The 2014 Heisman Trophy tracker: week five

Week five of the college football season was dominated by the running backs once again.   Outstanding performances from Melvin Gordon, Ameer Abdullah and Todd Gurley cemented their spots at or near the top of our rankings.

Here is a look at the top 20 candidates for the Heisman Trophy to this point in the season, including a pair of newcomers.

Off the list

Ty Montgomery, senior, wide receiver, Stanford: Montgomery didn’t have his biggest output of the season, but still made some plays as the Cardinal escaped with a 20-13 win over Washington.  In the victory, he caught four passes for 29 yards and a touchdown.  He also registered three carries for 38 yards in the running game.  For the season, he has registered 26 catches for 275 yards and three touchdowns as well as a rushing touchdown and another on a punt return.

Up next for Montgomery and the Cardinal is a visit to Notre Dame.

Sean Mannion, senior, quarterback, Oregon State: Mannion struggled in a big way against a tough USC defense as Oregon State lost 35-10.  In the defeat, he completed just 15-of-32 passes for 123 yards and two interceptions, including one that was returned 31 yards for a USC touchdown. So far this season, he has completed 62.8 percent of his passes for 1,026 yards and four touchdowns.

Up next for Mannion and Oregon State is a trip to Colorado to take on the Buffaloes.

20.  Travin Dural, sophomore, wide receiver, LSU: Dural had a slow night as the LSU Tigers destroyed New Mexico State 63-7.  In the win, he caught just three passes for 40 yards and a touchdown.  On the season, he has recorded 21 receptions for 534 yards and five touchdowns.

Up next for Dural and the Tigers is a battle with Auburn.

19.  KD Cannon, freshman, wide receiver, Baylor: even though the Bears won 49-28 over Iowa State and Cannon set a career-high in receptions, he didn’t have a huge impact for the loaded Baylor offense. In the victory, he caught nine passes for 48 yards to go along with one carry for eight yards on the ground.  On the season, he has caught 23 passes for 519 yards and five touchdowns.

Up next for Cannon and Baylor is a matchup against the Texas Longhorns.

18.  D.J. Foster, junior, running back, Arizona State: Foster didn’t get very many opportunities to see the ball in the running game as the Sun Devils tried to play catchup up most of the night in a 62-27 loss to UCLA.  In the defeat, he carried the ball  just nine times for  a season-low 30 yards.  He also added five receptions for 68 yards.  So far this season, he has carried the ball 63 times for 540 yards and five scores to go along with 16 catches for 207 yards and another touchdown.

Up next for Foster and Arizona State is a trip to face USC.

17.  Clint Trickett, senior, quarterback, West Virginia: even though the Mountaineers got beat 45-33 by the Oklahoma Sooners in their last game, Trickett had his fourth huge outing of the season.  In the loss, he completed 25-of-41 passes for 376 yards, including touchdown passes of 68 and 30 yards.  On the season, he has completed 72 percent of his passes for 1,600 yards and nine touchdowns.

Up next for Trickett and West Virginia is a battle with the Kansas Jayhawks.

16.  Nelson Spruce, junior, wide receiver, Colorado: even though the Buffaloes have struggled to a 2-3 record to start the season, Spruce has put on a show.  He had his best outing of the season as Colorado lost in 59-56 in double overtime to California when he caught 19 passes for 179 yards including touchdown catches of 12, 6 and 25 yards.  On the season, he has caught 56 passes for 697 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Up next for Spruce and Colorado is a visit from Oregon State.

15.  Connor Halliday, senior, quarterback, Washington State: after a slow start saw the Cougars fall into a 21-0 hole, Halliday proved why he is one of the best signal callers in the land as he led Washington State to a 28-27 win over the Utes.  In the road victory, he completed 39-of-61 passes for 417 yards, including touchdown passes of 35, 11, 20 and 81 yards.  On the season, he has completed 67.2 percent of his passes for 2,318 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Up next for Halliday and the Cougars is a matchup against the Cal Bears.

14.  Jay Ajayi, junior, running back, Boise State: Ajayi had a rough day as the Broncos fell to the Air Force Falcons 28-14.  In the loss, he carried the ball 17 times for 63 yards to go along with five catches for another 58 yards.  So far this season, he has registered 557 yards and five touchdowns on the ground as well 28 receptions for 262 yards and two more scores.

Up next for Ajayi and the Broncos is a trip to face Nevada.

13.  Cody Kessler, junior, quarterback, USC: Kessler had another productive outing through the air as USC beat Oregon State 35-10.  In the win, he completed 24-of-32 passes for 261 yards, including touchdown passes of 16 and 48 yards.  On the season, he has completed 72 percent of his passes for 1,107 yards and ten touchdowns without throwing an interception.

Up next for Kessler and the Trojans in a battle with Arizona State.

12.  Taysom Hill, junior, quarterback, BYU: Hill and the Cougars had the week off following their 4-0 start to the year.  On the season, he has completed 66.1 percent of his passes for 876 yards and six touchdowns.  He has also added 428 yards and seven scores on the ground.

Up next for Hill and BYU is a Friday night clash against in-state rival Utah State.

11.  Jameis Winston, sophomore, quarterback, Florida State: Winston was back on the field for the Seminoles after serving a one-game suspension and had a huge night as Florida State overcame a huge first-quarter deficit to knock off North Carolina State 56-41.  In the win, he completed 26-of-38 passes for 365 yards, including touchdowns passes of 32, 22, 15 and 4 yards.  So far this season, he has completed 69.5 percent of his passes for 991 yards and seven touchdowns as well as four interceptions.

Up next for Winston and Florida State is a visit from Wake Forest.

10.  Brett Hundley, junior, quarterback, UCLA: Hundley had a remarkable night in his return from injury as the Bruins went on the road and knocked off the Sun Devils 62-27.  I the win, he completed 18-of-23 passes for 355 yards, including touchdown passes of 80, 3, 80 and 4 yards.  He also did some damage on the ground with eight carries for 72 yards and another score.  On the season, he has completed 72.1 percent of his passes for 1,041 yards and seven touchdowns.  He has also registered 146 yards and two scores in the running game.

Up next for Hundley and the Bruins is a visit from Utah.

9.  Bryce Petty, senior, quarterback, Baylor:  with all of his weapons in tow, Petty and the Bears had little trouble with Iowa State as they knocked off the Cyclones 49-28.  In the win, he completed 30-of-44 passes for 336 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown pass.  He also added 47 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.  So far this season, he has completed 65.3 percent of his passes for 913 yards and seven touchdowns to go along with three touchdowns on the ground.

Up next for Petty and the Bears is a trip to Texas to take on the Longhorns.

8.  Everett Golson, senior, quarterback, Notre Dame: Golson had another big passing day as the Fighting Irish improved to 4-0 on the season with a 31-15 win over Syracuse.  In the victory, he completed 32-of-39 passes for 362 yards, including touchdown passes of 23, 72, 8 and 13 yards.  So far this season, he has completed 69.6 percent of his passes for 1,142 yards and 11 touchdowns as well as four rushing scores.

Up next for Golson and Notre Dame is contest with Stanford.

7.  Dak Prescott, junior, quarterback, Mississippi State: Prescott had the week off before the big showdown against Kenny Hill and the Aggies.  On the season, he has completed 60.4 percent of his passes for 964 yards and 11 touchdowns.  He has also put up 378 yards and three scores on the ground.

Up next for Prescott and the Bulldogs is a difficult home test against Texas A&M.

6.  Melvin Gordon, junior, running back, Wisconsin: Gordon followed up his huge game against Bowling Green with another big effort as the Badgers knocked off South Florida 27-10.  In the win, he carried the ball 32 times for 181 yards, including touchdown runs of 7 and 43 yards.  On the season, he has carried the ball 78 times for 612 yards and eight touchdowns.

Up next for Gordon and Wisconsin is a trip to Northwestern to face the Wildcats.

5.  Todd Gurley, junior running back, Georgia: Gurley produced his highest rushing total of the season as the Bulldogs did just enough to outlast the Tennessee Volunteers 35-28.  In the win, he carried the ball 28 times for 208 yards, including touchdowns runs of 1 and 51 yards.  On the season, he has carried the ball 69 times for 610 yards and six touchdowns.

Up next for Gurley and Georgia is SEC foe Vanderbilt.

4.  Amari Cooper, junior, wide receiver, Alabama: Cooper lost a little bit of ground in the Heisman race for the simple fact that he had the week off while others played so well.  On the season, he has made 43 receptions for 655 yards and five touchdowns.

Up next for Cooper and Alabama is a battle against Mississippi on the road.

3.  Kenny Hill, sophomore, quarterback, Texas A&M: the Arkansas Razorbacks had an outstanding game plan to stop Hill and the Aggies, but thanks to an impressive fourth quarter, Texas A&M still managed to come away with a 35-28 overtime win.  In the victory, Hill completed 21-of-41 passes for 386 yards, including touchdowns passes of 8, 86, 59 and 25 yards.  On the season, he has completed 65.6 percent of his passes for 1,745 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Up next for Hill and the Aggies is a another tough test as they travel to Mississippi State to face the Bulldogs.

2.  Ameer Abdullah, senior, running back, Nebraska: Abdullah had his third 200-yard game of the season as the Cornhuskers knocked off Illinois 45-14.  In the victory, he finished with 208 yards on 22 carries, including first half touchdown runs of 12, 8 and 2 yards.  On the season, he has registered 833 yards and eight touchdowns on 114 carries to go along with five catches for 108 yards and two scores.

Up next for Abdullah and the undefeated Cornhuskers is a trip to Michigan State.

1.  Marcus Mariota, junior, quarterback, Oregon: even though he was pushed by some great performances during his bye week, Mariota still lands on the top of the list.  On the season, he has completed 74 percent of his passes for 1,135 yards and 13 touchdowns without throwing an interception.  He has also totaled 214 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.

Up next for Mariota and Oregon is a matchup with the Arizona Wildcats.

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