Heisman hopefuls’ stock on the rise
NEW YORK — Tua Tagovailoa rolled across the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on a black scooter with a little Alabama sticker on the front, his sprained left ankle in a gray plastic boot, safely propped up as he pushed off with his right foot.
The Crimson Tide quarterback and fellow Heisman Trophy finalists Kyler Murray of Oklahoma and Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State were on Wall Street on Friday to ring the closing bell on a day the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 558 points.
Stock for the three first-year starters has been soaring this season. A year ago they were second on their team’s depth chart. On Saturday, one of them will win the Heisman Trophy.
Tagovailoa picked up where he left off in the second half of last season’s national championship game victory against Georgia to lead the top-ranked Crimson Tide back to the playoff as a sophomore.
Haskins, a third-year sophomore, stepped in after the departure of a four-year starter and smashed Ohio State and Big Ten passing records.
Murray, a fourth-year junior, replaced last season’s Heisman winner and had an even better season than his predecessor. Murray waited the longest to finally take over a team, transfer- ring from Texas A&M after a rocky freshman season, taking a redshirt year to satisfy NCAA transfer rules and then backing up Baker Mayfield in 2017.
“I think sitting down and watching is kind of important,” Murray said. “I know Dwayne got to sit and watch. Tua obviously got to sit and watch. I think it just helps you with your growth and maturing on and off the field. I think that’s a big part.”
For the 16th time in the last 19 years, a quarterback will win college football’s most coveted individual award and that should not be a surprise this season. This has been the year of the quarterback, with FBS records for completion percentage, yards per pass and yards passing per game all within range as bowl season arrives.
For the first time since 2008, when Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford, Texas’ Colt McCoy and Florida’s Tim Tebow were the Heisman finalists, only quarterbacks were invited to New York for the trophy presentation.
That season, the Heisman finalists combined to pass for 9,726 yards and 100 touchdowns, completing 70.9 percent of their passes at 9.1 yards per attempt. This season’s finalists, each still with at least one more game, have passed for 11,986 yards and 124 touchdowns, completing 69.7 percent of their passes at 10.6 yards per attempt. Flames defenseman Mark Giordano was suspended for two games by NHL on Friday night for kneeing, and forward Ryan Lomberg was suspended for a game and head coach Bill Peters fined $10,000.
Giordano, the Flames’ captain, was assessed a tripping penalty after kneeing the Wild’s Mikko Koivu on Thursday night in the third period of the Flames’ 2-0 home victory.
Late in the game, Lomberg went after Matt Dumba after the Wild defenseman steamrolled Flames center Mikael Backlund. Instigating in the final five minutes resulted in Lomberg’s automatic suspension and Peters’ fine.
Jake Allen made 26 saves and recorded his first shutout of the season as the Blues defeated the Jets 1-0. Alex Steen scored for the Blues during a second-period power play. Connor Hellebuyck made 25 saves for the Jets, who had their season-long four-game winning streak snapped. ... Miro Heiskanen and Brett Ritchie scored in the third period as the Stars beat the Sharks 3-2 for their fourth consecutive victory. Ben Bishop made 41 saves. AP