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1. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
Last Week: 343 total yards (85 rushing), 4 touchdowns (2 rushing), & 1 interception in win vs. Stanford
Outlook: After struggling against Stanford over the last two seasons, Mariota exercised his demons on Saturday night. The Oregon signal caller made one of the biggest Heisman statements of the season, making plays with both his arms and legs as the Ducks crushed Stanford 45-16. The victory gives the Ducks momentum heading into their pivotal Pac-12 showdown against Utah next Saturday.
2. Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State
Last Week: 392 total yards (61 rushing), 1 touchdown, & 2 interceptions in win vs. Arkansas
Outlook: Voters aren’t just going to give Prescott the Heisman trophy. He needs to earn it. Prescott exploded out of the gate, throwing just two interceptions in his first five games. Over the last three weeks, however, he has five interceptions. He’s also completing less than 60 percent of his passes over that span. He needs to play better going forward, especially with games against Alabama and Ole Miss lurking.
3. Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
Last Week: Idle
Outlook: Business is about to pickup in the SEC. Three of Alabama’s four remaining games are against Auburn, LSU, and Mississippi State. They start with LSU this Saturday night in Baton Rouge. Cooper will be on full display for a national audience, and offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin will surely feed his beast the football. Cooper is averaging 141.5 receiving yards and about a touchdown per game this season. If he maintains those averages throughout November, Alabama will have had a great month, and Cooper will be on his way to New York for the Heisman Trophy Presentation.
4. Everett Golson, QB, Notre Dame
Last Week: 348 total yards (33 rushing), 6 touchdowns (3 rushing), & 1 interception in win at Navy
Outlook: Navy gave Notre Dame all they had Saturday night, but Golson was the difference in the end. His six total touchdowns was a career high, and he now has three or more touchdown passes in four his last five games. The Fighting Irish face Arizona State this Saturday in one of the biggest games on their schedule. The Sun Devils (7-1) are the last credible opponent Notre Dame faces in the regular-season. Golson not only needs to come up big to win over Heisman voters, but he needs to put the Fighting Irish in position to enhance their playoff standing.
5. Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU
Last Week: 215 total yards (49 rushing), 2 touchdowns (1 rushing), & 1 interception in win at No. 21 West Virginia
Outlook: Boykin was off his game in Morgantown. His decision-making was questionable, and his throws were off target. Nevertheless, TCU won on a last-second field goal, keeping their playoff hopes alive for another week. We’ll find out if Boykin's performance was an anomaly or the start of a downward trend (ala Prescott). Boykin had better hope for the former because running backs Ameer Abdullah and Melvin Gordon are strong contenders for a top five slot.
On the Bubble
Rakeem Cato, QB, Marshall
Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska
Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor
Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State