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Heisman Watch 2014: Time To Fear Ameer Abdullah

Jeremy Shapiro |
October 2, 2014 | 4:30 p.m. PDT

Staff Writer

Five premier players have already separated themselves from the pack as college football begins the sixth week of the season.

1. Marcus Mariota, Junior, Quarterback, University of Oregon: 1135 passing yards, 13 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 74 completion percentage, 214 rushing yards, 3 rushing touchdowns

Mariota and the University of Oregon were on a bye in Week 5, but will return tonight against the Arizona Wildcats. The Heisman front-runner currently has the highest passer efficiency in the nation and has been mistake free throughout the first four games of the season. He will look to avenge last year’s shocking upset against the Wildcats on Thursday and continue his scorching start to the season in front of a national audience.

2. Todd Gurley, Junior, Running Back, University of Georgia: 616 rushing yards, 6 touchdowns, 8.8 yards per carry

Gurley put the Bulldogs on his back last week in a 35-32 victory against the Tennessee Vols. The dynamic tailback accounted for 208 yards on the ground on 28 carries to go along with two touchdowns. If Gurley consistently receives more than 20 carries per game he will put up mind numbing statistics, cementing his spot as a Heisman finalist.

3. Amari Cooper, Junior, Wide Receiver, University of Alabama, 655 receiving yards, 43 receptions, 5 touchdowns

Cooper and the Crimson Tide were on a bye last week, but continue SEC play in Saturday’s showdown against Ole Miss. The nation’s premiere receiver is on pace to shatter every single-season SEC receiving record, but Lane Kiffin’s favorite toy will face a stiff test against the Rebels stout defense.

SEE ALSO: Behind Enemy Lines: Will USC Avenge Last Year's Loss To ASU?

4. Kenny Hill, Sophomore, Quarterback, Texas A&M, 1745 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 65 completion percentage

Hill’s clutch performance against Arkansas last week rallied the Aggies to a 35-28 come-from-behind victory. Hill threw for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to overcome a 14 point deficit and force overtime. Hill, currently second in the nation in passing touchdowns, wasn’t perfect after completing just over 50 percent of his passes, but his four touchdowns and 386 yards passing kept the Aggies undefeated. An SEC clash against 12th ranked Mississippi St. looms large for both Texas A&M’s playoff hopes and Hill’s Heisman prospects.

5. Ameer Abdullah, Senior, Running Back, University of Nebraska, 833 rushing yards, 8 touchdowns, 7.3 yards per carry

Abdullah has quietly been putting up monster numbers week after week for the undefeated Huskers. The shifty tailback is first in the nation in rushing yards after his most recent 208-yard, three-touchdown outburst against Illinois. Abdullah’s Heisman chances hinge on whether he puts on a show against Michigan State’s dominant defense.

Reach Staff Writer Jeremy Shapiro via e-mail here



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