB, CLEM­SON (10 POINTS)

Last week: Off. This week: at No. 12 Florida State. The Semi­noles de­fense has strug­gled might­ily when fac­ing big-time of­fenses, in­clud­ing Louisville and Jack­son. This is a chance for Wat­son to make up some ground on Jack­son, but the Car­di­nals’ quar­ter­back has al­ready set a high bar against Florida State.

4. DONNEL PUMPHREY, RB, SAN DIEGO STATE (1 POINT)

Last week: The se­nior had a pedes­trian, for him, 135 yards rush­ing and two touch­downs in a vic­tory against San Jose State, but is still lead­ing the coun­try in rush­ing by 34 yards per game. This week: at Utah State. The Ag­gies are 3-4, but have one of the bet­ter de­fenses in the Moun­tain West.

ELISE AMENDOLA — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS FILE

In this Oct. 7 photo, Clem­son quar­ter­back De­shaun Wat­son (4) dashes around Bos­ton Col­lege de­fen­sive back Isaac Yi­adom (20) and line­backer Ty Sch­wab (10) dur­ing the first half of an NCAA col­lege foot­ball game, in Bos­ton. Wat­son is still draw­ing con­sid­er­able Heis­man at­ten­tion.

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