Will Kansas State loss cost Jalen Hurts the Heisman Trophy?

Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma Sooners, Kansas State Wildcats. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma Sooners, Kansas State Wildcats. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Just because his Oklahoma Sooners lost on the road to the Kansas State Wildcats doesn’t mean that Jalen Hurts’ Heisman Trophy candidacy has come to an end.

Upsets happen. In one of the biggest ones of the season, the No. 5 Oklahoma Sooners lost by a touchdown on the road against the Kansas State Wildcats 48-41 in Week 9. Oklahoma falls to 7-1 (4-1) on the year, while Kansas State improves to 5-2 (2-2) on the season to give first-year head coach Chris Klieman his first signature win since taking over for the legendary Bill Snyder.

It was a thrilling game in the first window and one that Oklahoma wishes it could have back. The Sooners gave up 34 points in the second and third quarters, but a late fourth-quarter push just wasn’t enough for Oklahoma to stay perfect. So does this loss to an unranked Kansas State team mean it’s the end of the line for Sooners quarterback, Jalen Hurts‘ Heisman hopes? Not exactly.

Hurts put up solid numbers in Oklahoma’s defeat vs. the Wildcats. He completed 19 of 26 passes for 395 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions, averaging a ridiculous 15.2 yards per passing attempt. Hurts also had 19 carries for 96 yards and three rushing touchdowns. So he was not the reason Oklahoma lost in upset fashion to Kansas State. He stays in the Heisman race for now.

Truthfully, this loss makes it incredibly difficult for the Sooners to reach the College Football Playoff. They cannot afford a loss the rest of the way and may need some help from another Power 5 conference if the Sooners want to get in yet again.

But as for Hurts’ Heisman chances, he’s still in decent shape. Oklahoma has at least three more big games remaining. The Sooners play the Iowa State Cyclones in Norman in two weeks. Oklahoma still has to play the undefeated Baylor Bears this season. Let’s not forget about another good game in the Bedlam Series against the in-state rival Oklahoma State Cowboys.

Overall, the Sooners have a great shot at getting to the Big 12 Championship again this year, which would stand as another big stage for Hurts to go to work. He’ll continue to put up numbers in Lincoln Riley’s offense as arguably the best Heisman contender in the Big 12 this year. Hurts might even make it to New York as a bit of a career invitation, considering his time at Alabama.

So at this time, Hurts is still very much in the mix for the 2019 Heisman Trophy. It wasn’t his fault his defense couldn’t keep Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson out of the end zone. That being said, a loss to Iowa State, Baylor or Oklahoma State during the regular season might knock Hurts out of the race. He’s no longer a front-runner any more, but Hurts can still win it for sure.

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