08/12/2022

Heisman Watch: Where do Hendon Hooker, C.J. Stroud stand after Week 10 struggles?

Week 10 had plenty of chaos on the field, likely leading to shuffling in the next version of the College Football Playoff rankings that will be revealed Tuesday.

But that upheaval could also make an impact at the top of the Heisman Trophy race, or at least open the door a crack for a lower contender to make a move.

The lead favorite entering Week 10, Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker, had his share of struggles in a loss to Georgia. His main competitor, Ohio State‘s C.J. Stroud, also had a rough day battling the wind and rain at Northwestern, though at least the Buckeyes won their game.

Meanwhile, lower-level contenders like Oregon‘s Bo Nix and North Carolina‘s Drake Maye had huge days. How will things shake out?

See how the leading Heisman candidates heading into Week 10 fared Saturday.

Note: Players are ranked by FOX Bet odds entering Week 10.

1: Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker +110 (bet $10 to win $21 total)

It can be humbling playing against the Georgia defense, and it was certainly that kind of experience for Hooker on Saturday. The dynamic signal-caller had little time to breathe in a 27-13 loss to the defending national champions.

Jalen Carter and the Bulldogs were in Hooker’s face all game, chasing him, hitting him numerous times, and racking up six sacks. Hooker finished with 195 passing yards on 23-for-33 passing. He threw one interception and zero touchdowns. Often dangerous when on the run, Hooker wasn’t even allowed that, running for just 17 yards on 18 carries.

It might not seem fair to judge Hooker on this one game, but life is never fair in the SEC.

Week 9 rank: 2

Trending: Down.

Next: Vs. Missouri on Nov. 12.

2. Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud +200 (bet $10 to win $30 total)

The Buckeyes managed to stay unbeaten Saturday, pulling away late for a 21-7 victory over Northwestern. But it wasn’t pretty, and Stroud’s struggles were notable.

The talented quarterback, who has been the top Heisman favorite for much of this season, had a decidedly un-Stroud-like performance against the Wildcats, completing only 38.5% of his passes (10-for-26) for 76 yards, with no touchdowns.

Some of that can be chalked up to the conditions — which were rainy and very windy — and Stroud did chip in 79 rushing yards on six carries, but this outing could provide space for other contenders to move up on the list.

Week 9 rank: 1

Trending: Down.

Next: Vs. Indiana on Nov. 12.

T3. USC QB Caleb Williams +900 (bet $10 to win $100 total)

If the door is open for anyone to move up, it might be Williams, who absolutely torched Cal in a 41-35 victory.

The Oklahoma transfer passed for 360 yards and four touchdowns — without an interception — as both Michael Jackson and Tahj Washington went over 100 yards receiving.

Week 9 rank: 4

Trending: Up.

Next: Vs. Colorado on Nov. 11.

T3. Michigan RB Blake Corum +900 (bet $10 to win $100 total)

The Wolverines took a while to get going on Saturday, trailing Rutgers 17-14 at halftime. But if there was any panic in Michigan’s locker room, it didn’t show when the second half started, and Corum was a big part.

Michigan outscored Rutgers 28-0 in the third quarter and 38-0 in the second half, cruising to a 52-17 win. Corum went for 109 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. He now has 1,187 yards and 16 touchdowns on the season.

Week 9 rank: 3

Trending: Steady.

Next: Vs. Nebraska on Nov. 12.

T5. North Carolina QB Drake Maye +1100 (bet $10 to win $120 total)

It wasn’t that long ago that Maye wasn’t ranked on this list, but the freshman continues to churn out elite performances, and it’s paying off. 

The 6-foot-5, 220-pounder did it again Saturday, passing for 293 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 74 yards and another score on the ground. The Tar Heels are 8-1 after beating Virginia, 31-28.

He is only the third UNC quarterback to throw 30 touchdown passes in a season and is now just 36 yards away from the 3,000-yard mark.

Week 9 rank: 9

Trending: Up.

Next: At Wake Forest on Nov. 12.

T5. Oregon QB Bo Nix +1100 (bet $10 to win $120 total)

Moving from Auburn and the SEC in favor of the Pac-12 has been a wonderful transition for Nix, who has put up a series of brilliant performances against conference foes.

The latest came Saturday against Colorado. Nix completed 83.3% of his passes (20-for-24) against the Buffaloes, racking up 274 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also scored twice on the ground. The Ducks have won eight straight games and sit atop the conference at 8-1. 

Week 9 rank: 6.

Trending: Up.

Next: Vs. Washington on Nov. 12.

7. TCU QB Max Duggan +1400 (bet $10 to win $150 total)

Duggan’s long and winding journey — detailed here — has now taken him into the thick of the Heisman Trophy race. How long he stays there will be up to him.

Saturday’s game against Texas Tech provided mixed results in that regard. On one hand, Duggan played well down the stretch, and the Big 12 leaders remained undefeated with a 34-24 victory. On the other hand, anyone looking at the box score might find themselves unimpressed — Duggan completed just 12 of his 23 pass attempts for 195 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Max Duggan finds Emari Demercado for TD

Max Duggan connected with Emari Demercado for a 16-yard touchdown to extend the Horned Frogs’ late lead against Texas Tech.

Week 9 rank: Unranked.

Trending: Down.

Next: At Texas on Nov. 12.

T8. Alabama QB Bryce Young +3300 (bet $10 to win $340 total)

Young had some magical moments in the Tide’s 32-31 OT loss at LSU. He passed for 328 yards and a touchdown, and at times made seemingly magical plays to keep Bama in it — perhaps none more impressive than this:

But Young also threw an interception and he ended up completing less than 50% of his passes (25-for-51). Has the reigning Heisman winner done enough to move up the board?

Week 9 rank: 5.

Trending: Steady.

Next: At Ole Miss on Nov. 12.

T8. Illinois RB Chase Brown +3300 (bet $10 to win $340 total)

For the Illini, the formula for success has been a stout defense and a lot of Brown, and the running back has carried the load in pushing Illinois to the top of the Big Ten West.

He tried to do so again Saturday, churning out 136 rushing yards on 33 carries. But he also fumbled once, and Michigan State kept him out of the end zone in a 23-15 upset victory. That’s not the kind of mixed outing you want to see when you’re in a chase for the Heisman Trophy.

Week 8 rank: Unranked.

Trending: Down.

Next: Vs. Purdue on Nov. 12.

10. Alabama RB Jahmyr Gibbs +4000 (bet $10 to win $410 total)

Like his quarterback Young, Gibbs made some big plays to help the Tide take LSU to overtime. Like with Young, it wasn’t enough in the end.

Still, Gibbs had some dynamic plays and finished with 163 total yards (99 rushing, 64 receiving) on just 23 touches.

Week 9 rank: T7

Trending: Steady.

Next: At Ole Miss on Nov. 12.

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