Wow. Just wow.
That’s about all I can think of to sum up my Saturday of watching college football.
I am a proud alumni of the University of Iowa and it just so happened that the Hawkeyes were a part of the craziest game of the weekend and most likely one of the best games of the young season. Somehow, some way, Iowa was able to stay within a score for most of the game until the fourth quarter. Even though the Hawks were able to pull out a late touchdown to take the lead 19-15 with less than two minutes left, Penn State and Saquon Barkley had other plans.
As time expired, PSU’s Trace McSorley fired a bullet to Juwan Johnson in the endzone. After scrapping the finger tips of Iowa saftey Amani Hooker, the ball was caught by #84 to seal the victory.
The local watering hole I chose to watch in fell deathly silent as all the air exited the room.
What a game. An instant classic if you ask me. Unfortunately for my Hawkeyes, they were on the wrong side of history.
Saquon Barkley, on the other hand, continued to write the story of his 2017 Heisman campaign.
Let’s take a look at how much Barkley’s historic performance helped him in this week’s Heisman Watch:
ICYMI: This Saquon Barkley run, especially that cut right by the sideline, is absurd. pic.twitter.com/B2pG54SGgF
— Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) September 24, 2017
1 – Saquon Barkley, Penn State, RB
If you happened to watch the same game I did, then you should have no doubt that Saquon Barkley is the best player in college football. What he did to Iowa Saturday night makes you wonder if he is even a real human being. From the 300+ yards of total offense to his impossible cut inches from the sideline, you have got to give it up for this man. Barkley’s final stat line for the night was 28 carries for 211 yards and a touchdown to go along with 12 receptions for 94 yards.
This whole debate of Barkley is RB1a and LSU’s Derrius Guice is RB1b can finally come to an end.
RELATED: Saquon Barkley vs Derrius Guice
2 – Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma, QB
Mayfield found himself in a classic Big XII shootout with the Baylor Bears that had a combined 90 points and ended in a 49-41 victory for the Sooners. While Baylor used the passing game to light up the scoreboard, the Sooners primarily used their run game to stay ahead of the Bears. Mayfield only had to throw 19 total passes as his team rushed the ball 40 times for 342 yards and four touchdowns. Mayfield completed 13 of those 19 passes for 283 yards and three touchdowns. He also added 30 rushing yards on eight carries.
This wasn’t Mayfield’s most eye-popping performance but he seems allergic to throwing interceptions and keeps winning football games. That is an easy recipe to follow en route to New York City.
3 – Lamar Jackson, Louisville, QB
While it was a very accurate day for the reigning Heisman winner, it was definitely an off-day at the office, especially when you consider the level of talent he was playing against. Jackson completed 18 of 22 passes for 299 yards with two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions. He also added 34 yards on the ground and another touchdown.
In this matchup, it looks like Louisville put it on Kent State early and often leading to Jackson sitting towards the end of the game, so the low stats (comparatively) don’t bring me any alarm. The interceptions, however, are what draw my eye. In the end, even Superman needs to be brought down to earth at some point. The needle still points up for me regarding Jackson.
4 – Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State, QB
Mason Rudolph finally faced his first real test of the season and it hit him in the mouth like a well-timed hook. He completed just hair over half of his passes (22/41) for 398 yards with a pair of touchdowns and another two interceptions.
By far the most athletic defense he has faced all year, TCU smothered most of Rudolph’s reads and kept him rattled from start to finish. Hopefully this is a giant wake-up call for Rudolph and the Cowboys as they need to pull themselves back up and prepare for the rest of the Big 12 slate.
Bryce Love against an 11-man box to the house. 263 rush yards. Heisman.
You can't leave his name out. You just can't
— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) September 24, 2017
5 – Bryce Love, Stanford, RB
Love has quietly been putting together one of the best seasons for a running back up to this point, outside of Saquon Barkley. In Stanford’s recent romp of UCLA and former Heisman hopeful Josh Rosen, Love toted the rock a whopping 30 times for 263 yards and a touchdown.
Now, he isn’t the all-around complete back that Barkley is, but his rushing numbers are still VERY gaudy. Through the first four games of the year, Love has 73 carries for 787 yards and 5 touchdowns. That’s good for over 10.8 yards per carry and 196.7 yards per game. Almost TWO HUNDRED YARDS per game.
No matter who you are playing, unless you are the quarterback for Georgia Tech or Navy, those are some insane numbers. If Bryce Love can stay anywhere near this type of production for the remainder of the year, he will be getting some serious Heisman buzz by the end of the season.
Sleeper Pick: Josh Rosen, UCLA, QB
Although I may have taken Rosen off my top-5 list, it does not mean I believe he is completely out of the Heisman race. I mean, when you lead the country in passing by a a whopping 230 yards, that kind of stuff helps. However, the inflated passing numbers from Rosen are mostly due to him finding himself in close games due to his own mistakes earlier in games. The theme of Rosen’s season has roughly been him trying to throw out of the holes he continues to dig for himself. I believe Rosen has all the talent in the world but he needs to put it all together consistently before New York City can be a realistic possibility again.