The leading candidates for the Heisman Trophy are running out of time to add new experiences to their resumes. This is the last weekend of the regular season for college football in 2022, and after Saturday, some players won’t play again until after the Heisman voting has taken place (if at all).
The day’s most anticipated matchup will take place at Ohio Stadium, where No. 2 Ohio State will play host to No. 3 Michigan in a game with significant implications for both teams. There will also be a front-runner for the Heisman Trophy competing for both of those teams in this matchup.
As the regular season comes to a close, let’s take a closer look at the candidates for the Heisman Trophy.
- C.J. Stroud, Quarterback for Ohio State University
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The seventh-year quarterback for the Ohio State Buckeyes, C.J. Stroud, tosses the ball away during the second half of an NCAA college football game against the Maryland Terrapins on November 19, 2022 in College Park, Maryland. The final score was 43-30 in favor of Ohio State. (Photo by Nick Wass for the AP)
Nick Wass / Associated Press
C.J. Stroud is the primary reason why Ohio State is one of the four FBS teams in the country that are unbeaten, and the other three are Alabama, Florida State, and Washington State. During the Buckeyes’ undefeated start of 11-0, the junior quarterback has completed passes for 2,991 yards, 35 touchdowns, and four interceptions.
Stroud has turned in some impressive performances along the way, as he has six games in which he has thrown for at least four touchdowns. If the 21-year-old has another outstanding performance against Michigan on Saturday, it could firmly establish him as the front-runner for the Heisman Trophy.
It’s a chance for Stroud and the Buckeyes to get their own back. The year before, they were defeated by the Wolverines in the final game of the regular season, and the Wolverines went on to win the Big Ten championship and qualify for the College Football Playoff. Despite this, Stroud finished the game having thrown for 394 yards and scoring two touchdowns.
No matter how the rest of the season goes for Stroud, it is highly likely that he will place higher in the Heisman voting than he did the previous year, when he finished in fourth place. Additionally, you shouldn’t be too surprised if he winds up being the recipient of the award.
- Caleb Williams, quarterback for USC, number two of three
Caleb Williams, quarterback for Southern California, throws a pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game on November 19, 2022, in Pasadena, California. The game was being played against UCLA. (Photo by Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press Photo
Caleb Williams, a sophomore quarterback for the University of Southern California, has been putting together a series of outstanding performances as of late, which has led to an increase in his Heisman Trophy stock. He had at least three touchdown passes in each of the previous four games, and then on the previous Saturday, he led the Trojans to an impressive victory over UCLA by throwing for a season-high 470 yards and two touchdowns.
Williams has completed passes totaling 3,480 yards while leading USC to a 10-1 start. He has also thrown 33 touchdown passes and only three interceptions. Additionally, he has rushed for 316 yards and seven touchdowns, four of which have come in the most recent three weeks of play.
When the regular season comes to a close this Saturday, the Trojans will finish it off with a game against Notre Dame, which will be another difficult contest. In addition to that, they have already ensured their spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game, and they are still in the running for the CFP.
Williams has put himself in contention for the Heisman Trophy regardless of how the season ends for USC. It is possible that he will overtake Stroud as the leader of the pack if he posts impressive numbers on Saturday.
- Blake Corum, Running Back for Michigan.
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In the first half of an NCAA college football game between Michigan and Illinois on Saturday, November 19, 2022, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the home team’s running back, Blake Corum (2), carries the ball for Michigan. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
AP Photo/Paul Sancya
Blake Corum has scored a touchdown in each of Michigan’s victories, helping the team to a perfect record of 11-0. In each of those victories, Blake Corum has reached the end zone. The junior running back for the Wolverines has rushed for 18 touchdowns so far this season, scoring at least one in each of his team’s games.
Corum has scored one touchdown through the air in addition to his 1,457 yards gained on the ground. As a result, it is easy to see why he is the non-quarterback candidate with the best chance of winning the Heisman Trophy this year.
Corum has scored a touchdown in each of his last eight games, and he has done so while rushing for more than 100 yards in each of those games. He will be attempting to keep both of those alive during Michigan’s game at Ohio State on Saturday, which is the most important game Michigan has played so far this season.
The Heisman Trophy is typically awarded to the team’s quarterback, but Corum’s performance has shown that perhaps this shouldn’t be the case this year. It is possible that the award voters will remember him for a long time if he has a monumental game against the Buckeyes (and if he performs better than Stroud).