The Heisman Trophy is usually given out in early December, but the 2020 college football season has been anything but usual due to the coronavirus. Now, the sport’s biggest award will be handed out on January 5 and not from New York but virtually via ESPN.
Updated Heisman Trophy | 2020 NFL Expert Analysis
The voting deadline is Dec. 21, and the finalists will be announced Dec. 24 during a 30-minute special at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. All Heisman finalists will appear via satellite from either their homes or schools.
There’s a new Heisman Trophy betting favorite at Mybookie and it’s Florida quarterback Kyle Trask even though his team has played just six games. This past Saturday, the Gators trashed Arkansas 63-35 and Trash threw for 356 yards and six touchdowns, including five in the first half. His 28 touchdown passes lead the nation and are the most by any SEC quarterback through six games in league history.
In scoring the most points against an SEC opponent since a 63-5 blowout of Kentucky in 2008, UF finished with 593 yards of total offense and 36 first downs, converted nine of 12 third-down opportunities and won the time-of-possession statistics by more than 17 minutes (38:48 to 21:12).
“The wideouts did a really nice job and Kyle did a really good job distributing the ball, not getting panicky, taking what they were going to give us all night,” UF coach Dan Mullen said.
Trask is the seventh quarterback in SEC history with multiple six-touchdown passing performances. The only Gators with two such games are Danny Wuerffel (two) and Terry Dean (two). By the end of the first half, Trask already logged his sixth consecutive game with at least four passing touchdowns, extending his SEC record streak.
The only FBS quarterbacks since the start of 1996 with such streaks are Trask, Hawaii’s Colt Brennan (nine games in 2006), Texas Tech’s Graham Harrell (six games in 2007), Toledo’s Logan Woodside (six games in 2016). Trask is the only FBS quarterback to throw four touchdown passes in five different games this season, and he’s done it in all six.
Trask’s seven career games of four-plus passing touchdowns are tied with Rex Grossman for third in school history, trailing Wuerffel (12) and Doug Johnson (eight). All seven of Trask’s performances have come against SEC teams, the second-highest total in school history only behind Wuerffel’s 11. Trask’s four games of 350-plus passing yards the last two seasons are one more than the combined number of 350-yard passing outings by all Gators quarterbacks since the start of 2002.
Trask could have another monster game this Saturday against a winless Vanderbilt team.
Alabama didn’t play this past weekend as the Tide’s game vs. LSU was postponed due to COVID-19, but QB Mac Jones is a +220 second-favorite. Believe it or not, no Alabama QB has ever won the Heisman.
Through six games this season, Jones has totaled 2,196 yards and 16 touchdowns while sporting a 78.5 completion percentage. His passing yards are the most by any Alabama quarterback through the first six games of a season in program history, surpassing Tua Tagovailoa’s previous program mark of 2,011 passing yards through the first six contests in 2019.
Jones’ 16 touchdowns through the air are tied with AJ McCarron in 2012 for the third-most through six games to start a season. In addition, Jones’ 78.5 completion percentage is the program-high mark by a quarterback with at least 15 attempts through the first six games in the last 20-plus years. The Tide play Kentucky this week.
Unfortunately, Alabama and Florida don’t play this regular season but are on track to meet in the SEC title game.
Ohio State’s Justin Fields is +250 and Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence, the preseason favorite, is +320. Lawrence has missed the past two games for the Tigers due to COVID-19 but is expected to play this Saturday against Florida State. The 6-foot-6 likely No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft is Tagalog’s 31-1 as a starter at Clemson and was leading an offense that had averaged 48 points a game with Lawrence in charge.
This year, Lawrence has thrown for 1,833 yards, completing over 70% of his throws with 17 touchdowns and two interceptions, ranking 12th nationally in passing efficiency. Earlier this season Lawrence broke the ACC mark for most passing attempts without throwing a pick, which was held the past decade by North Carolina State’s Russell Wilson.
Fields was also off this past weekend after Ohio State’s game against Maryland was canceled because of a coronavirus outbreak within the Terrapins’ program.
Justin Fields wins
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