UHND Football Friday: Week 7

Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) warms up before the start of the game against the Maryland Terrapins at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) warms up before the start of the game against the Maryland Terrapins at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

With the Irish on a bye and the regular season half over (typing that made me cringe) I thought it would be a good time to check in on this year’s Heisman race. The field is loaded this year, and no clear cut favorite has emerged, so let’s take a look at who can be headed to New York in December.

First off, the winner will be a quarterback. I know there are usually complaints that this award only goes to quarterbacks anymore, but this year it is warranted. The QB class was hyped up in the summer as one of the best ever, and almost every one of those players has lived up to the hype. Players like Duke Johnson of Miami and Bishop Sankey of Washington have been terrific running the ball, but they really have no chance.

I should probably start with the defending Heisman holder, Johnny Manziel. Johnny looks to have checked his off-season problems at the locker room door, and is having another terrific season in College Station. He is one of the few players that can lose a marquee game and actually raise his stock as he did against Alabama earlier in the season. You can bet that his performance against Saban’s stingy defense will be fresh in voters minds in a few months. In the SEC, Johnny Football will have plenty of chances to show what he’s got on national television, and a strong second half to the season will most likely lead to at least another trip to New York for the trophy presentation.

The current front runner is probably Marcus Mariota of Oregon. Unlike past Duck quarterbacks, Mariota is just as much of a threat to beat you with his arm as he is with his legs. He has 21 total touchdowns through the first five games, and has at least one touchdown passing and rushing through every game so far. At his current pace, it would be very hard for somebody to unseat him at the top of the Heisman heap, as voters have shown in the past to love the mobile quarterbacks that could do it all (Tim Tebow, RG3). He’ll have a chance to impress voters Saturday in a showdown with Washington.

Two ACC quarterbacks find themselves in the thick of the race as well. One was expected to be there, and that’s Tajh Boyd. Boyd is a projected top ten pick in next year’s draft, and has his Clemson Tigers in the mix of a national title chase. He’s thrown for nearly 1500 yards already and 14 touchdowns. He already notched one huge win when he took down Georgia, and he will have another shot at a huge win next week when he takes on another Heisman contender.

Which brings me to Jameis Winston. Jameis had a ton of hype surrounding him this summer, and I couldn’t understand why. Yes, he had some great high school film, and he was outstanding in the spring game, but to mention him as a darkhorse heisman contender seemed ludicrous to me. Turns out I was wrong. Jameis has not only lived up to the lofty expectations; he has SHATTERED them. I’m not sure even his biggest fans could have predicted him to throw for 17 touchdowns while completing nearly 75% of his passes. This kid is just a freshman, and will have his shot at a heisman someday, but with a win over Clemson next week, “someday” could be this December.

Other names to watch:

Aaron Murray, Georgia:  This kids put up good numbers while playing the nation’s toughest first half schedule. If the heisman was given to the nation’s most valuable player, my vote would be for him. You could argue that without him, UGA would have three losses already.

Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville:  Over 1500 yards passing and 16 touchdowns for the projected #1 pick in next year’s NFL draft. He may be the best player in the nation, but his soft schedule and lack of marquee games could cost him.

AJ McCarron, Alabama:  I rarely hear him in the discussion. He doesn’t have the numbers the other candidates have, but it’s hard to ignore the starting quarterback of a college football dynasty. If he can put up big numbers in the second half of the year, he has an outside shot at getting invited to New York, even if it is more of a “lifetime achievement award”. Let’s not forget that when Saban’s defense couldn’t defeat Johnny Football, AJ did.

Game Balls: Week 6

Jameis Winston, QB Florida State:  Was 23-32 for 393 yards and five touchdowns in an impressive 63-0 win over #25 Maryland. His second Donchez Game Ball.

Duke Johnson, RB Miami: Had 325 all purpose yards in a 45-30 win over Georgia Tech. Also his second Donchez Game Ball.

This week for the Irish:

A well deserved week off. I think this bye comes at a perfect time, as the Irish are coming off two straight close, emotional games against good competition. They’ll need to bring the emotion again next week, so I like the fact that they get to recharge their batteries for the Trojans on the 19th. Notre Dame is 4-2 at the halfway point and just outside of the national rankings; not exactly where they envisioned themselves at this point. The good news is that after playing a very tough first half schedule which included games at Michigan, hosting Oklahoma, and a neutral site contest against Arizona State, the Irish will get a bit of a breather for the final six. ND was an underdog in all three of the games I mentioned, and while it certainly does not guarantee victory, they will be favored in every game the rest of the way until they visit Stanford to close the season. As rough as this season has been at times, a BCS bowl is still not out of the question.

What else I’m watching this week

#9 Texas A&M @ Ole Miss

Most people have the Aggies rolling into Mississippi and coming away with an easy win. Relax a minute. Ole Miss is a very good football team that is desperate after dropping their past two games. They lost an absolute heartbreaker in College Station last year, and will have revenge on their mind this week. I think an upset is possible here.

#2 Oregon @ #16 Washington

The Ducks offense is as explosive as ever even without Chip Kelly, as they have rolled up half a hundred on every team they’ve played so far. They run into a very good football team in Washington on Saturday; probably the best they’ve played so far this year. Huskies’ quarterback Keith Price was disappointing last season after he wowed the nation with his Alamo Bowl performance against Robert Griffin III and Baylor, but he is back to that form this season and playing as well as he has in his entire career. I think Oregon starters will see a full game for the first time this season, as Washington won’t go down without a fight.

Week 7 Picks


NFL YTD: 2-0

Overall YTD: 8-4

Last week: 2-0 (SMU +4.5, Wake Forest +7)

This week:

Arkansas +5.5 hosting South Carolina

Penn State +1.5 hosting Michigan ***(LOVE this play)***

I may post addiontal picks on Twitter later in the week.

Questions or feedback? Contact me on Twitter @tylerdonchez.

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  1. It’s a quote from a movie.

    “I’m sure that we can handle this situation maturely, just like the responsible adults that we are. Isn’t that right, Mr. Poopy Pants?”

    -Frank Drebin

  2. So Rob,

    Note my time as of this post:

    Burgundy has posted 0 times on this post out of……38
    Burgundy has posted 3 times on the last post out of 118

    So on these last two articles Burgundy has posted 3 times of 156 posts?

    Well, we all know Burgundy is bashful with his one liners! So Burgundy, I take it your on a rampage or you have a temperature? Is it more likely or less likely you are on a rampage? I think the likelihood you are on a rampage is more likely! And we all know who Burgundy LOVES to Frollick with! Birds of a feather flock together! “reasonable adults”…eh Burgundy! Or should I say SFBobberina? NDSouthy? I could go on but no worries like I said, the unvarnished truth will indeed surface!

    What about it Burgundy you KellyCare boy! So you did not like my: Is vulgarity all you got? Then your answer: “settle this like reasonable adults” Hmmm…Interesting answer by you and your buddy! Hahahaha! Amazing!

  3. Rob,

    Butteye was not my step child! Sorry, this is an inside job! This guy is citing things only known by being here for awhile! He did not just troll in. Definitely a KellyCare Boy! Selective statements and quotes made! Otherwise he would not have had his coming out pugnacious football jihadist attack on us! No worries, the unvarnished truth will surface eventually! As to the nefarious claims by others…is it really only Monday? Hmmm…a long way to Saturday, yet bye week’s definitely churn the BS as always!

    You just got to love the die hard KellyCare bromance guys! It was real ugly when they went of the cliff with CW too! Hope I’m wrong, but it’s not looking good for BK! Just too too much FUBAR like we saw with CW in a different light! C-Dog is spot on…it’s 2011 all over again! I’ll be happy if the chain is broken though!

    GooooooooIrish! and oh yeah, foxsports 1 Regis & Lou & Alan Pinkett!

    PS: Get is right SFBobberina! Hahahahaha!

  4. JC,

    This guy is trying to play us for fools. I know you think this is Shaz. he thinks it’s you. I think this guy is trying to steal the limelight. He’s not a real ND fan anyway. He’s just an obnoxious troll. But unlike other trolls in the past he’s trying to play us off against each other. First he tries to confuse by using a handle similar to mine to hopefully get you and me started. Then he tries to amp up your rivalry with Shaz. As if that needed any revving up by an outsider. We enjoy your banter with each other because you’re both ND men. I insist this guy isn’t. If I had to bet money, but I wouldn’t, I’d say I have a feeling this may just be your old nemesis “Billy Buckeye” who’s been MIA for a while. This is someone who has nothing better to do than troll our site and rather than have the balls to man up and state his opinions on his own, hides behind “SFB” and imitates you and Shaz to confuse the matter. In the end, note that he hasn’t made a real substantive comment. One moment he attacks me, then he goes after you, then after Shaz. Either way I’ve made my last comments to and about “SteelFanBoob”. RIP loser!

  5. Jameis Winston is a SOPHOMORE.

    That is his true status.

    In football’s eligibilityspeak he is a “Redshirt Freshman”

    He has been in Tallahasee as long as, para ejempli, Andrew Luck, Everett Golson and Johnny Manziel were on their campuses when they started playing.

      1. JC commented on October 12th, 2013 at 12:16 pm
        Outstanding Tyler! Jameis Winston QB FRESHMAN! WOW! Really! Nobody plays a freshman as our inhouse experts claim! “This kid is just a freshman” I love it! Can we call Zaire up from the girls ND football league?? We certainly don’t want to waist a year, now would we? No we want to waste two years instead by not playing Zaire and not being ready for next year either! Ah…the unvarnished truth no one likes! Thank you Tyler!

      2. Correct! Practice “red shirt” freshman don’t count! Only in horse and hand gernades! On the field live game experience they are still freshman! What else you got Mr. paste-up?

      1. You know who I am we’ve had multiple conversations off line regarding multiple handles.


      1. Going to that game. Friend has season tckts on 35yd line. Go with him to two games a year. Fun times in an electric atmosphere.

    1. Let’s just hope Oregon runs the table so we don’t have to look at Ohio State get steamrolled by Alabama (like us). Although, Clemson and FSU look pretty good as well.

      1. Clemson sucks. I’ve been led to believe Alabama is behind the big push for Clemson’s sudden rise in the polls. Why? Alabama knows if they squeeze Clemson into the BCSNC it is all but a guaranteed win for the Crimson Tide. Second: Clemson Head Coach Dabo is a former Roll Tide football player and we like to all stick togeather down south.

    1. SFR, I hate to say it but htis year, our strength of schedule is bad. And unfortunately xcept for Arizona Sate, we’ve played wn to it. At least since ESPN pimps the Big 10, either MSU or UofM will be ranked at the end o the year. Maybe… This year you are seeing much strengh in the SEC, ACC, and Pac-12. Even though Stanford took a hit, I see them rebounding with only a potential loss to Oregon this year. Utah is for real. BYU is good. Michigan is overrated and lucky. If not for beating the Irish with Brent Pussberger pimping them, they would have been smoked by squeakers against Akron and UCONN. Not rolling 40 plus points against Temple and Purdue should tell us something.

      ND has a lighter schedule this year. But for this team it will still be a challenge. Kelly needs them to realize they’re not last year’s team, but are maybe as good as the 2011 team.

      Oklahoma and Michigan losing the way they did to unranked teams, while enjoyable, has taken the luster off this season.

      I’ll enoy it, but after the USC game this weeked, certainly won’t get too up or down regardless of what happens.

      Wait to see if Kelly moves on at the end of the year. It wouldn’t shock m to see him move to a Pac-12 team, or an ACC team if the timing was right.

      1. C-Dog,

        You’re a breath of fresh air after this weirdness with “SteelFanBoob.” Why can’t the trolls just stay home and leave us to our own in-fighting.

        I agree with you 100%. What a disappointment. For me it comes down to beating USC and not getting upset. I can take losing a close one to, like you say, a very good Stanford team. I’ll take 9-3 and a bowl win. 10-3 gives the Irish momentum heading into a key off-season.

        I hope you’re wrong, though, about BK leaving. Not that I’m a big-time BK bromancer, to use JC’s clever turn of phrase, but I’d give him one more season with EG back at the helm. Plus I think he’s a fine recruiter and we need as much talent as we can get.

        But for now, forget “SteelFanBoob”. Focus on USC.

        Go Irish!

      2. So well put. I loved every bit of the post.

        Hopefully trolling finally fades like a bad tramp stamp.

        And I do hope. I am wrong. But Kelly is whining about turf and someone seams to be sabotaging the field. I am afraid they will make Notre Dame like everyone else, or else Kelly will leave. I sense some tension with the constraints on requiring character over talent. It is only a hunch.

  6. Just one thing, Ole Miss lost at home to Texas A&M last year. When the SEC added teams the schedule got messed up. Great site hotty toddy and GO IRISH!!!

  7. When a frosh wins a heisman all that crap about not playing frosh is ludicrous. “Staying in your box” thinking contributes to that. I’m not speaking directly to Zaire’s status per se, but times have changed. Teams that are winning or playing for NC’s are for the most part (ND was the exception last year) are really like triple A minor league football teams versus having a more credible student-athletes. Why there is a thought that frosh can’t handle the reins isn’t always true. I envy some of the talent others have that we don’t. I keep hearing this crap talk about “next year.” We may be in the same boat at QB because Golson may not be back unless that has been confirmed he is. Blown opportunities sometimes seem to go with this team.

    Lets go Irish

      1. Yeeesh! Correction, I bailed too early with seconds left in the game. OU with a freebie ended up with 20 vs Texas 36!

      2. With seconds in the third quarter! Hahaha! I will wait till the end of the game would be good! 6 min in the 4th to go.

        Maybe OU will make a come-back! Haha! April Fool’s!

      3. Well, had we not given them some easy t/O’s that contributed to easy scores, we probably would have beaten those slimy boomer sooners. This is the same Texas team that really got beat by a lowly Iowa St team that had a bad reding call take away a game ending score. Big 12, heck 2 of their teams lost to FCS teams, hahaha.

      4. Lets work this through.

        OU lost to Texas who lost to BYU who lost to UVA who lost to Ball St.

        Btw, Purdue looked really solid today for whoever was singing their praises.

      5. Storespook,

        Mack Brown saved his job today and I wonder how many games it buys him before he gets the axe? However, he has been a cat with 9 lives of late.

        Amen Jeff, our BCS ranking sort of takes a big hit! Even if we go 10-2, we possibly could still end up in a non bcs bowl. Imagine that, especially due to those wonderful bcs rankings we know and love! Stellar year so far after a 12-0 season? It will not surprise me if BK bails for the NFL next year.

        I’m sure the USC game will be it’s usual mud wrestling event. Zero style points!

  8. Outstanding Tyler! Jameis Winston QB FRESHMAN! WOW! Really! Nobody plays a freshman as our inhouse experts claim! “This kid is just a freshman” I love it! Can we call Zaire up from the girls ND football league?? We certainly don’t want to waist a year, now would we? No we want to waste two years instead by not playing Zaire and not being ready for next year either! Ah…the unvarnished truth no one likes! Thank you Tyler!

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