The Heisman Trophy race took another turn this weekend thanks to a huge performance by one of the favorites.
Caleb Williams - USC
Caleb Williams is only helping his case to join Archie Griffin as the sole Heisman winner to repeat with the award. Williams led the Trojans to a big lead early over Colorado and helped USC withstand the comeback attempt by the Buffaloes. Williams threw for 406 yards and six touchdowns, tying his career high for touchdowns. Williams now leads the country in passing touchdowns with 21 and should look to control that title for another week with the Arizona Wildcats traveling to Los Angeles for a matchup on Oct. 7.
Michael Penix Jr. - Washington
Michael Penix Jr. dropped slightly in the Heisman race, but it had nothing to do with his performance. Penix threw for 363 yards, but surprisingly no touchdowns, in the Huskies' tight win over the Arizona Wildcats. Penix is now second in the country in passing touchdowns with 16 but leads the country in yards with 1,999. Washington gets to rest up and prepare a little extra for its big matchup on Oct. 14, when it will host the Oregon Ducks in a game that has college football playoff and Heisman Trophy implications.
Quinn Ewers - Texas
Quinn Ewers is firmly in the driver's seat in the third position of the Heisman race. He doesn't quite have the numbers of Penix and Williams — 1,358 yards and 10 passing touchdowns — which keeps him from being ranked any higher right now. The Heisman voters always take into account signature wins, though, and the Longhorns' win over Alabama is still the best victory in the country. Big-time players make big-time plays in big-time situations, and Ewers did just that in Week 5, throwing for 325 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 40 yards and two more scores. Ewers and the Longhorns have a big test on Oct. 7: The Red River Rivalry with the 12th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners. If Ewers shines in that game, he should see a boost in the Heisman race.
Bo Nix - Oregon
Bo Nix was a dark-horse candidate for the Heisman Trophy coming into the year. Now, he is squarely in the race, sitting at fourth. He has 1,459 passing yards and 15 passing touchdowns on his resume? so far in 2023 and continues to shine under the lights against Pac-12 opponents. He had 290 yards and four touchdowns in the Ducks' win over Stanford. Oregon will get a bye in Week 6 before traveling north to face off against fellow Heisman candidate Penix and the Washington Huskies in a game that should have playoff implications. It's still early, but this game should see multiple NFL scouts in attendance to get a look at a couple of potential future signal-callers.
Sam Hartman - Notre Dame
Sam Hartman saw his odds and his ranking drop after the Fighting Irish lost to the Ohio State Buckeyes in Week 3, but a prime-time performance in Week 5 — ending in a 96-yard drive for a comeback win over 17th-ranked Duke — put Hartman right back into the conversation. Hartman threw for 222 yards in the game, bringing his season total to 1,458 on the season. While he didn't throw any touchdowns in Week 5, he still has not thrown an interception on the season and has 14 touchdown passes. A win on the road against a ranked team is one of those marquee wins that the Heisman voters tend to look at. Notre Dame will have another prime-time matchup on the road against a ranked team as it faces 25th-ranked Louisville on Oct. 7.
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