The Heisman Trophy race continues to get more crowded as Kyle Trask had his moment against Georgia and Kedon Slovis arrived on the scene in Heisman watch.
With two of the biggest games of the 2020 college football season on the docket for Week 10, there were opportunities for players to state their case in the Heisman Trophy race on the field. It was all on the players in the Florida-Georgia and Clemson-Notre Dame games to deliver on the goods and start ascending the Heisman watch rankings.
In that capacity, it was a mixed bag this week. While Florida Gators quarterback Kyle Trask answered the call in a major way to lead his team to a rivalry win, Clemson Tigers running back Travis Etienne failed to capture the opportunity at hand. Even with Trevor Lawrence out, Etienne was largely shut down against the Fighting Irish, causing him to fall out of the Heisman race for now.
Of course, with Etienne falling out and Lawrence continuing to slide down the Heisman rankings, that offers the chance for other players to make their case. Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields has been taking full advantage of that since the Big Ten started to play in Week 8 and the Pac-12 got in on the action.
Heisman watch candidate No. 10: Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
For much of the season, I’ve been hesitant to include Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder in the Heisman watch simply because his passing numbers haven’t necessarily been all that great. But after another game where the Bearcats star diced up an opponent with his legs and as he continues to lead an undefeated top-10 team, he’s earned a spot in these rankings.
Ridder was fine as a passer, throwing for 162 yards and a touchdown with an interception but he dominated Houston with his legs, rushing for 103 yards and three scores on just 12 attempts for the day. Amid Cincinnati’s 6-0 start, Ridder not only has over 1,000 yards passing with 11 scores but has added just shy of 400 rushing yards with eight more touchdowns. Not bad for the leader of an unbeaten group.
Heisman watch candidate No. 9: Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina
As North Carolina suffered an awful loss to Virginia last week, running back Javonte Williams had his worst game of the year, rushing for only 54 yards and a score and catching just two passes for 10 yards. Perhaps he and the Tar Heels took that performance and loss personally because he took it out on rival Duke in Week 10 as Williams was unstoppable in the battle for the Victory Bell.
Williams led the Tar Heels with 151 yards rushing on 12 carries with three touchdowns while also catching four balls for 24 yards and another touchdown. For the year now, the running back has rushed for over 750 yards with 14 touchdowns while also topping 200 receiving yards with three other scores. If he and UNC can stay on track, Williams will stay in the top 10 of the Heisman rankings.