By Jacob Murphy
Week eight was full of surprises and upsets, resulting in a two man race for the Heisman Memorial Trophy. Here’s a look at who who dazzled in week eight, and who to watch in week nine.
Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama QB
Week 8 vs. Tennessee: 19-29, 306 yards and 4 touchdowns
Tagovailoa was no surprise in week seven, doing his thing and leading the Crimson Tide to a 58-21 route against the Volunteers. Once again, he did not play the whole game, as famed backup quarterback Jalen Hurts took over midway through the third quarter. Tagovailoa’s four touchdowns were impressive- but even more impressive was the fact that each touchdown pass was to a different receiver. He did most of his damage in the first half, throwing three touchdown passes and led the Crimson Tide on six separate scoring drives. Tagovailoa threw for one more touchdown in the third quarter, en route to a 58-21 Alabama win. The Crimson Tide are now sitting at an FBS leading 54.1 points per game, largely thanks to Tagovailoa. Expect Tua to remain as the Heisman Favorite as the Crimson Tide continue to coast through their schedule. Tagovailoa will be tested in week ten after a week nine bye, as the Crimson Tide travel to Baton Rouge to faceoff with the No. 4 LSU Tigers.
Kyler Murray, Oklahoma QB
Week 8 vs. TCU: 19-24, 213 yards and 4 touchdowns
Murray was able to help the Sooners bounce back from the week seven loss against Texas with a strong performance in week eight, leading to a 52-27 win over the Horned Frogs. Murray spread out his four touchdown passes, throwing one in each quarter. Wide receiver Lee Morris caught two of those. One play stood out- Murray’s first touchdown with nine minutes remaining in the first quarter. He was able to escape the collapsed pocket by rolling out to the right side, where he found wide receiver Ceedee Lamb for a 37-yard touchdown. Escaping the pocket has been a key to Murray’s success this year; a big part of his 51 rushing yards on nine carries. Oklahoma has another easy matchup next week, as the Sooners will host the Kansas State Wildcats (3-4).
Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State QB
Week 8 vs. Purdue: 49-73, 470 yards and 2 touchdowns
It may be a shock to some to see Haskins on the list after a loss to the unranked Boilermakers, but we must consider what he’s done all season. Haskins struggled to find the end zone until the fourth quarter- where he threw his two touchdown passes- both for 30-plus yards.. Ultimately, the Buckeyes lost 49-20, suffering their first loss of the year. Haskins did all he could, throwing for 470 yards, but came up short. He’ll look to bounce back next week, when the Buckeyes will host head coach Scott Frost’s struggling Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Travis Etienne, Clemson RB
Week 8 vs. North Carolina State: 15 attempts, 39 yards and 3 touchdowns
Etienne is making his first appearance on the list, launching himself into the race with his third straight week with at least three rushing touchdowns. Not only has he done that, but he has scored at least one touchdown in every Clemson game this season. He has been one of the main reasons for the Tigers 7-0 start. Etienne now sits at 14 touchdowns and 800 yards on the season, leading the Tigers in both categories. He and Clemson will be tested in week nine, traveling to Tallahassee to play the Florida State Seminoles.
Edited by Garrett Jones | firstname.lastname@example.org