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Heisman Watch: Winston makes noise at expense of Boyd

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Ben Fisher, TSN.ca
10/22/2013 2:03:00 PM
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The big story this week was Jameis Winston moving into the contenders' fray at the expense of Tajh Boyd, while Marcus Mariota may have done enough to take the Heisman Watch lead.

Winston had perhaps the statement game of the season in Florida State's crucial ACC win over Boyd and the rival Clemson Tigers. The redshirt freshman was outstanding in throwing for 44 yards and scoring a combined four touchdowns against the previously third-ranked Tigers.

The win vaulted the Seminoles to a surprising second in the first installment of the BCS rankings this season; if Winston continues his strong play Florida State could be playing for their first National Title since 1999.

On the other side of the field, Clemson's National Title hopes were all but dashed, along with Boyd's Heisman hopes.

Boyd played so poorly in the spotlight against FSU, completing less than half his passes for just 156 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, that he likely won't see his name in this column any more moving forward (not that he's looking).

Meanwhile out west, Mariota continued his Heisman Trophy caliber season as the Oregon Ducks hammered Washington State. The redshirt sophomore improved his season numbers with nearly 400 combined yards and three combined scores against the Cougars.

Mariota has been destroying lesser competition all year but won't be able to lock up the award until he proves he can do it against solid competition. The Ducks' weak schedule hasn't been lost on the BCS either, as Oregon was a surprise No. 3 in the first rankings behind Alabama and Florida State.

The next two weeks are vital to both Mariota's and Oregon's chances however, as they host the 12th-ranked UCLA Bruins before traveling to the fifth-ranked Stanford Cardinal. Two more impressive showings and the Heisman Trophy may be won after just 10 weeks of the season.

Week 7 was chock full of upsets and while none hurt a player's Heisman chances more than Boyd's, Louisville and Texas A&M suffered losses damaging Teddy Bridgewater's and Johnny Manziel's chances at the most coveted trophy in collegiate sports.

Bridgewater had a decent game last weekend, throwing for 341 yards and two touchdowns, and while it was the defence that let the Cardinals down more than anything, Bridgewater needed to be almost perfect all season to have a shot at the Heisman because of Louisville's weak schedule. Bridgewater can't say he's perfect anymore.

Manziel meanwhile is still very much in the race for his second straight Heisman but certainly saw a few players surpass him in the race as the Aggies fell to Auburn in a big SEC clash. Manziel combined for more than 500 yards and five scores before getting injured (he's expected back for Week 8) but the loss hurt his chances nonetheless (not as much as it hurt A&M's National Title chances however.)

Other fringe candidates to keep an eye on moving forward include tailbacks Lache Seastrunk from Baylor and Bishop Sankey from Washington, and QB Derek Carr from Fresno State.

Jameis Winston (Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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