Heisman Watch Week Eight: Klein rules the weekend

Collin Klein

Collin Klein picked a good time to have one of the best games of his collegiate career. Matched against the Heisman favorite and a nationally ranked conference opponent, Klein shone in ways he had yet to in 2012, combining for seven touchdowns (four on the ground, three through to go with more than 360 yards of total offense.

Klein’s performance when matched up against Geno Smith’s is all the more impressive, as Klein is now as serious a contender for the trophy as we’ve got.

Geno Smith

If last weekend punched some holes in Geno Smith’s Heisman Trophy candidacy, this weekend was more like tearing open the campaign. Against Collin Klein and Kansas State, Smith was well outshone by his fellow Heisman combatant.

Smith, the stat sheet stuffer in the early parts of the season, posted just 143 yards passing and threw two picks against just one touchdown toss. Klein, however, was compiling the best statistical performance of his career. Smith will have work to do.

Montee Ball

When Wisconsin was at its best in 2011, Montee Ball and James White were rushing all over Big Ten defenses, forcing opponents to submit to a crushing attack. The two were at it again on Saturday, as Ball rushed for 166 and two touchdowns in the Badgers battering of Minnesota.

Sure, White had more yards — and one more touchdown — but Ball’s season-long consistency returns him to the Heisman conversation.

Manti Te’o

It’s becoming hard to ignore the performances Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o is putting up week after week. Against BYU, the Irish linebacker had 10 tackles and a key interception in Notre Dame’s closer-than-expected victory over the Cougars. And that’s no surprise.

The senior star already had three interceptions going into the key Saturday showdown in South Bend to go with his 57 tackles coming into Saturday. With some key games coming for Notre Dame, continually strong performances could mean another trip to New York City for a defensive player.

Braxton Miller

Before leaving Saturday’s game with an injury that sent him to the hospital, Braxton Miller was well on his way to another statistically strong game. But all of that matters little to the Buckeye faithful and anyone interested in Miller’s future, as a vicious tackle from behind sent the star quarterback to the sidelines and then the hospital on the day. Whether Miller can return in the Buckeyes’ next game is to be seen, but his Heisman hopes remain still string.

On The Radar:

Denard Robinson

Robinson did enough to bring the Wolverines their first victory over Michigan State in his tenure at Michigan. But the statistics weren’t there. Will they be in the Big Ten stretch run?

De’Anthony Thomas

Thomas was more than contained on Thursday night against Arizona State. Can he turn it back up for the stretch run for the undefeated Ducks?

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