Tom Layberger

Heisman Hopefuls

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Five will travel to NYC

Monday, December 5, 2011

Five Heisman finalists were announced Monday. They are Montee Ball, Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, Tyrann Mathieu and Trent Richardson. What follows is a statistical look at each of the players, including how they fared against a couple of their top opponents. The Heisman ceremony is Saturday.

Montee Ball, Running Back, Wisconsin (13 games)
Rushing Yards: 1,759 (Total leads nation and average of 135.3 yards per game ranks fourth)
Yards Per Carry: 6.4
Touchdowns: 32 (Leads nation)
Receiving: 20-255-6
Yards From Scrimmage: 2,014
Total Touchdowns: 38 (Leads nation and one shy of NCAA record)
Most Rushing Yards, Game: 224 at Illinois on Nov. 19
Fewest Rushing Yards, Game: 63 vs UNLV on Sept. 1 (He had 3 TDs on 10 carries and one TD receiving)
100-Yard Games: 9, including a pair of 200-yard games – at Purdue, at Illinois
Against Michigan State (42-39 Win) in Big Ten Championship Game: 27-137-3 and one TD receiving

Robert Griffin III, Quarterback, Baylor (12 games)
Passing Yards: 3,998 (Sixth nationally)
Completion Percentage: 72.4
Touchdowns: 36 (Fourth nationally)
Interceptions: 6
Pass Efficiency Rating: 192.31 leads the nation, which would be an all-time NCAA record
Rushing Yards: 644 (4.0 YPC)
Rushing Touchdowns: 9
Total Yards: 4,657, including a 15-yard catch, for an average of 386.8 yards per game that ranks second nationally
Total Touchdowns: 45
Most Yards Passing, Game: 479 vs Oklahoma on Nov. 19
Most Passing Touchdowns, Game: 5, three times
300-Yard Games: 9, including four 400-yard games
Most Total Yards, Game: 551 vs Oklahoma on Nov. 19 (472 Passing, 79 Rushing)
Games of completing at least 70 percent of his passes: 7 (Season-low was 63.8 vs OU)
Against current BCS No. 8 Kansas State (36-35 Loss) on Oct. 1: 23-of-31 (74.2), 346 yards, 5 TDs and 1 INT. He had 6 yards rushing.
Against current BCS No. 3 Oklahoma State (59-24 Loss) on Oct. 29: 33-of-50 (66.0), 425 Yards, 1 TD and 2 INTs. He had 27 yards rushing and 1 TD. It was the only game Griffin had more than one INT.

Andrew Luck, Quarterback, Stanford (12 games)
Passing Yards: 3,170
Completion Percentage: 70.0
Touchdowns: 35 (Fifth nationally)
Interceptions: 9
Pass Efficiency Rating: 167.50 (Fifth nationally)
Most Yards Passing, Game: 336 at Washington State on Oct. 15
Most Touchdowns, Game: 4 three times
300-Yard Games: 4
Games of completing at least 70 percent of his passes: 5 (Season-low was 63.9 at WSU)
Against current BCS No. 5 Oregon (53-30 Loss) on Nov. 12: 27-of-41 (65.9), 256 yards, 3 TDs and 2 INTs – only game with more than one interception.
At current AP No. 5 USC (56-48 3OT Win) on Oct. 29: 29-of-40 (72.5), 330 yards, 3 TDs and 1 INT

Tyrann Mathieu, Cornerback/Punt Returner, LSU (12 games)
Total Tackles: 70, leads team
Tackles For Loss: 6.5 (44 yards)
Sacks: 1.5 (10 yards)
Interceptions: 2 (16 yards)
Forced Fumbles: 6 (Tied for third nationally)
Fumble Recoveries: 5 (Leads nation) -- 39 yards on four returns, 2 touchdowns
Punt Returns: 26-420 yards
Average: 16.2 (Second nationally by .04 of a yard)
Punt Return Touchdowns: 2 (Tied for second nationall)
Total Touchdowns: 4
Against current BCS No. 2 Alabama (9-6 OT Win) on Nov. 5: Five total tackles (4 solo), no punt returns.
Against current BCS No. 6 Arkansas (41-17 Win) on Nov. 26: 8 solo tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, 3 punt returns for 115 yards, including 92-yard TD.
Against Georgia (42-10 Win) in SEC Championship Game: 4 solo tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 4 punt returns for 119 yards, including 62-tard TD.
Last defensive player to win the award was CB Charles Woodson of Michigan in 1997.

Trent Richardson, Running Back, Alabama (12 games)
Rushing Yards: 1,583 (Average of 131.9 yards per game ranks fifth nationally)
Yards Per Carry: 6.0
Touchdowns: 20 (Fourth nationally)
Receiving: 27-327-3
Yards From Scrimmage:  1,910 Yards
Total Touchdowns: 23 (Tied for fifth nationally)
Most Rushing Yards, Game: 203 at Auburn on Nov. 26
Fewest Rushing Yards, Game: 37 vs Kent State on Sept. 3 (He had 3 TDs on 13 carries)
100-Yard Games: 8, including four in which he topped 175 – at Florida, at Ole Miss, vs Georgia Southern, at Auburn
Against current BCS No. 6 Arkansas (38-14 Win) on Sept. 24: 17-124 (7.4)-0 rushing and 3-85-1 receiving
At current BCS No. 1 LSU (9-6 OT Loss) on Nov. 5: 28-89 (3.9)-0 rushing and 5-80-0 receiving

My pick: Robert Griffin III. I love the season Montee Ball has had. He had more work as the season progressed and Wisconsin's bid for a Big Ten title heated up. Ball had 133 carries for 906 yards (6.8 ypc) and 14 touchdowns (17 total TDs) in the last five games, including the conference championship. I elect Griffin for his surreal production. It is hard to imagine that a quarterback who would have the highest pass efficiency rating in NCAA history if he did not throw another pass -- and he still has a great shot at setting a new mark -- also has 644 yards and 9 TDs rushing. To have 530 total attempts (plus one reception) and maintain such a high level of productivity and efficiency is difficult to grasp. Then again, Griffin is used to it and he should be the first Baylor Bear to strike the pose Saturday.

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