Louisville’s QB leads Heisman hunt

By RALPH D. RUSSO

AP College Football

Wide receivers have rarely won the Heisman Trophy.

Desmond Howard of Michigan was the last in 1991. Tim Brown of Notre Dame did it in 1987. And that is the complete list.

A receiver will not be winning the Heisman Trophy this season either. Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson has all but wrapped up the award, but Oklahoma’s Dede Westbrook is starting to get some attention.

Westbrook began the season slowly, with 17 catches for 154 yards in the first three games. Since then he has been all but unstoppable. He had six straight 100-yard games before last week against Baylor when he had four catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns in a rout of the Bears.

Alabama’s Amari Cooper was the last receiver to be a Heisman finalist back in 2014. He finished third in the voting. The last receiver to do better than that was Pitt’s Larry Fitzgerald, who finished second to Oklahoma’s Jason White in 2003.

The AP’s Heisman panel is still locked in on Lamar Jackson at the top of the charts, but more players are getting attention down-ballot:

Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville (21 points)

Numbers to know: Jackson is sixth in the nation in rushing (133.4 yards per game), leads in touchdowns with 19 and is averaging 7.25 yards per carry. If he never threw a pass, he would be a Heisman contender.

Next: at Houston, Thursday night.  The Cougars have the best defense in the American Athletic Conference at 4.64 yards allowed per play.

Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson (10 points)

Numbers to know: Watson ran for 1,105 yards last season.  This season he’s at 378.

Next: at Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons gave Jackson and the Cardinals trouble for three quarters last week.

Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State (3 points)

Numbers to know: Pumphrey is 221 yards away from becoming the 27th player in FBS history to run for 2,000 yards in a season. He is also No. 4 on the career rushing list with 6,051 yards.

Next: at Wyoming. The Cowboys are sixth in the Mountain West in run defense at 4.43 yards per carry allowed.

Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama (2 points)

Numbers to know: Allen is second on the team with 7.5 sacks and leads with 13 quarterback hurries.

Next: Chattanooga. Allen probably won’t play much this week.

D’Onta Foreman, RB,  Texas (2 points)

Numbers to know: Foreman tied a Texas record with his 11th straight 100-yard rushing game last week, matching 1977 Heisman winner Earl Campbell.

Next: at Kansas. The Jayhawks allow 5.27 yards per carry, second-worst in the Big 12.

Dede Westbrook, WR, Oklahoma (2 points)

Numbers to know:  Westbrook is tied for second in the country in yards receiving per game at 125.4 and in touchdown catches with 14.

Next: at No. 10 West Virginia. The Mountaineers have allowed the fewest yards per pass attempt (6.5) in the Big 12.

Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma (1 point)

Numbers to know: Mayfield is leading the nation in passer efficiency rating (195.7) and yards per pass (10.9).

Next: at No. 10 West Virginia. The Mountaineers are eighth in the Big 12 in sacks with 17.

Jake Browning, QB, Washington (1 point)

Numbers to know: Browning is coming off by far his worst game of the season at USC. He completed 47 percent of his passes and was picked off multiple times in a game for the first time.

Next: Arizona State. The Sun Devils are last in the Pac-12 in pretty much every pass defense statistical category.

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AP Heisman watch panel: National Writer Paul Newberry, Georgia; Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins, Texas; Sports Writer John Marshall, Arizona; Sports Writer Joedy McCreary, North Carolina; Sports Writer Eric Olson, Nebraska; Sports Writer Steve Megargee, Tennessee; College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo, New York.

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Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP

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More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.