Louisville quar­ter­back front-run­ner for Heis­man

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

Even if Louisville quar­ter­back La­mar Jack­son wins the Heis­man in a land­slide vote, there may still be a slew of fi­nal­ists at the award pre­sen­ta­tion on Dec. 10. There are al­ways at least three fi­nal­ists for the tro­phy.

Even if Louisville quar­ter­back La­mar Jack­son wins the Heis­man Tro­phy in a land­slide vote, there may still be a slew of fi­nal­ists at the award pre­sen­ta­tion in New York on Dec. 10.

There are al­ways at least three fi­nal­ists for the tro­phy. Whether there are more is de­ter­mined by point to­tals and the gap be­tween vote-get­ters.

Jack­son is on his way to a Heis­man run­away. On­line casino Bo­vada listed him at 1-to-20 to win the award. Next up were Michi­gan linebacker Jabrill Pep­pers and Clem­son quar­ter­back De­shaun Wat­son at 12to-1.

While only a melt­down from the spec­tac­u­lar sopho­more over his last three games could bring Jack­son back to the pack, there is po­ten­tial for move­ment be­hind him and for the sec­on­dand third-place votes to be spread among a hand­ful of con­tenders.

The AP’s Heis­man panel is still mostly fo­cused on two other quar­ter­backs be­hind Jack­son: Wash­ing­ton’s Jake Brown­ing and Wat­son. Texas run­ning back D’Onta Fore­man is surg­ing and the lat­est dom­i­nant per­for­mance by the Alabama de­fense helped Jonathan Allen’s case.

La­mar Jack­son, QB, Louisville (21 points)

Num­ber of note: Jack­son has 26 touch­down passes and 19 touch­downs scored, leav­ing him one short of be­com­ing the sev­enth mem­ber of the FBS 20-20 club. Of the pre­vi­ous six play­ers to have 20 TD passes and 20 touch­downs scored in the same sea­son, three won the Heis­man (Tim Te­bow, 2007; Cam New­ton, 2010; Johnny Manziel, 2012).

Next: Wake For­est. The De­mon Dea­cons have been OK de­fen­sively, rank­ing sixth in the ACC in yards per play (5.27).

JAKE BROWN­ING, QB, WASH­ING­TON (10 POINTS)

Num­ber of note: Among quar­ter­backs with at least 200 pass­ing at­tempts, none has thrown a higher per­cent­age for touch­downs than Brown­ing at 15.5.

Next: USC. The Tro­jans have the fifth-best pass de­fense in the Pac-12, al­low­ing 6.6 yards per at­tempt.

DE­SHAUN WAT­SON, QB, CLEM­SON (8 POINTS)

Num­ber of note: In the last five games, Wat­son is 114 of 167 (68.3 per­cent) for 1,501 yards and 15 touch­downs.

Next: Pitts­burgh. The Pan­thers have the worst pass de­fense in the ACC, al­low­ing 8.5 yards per pass.

JONATHAN ALLEN, DE, ALABAMA (2 POINTS)

Num­ber of note: Allen has scored two of Alabama’s 10 de­fen­sive touch­downs.

Next: Mis­sis­sippi State. The Bull­dogs have the sev­enth-best of­fense in the SEC at 5.97 yards per play.

D’ONTA FORE­MAN, RB, TEXAS (1 POINT)

Num­ber of note: Fore­man has rushed for 591 yards in his last two games, the se­cond-best two game stretch in school his­tory to Rick Wil­liams’ 668 in 1998 — when he won the Heis­man.

Next: No. 11 West Vir­ginia. The Mountaineers have the fourth-best rush­ing de­fense in the Big 12 at 4.04 yard al­lowed per at­tempt. Oth­ers to watch • Jabrill Pep­pers, LB, Michi­gan. If Pep­pers goes off against Ohio State in on Thanks­giv­ing week­end, he’ll get an in­vite.

• Don­nel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State. Slipped to se­cond in the na­tion in rush­ing be­hind Fore­man af­ter he had a rel­a­tively quiet game (112 yards on 21 car­ries) in a 55-0 blowout of Hawaii.

• Kam­ryn Pettway, RB, Auburn. A long shot for sure, but he is up to fourth in the na­tion in rush­ing at 138.25 yards per game. And he still has to play Alabama.

• Dede West­brook, WR, Ok­la­homa. Has six con­sec­u­tive 100-yard re­ceiv­ing games and is av­er­ag­ing 19.4 yards per touch.

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