It didn’t take long for the race for the Heisman Trophy to change once again. Some of the leaders had big games and others got caught by the injury bug. While front-runners like Brett Hundley and Taylor Kelly found themselves on the sidelines with injury, Bryce Petty was back on the field after an injury kept him out for most of the first two games. There were also a handful of performances that may have cost guys a legitimate shot at the biggest individual award in the college game.
Here is a look at the best candidates for the Heisman Trophy to this point.
Bryce Petty, senior, quarterback, Baylor: in his first game back from a back injury, Petty proved why he is a real threat to take home the Heisman. In just three-quarters of play, he completed 23-of-34 passes for 416 yards and four touchdowns as the Bears rolled over the Buffalo Bulls 63-21. In just five quarters of action so far this year, he has completed 63.2 percent of his passes for 577 yards and six touchdowns.
Petty and the Bears have a week off before they travel to Ames, Iowa, to take on the Iowa State Cyclones.
Sean Mannion, senior, quarterback, Oregon State: after a solid start to the season for Mannion, he had the week off to prepare for a tough Mountain West Conference opponent. On the season, he has completed 63.4 percent of his passes for 628 yards and four touchdowns.
Up next for Mannion and the Beavers is a matchup against San Diego State.
T.J. Yeldon, junior, running back, Alabama: Yeldon didn’t put up big numbers for the second straight week thanks to a 52-12 win by Alabama over Southern Mississippi. In the game, he carried the ball just nine times for 56 yards. On the season, he has carried the ball 39 times for 225 yards and two touchdowns. There is no doubt that once the competition gets tougher, he will get his chance to shine.
Up next for Yeldon and Alabama is a visit from the Florida Gators.
Taysom Hill, junior, quarterback, BYU: Hill didn’t put up big yards through the air, but had his best night of 2014 on the ground as the Cougars held off Houston 33-25. In the win, he completed 21-of-34 passes for 200 yards and a touchdown to go along with 160 yards and another score on the ground. To this point in the season, he has completed 68.4 percent of his passes for 689 yards and four touchdowns. He has also added 356 yards and six touchdowns in the running game.
Up next for Hill and the Cougars is their second home game in as many weeks when the Virginia Cavaliers pay them a visit.
Ty Montgomery, senior, wide receiver, Stanford: Montgomery had another impressive outing as the Cardinal shutout Army 35-0. In the win, he caught eight passes for 86 yards and a touchdown to go along with two carries for seven yards and another score. On the season, he has recorded 22 catches for 246 yards and two touchdowns as well as a touchdown on the ground.
Up next for Montgomery and the Cardinal is a bye week before they travel to Washington to battle the Huskies.
Marcus Mariota, junior, quarterback, Oregon: Mariota took his seat on the bench for they night after two Oregon third quarter drives, but still had a huge night as the Ducks beat Wyoming 48-14. In just over one half of play, he connected on 19-of-23 passes for yards and two touchdowns. He also registered five carries for 71 yards, including touchdown runs of 15 and 19 yards. On the season, he has completed 70.4 percent of his passes for 806 yards and eight touchdowns as well as 156 yards and three more scores on the ground.
Up next for Mariota and the Ducks is a their first road trip of the season to take on the Washington State Cougars.
Taylor Kelly, senior, quarterback, Arizona State: Kelly was in the midst of another impressive contest when his night was cut short with an injury. During his time on the field in the 38-24 win over Colorado, he completed 13-of-21 passes for 195 yards and three touchdowns to go along with six carried for 70 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown run. So far this season, he has connected on 61.8 percent of his passes for 625 yards and six touchdowns as well as 168 yards and a pair of scores on the ground.
Kelly and the Sun Devils have the week off before they face another tough Pac 12 test in UCLA.
Brett Hundley, junior, quarterback, UCLA: Hundley was on pace for an impressive game against Texas before he injured his elbow and watched the rest of the game from the side lines. In very limited action, he completed all four of his passes for 48 yards and also carried the ball three times for nine yards in a game the Bruins went on to win 20-17. So far this season, he has completed 70.4 percent of his passes for 686 yards and three touchdowns.
Up next for Hundley and the Bruins is a bye week before they travel to Arizona State to take on the Sun Devils .
Todd Gurley, junior running back, Georgia: Gurley had another solid showing but it wasn’t enough as the Bulldogs fell 38-35 to the South Carolina Gamecocks. In the loss he carried the ball 20 times for 131 yards and a touchdown to go along with four receptions. On the season, he has totaled 35 carries for 329 yards and four touchdowns in two games.
Up next for Gurley and the Bulldogs is a battle against Troy.
Amari Cooper, junior, wide receiver, Alabama: Cooper is clearly the go to guy for the Alabama offense early in 2014. He had another huge game for the Crimson Tide as they blasted Southern Mississippi 52-12. In the lopsided affair, he finished with eight receptions for 135 yards and a touchdown. On the season, he has totaled 33 catches for 454 yards and two scores.
Up next for Cooper and Alabama is a game against the Florida Gators to open up SEC play.
Jay Ajayi, junior, running back, Boise State: after an explosive start to the season, Ajayi was held in-check by the Connecticut defense, but the Broncos still had enough fire power to knock of the Huskies 38-21. In the win, he totaled just 39 yards on 18 carries as well as two receptions for 13 yards. So far this season, he has put up 344 yards and two touchdowns rushing to go along with 18 catches for 167 yards and two more scores.
Up next for Ajayi and the Broncos is a matchup with Louisiana-Lafayette.
Jameis Winston, sophomore, quarterback, Florida State: Winston and the Seminoles had the week off to prepare for one of the most difficult games on their schedule. So far this season, he has completed 70.1 percent of his throws for 626 yards and three touchdowns
Up next for Winston and Florida State is a big game against Clemson.
Mike Davis, junior, running back, South Carolina: Davis didn’t have a great showing with only 17 carries for 66 yards, but it was still enough to help South Carolina knock off the Georgia Bulldogs 38-35. Davis also added two receptions for 16 yards in the win. On the season, he has contributed 182 yards and two touchdowns on 41 carries as well as six catches for 45 yards.
Up next for Davis and South Carolina is a matchup with Vanderbilt.
Cody Kessler, junior, quarterback, USC: even though the Trojans fell 37-31 on the road against Boston College, Kessler still had a huge game. He completed 31-of-41 passes for 317 yards, including touchdown passes of 8, 51, 10 and 14 yards. So far this season, he has completed 71 percent of his passes for 846 yards and eight touchdowns.
Up next for Kessler and USC is an off week before they face Mannion and the Oregon State Beavers.
Kenny Hill, sophomore, quarterback, Texas A&M: Hill put on another show as the Aggies came away with a 38-10 win over Rice. In the victory, he completed 20-of-31 passes for 300 yards, including touchdown passes of 14,13, 48 and 20 yards. So far this season, he has completed 69.2 percent of his passes for 1,094 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Up next for Hill and the Aggies is a visit to SMU to take on the Mustangs.
Melvin Gordon, junior, running back, Wisconsin: Gordon did not play in week three thanks to a bye week for Wisconsin. On the season, he has a combined 200 yards of offense and two scores in two games.
Up next for Gordon and the Badgers is a visit from Bowling Green.
Ameer Abdullah, senior, running back, Nebraska: Abdullah didn’t need any heroics to give the Huskers another win, but he still had a solid night as Nebraska knocked off Fresno State 55-19. In the win, he carried the ball 19 times for 110 yards and a touchdown. For the season, he has totaled 396 yards and three touchdowns on the ground to go along 105 yards and a scoring receiving.
Up next for Abdullah and the Huskers is a battle with the Miami Hurricanes.
Everett Golson, senior, quarterback, Notre Dame: Golson has continued to have an impact on the Notre Dame offense as he totaled more than 300 yards of total offense and three touchdown in a 30-14 win over Purdue. He finished the night by completing 25-of-40 passes for 259 yards and two scores as well as 56 yards and another touchdown on the ground. For the season, he has completed64.6 percent of his passes for 780 yards and seven touchdowns. He has also added four rushing touchdowns.
Up next for Golson and Notre Dame is a week off before a matchup with Syracuse.
Connor Halliday, senior, quarterback, Washington State: Portland State was just what the doctor ordered for Washington State as Halliday put up huge numbers in the 59-21 win. In the victory, he completed 41-of-62 throws for 544 yards and six touchdowns. For the season, he has completed 68 percent of his passes for 1,465 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Up next for Halliday and the Cougars is a visit from the Oregon Ducks.
Travin Dural, sophomore, wide receiver, LSU: Dural had a solid performance as the LSU Tigers came away with a 31-0 over Louisiana-Monroe. He double his reception total for the season with six catches for 79 yards. ON the season, he has caught 12 passes for 370 yards and four touchdowns.
Up next for Dural and LSU is a matchup against Mississippi State.
D.J. Foster, junior, running back, Arizona State: Foster had his third big game of the season as the Sun Devils got past the Colorado Buffaloes 38-24. In the win, he carried the ball 20 times for 147 yards and a touchdown to go along with four catches for 59 yards and another score. For the season, he has totaled 510 yards and five touchdowns on the ground as well as 11 catches for 139 yards and another score.
Foster and the Sun Devils have a week off before a Pac 12 showdown against UCLA.
New to the list
KD Cannon, freshman, wide receiver, Baylor: Cannon has had a monster start to his freshman campaign and proved that they Bears still had plenty of options to throw to even without some very talented wide outs. Following a game where he finished with six catches for 223 yards and three touchdowns in week two, he put up another huge performance. In the 63-21 win over Buffalo he recorded six more receptions for 189 yards and a score. So far this season, he has 14 catches for 471 yards and five touchdowns in three games.
Cannon and the Bears have a bye week before they start Big 12 action against Iowa State.