2014 Heisman Trophy tracker: Week 12

After focusing on the quarterback position for much of the year, week 12 of the college football season was all about the running backs.  Some big performances in the backfield created a huge shakeup in the rankings and even gave us a new name at the top of the list thanks to a record-breaking day.   A freshman signal caller also took a major step forward with a dominating effort over a ranked opponent.

Here is a look at the leading contenders for the Heisman Trophy based on how they have performed so far this season.

Off the list

Nick Marshall, senior, quarterback, Auburn: Marshall had a very tough game as the Tigers got drilled 34-7 by the Georgia Bulldogs.  In the loss, he completed 11 of 23 passes for 112 yards and an interception to go along with nine carries for 41 yards.  On the season, he has completed 59.9 percent of his passes for 1,688 yards and 14 touchdowns.  He also has 739 yards and 11 scores on the ground.

20.  Devontae Booker, junior, running back, Utah: Booker had his second lowest rushing total of the season (and lowest as the starter), but got it done in other ways as the Utes outlasted the Cardinal 20-17 in double overtime.  In the win, he carried the ball 17 times for 58 yards and caught nine passes for 41 yards.  On the season, he has recorded 218 carries for 1,113 yards and eight touchdowns to go along with 30 receptions for 252 yards and two more scores.

Up next for Booker and the Utes is a battle with Arizona.

19.  Everett Golson, senior, quarterback, Notre Dame: Golson wasnt at his best as the Fighting Irish dropped their second game in as many weeks.  In the 43-40 overtime loss to Northwestern, he completed 21 of 40 passes for 287 yards, including touchdown passes of 23, 23 and 11 yards.  He also carried the ball 10 times for 78 yards and a score, but also had two turnovers.  On the season, he has completed 60.7 percent of his passes for 3,044 yards and 27 touchdowns to go along with eight rushing scores.

Up next for Golson and Notre Dame is a game against Louisville.

18.  Jared Goff, sophomore, quarterback, Cal:  Goff had another impressive outing, but it wasn’t enough as the Bears fell to USC 38-30 on Thursday night.  In the loss, he completed 29 of 47 passes for 279 yards, including touchdown passes of 6, 5 and 29 yards.  On the season, he has completed 62.5 percent of his throws for 3,398 yards and 30 touchdowns with four interceptions.

Up next for Goff and the Bears is a battle with Stanford.

17.  Ameer Abdullah, senior, running back, Nebraska: Abdullah had a tough day coming back from injury as the Cornhuskers got destroyed 59-24 by the Wisconsin Badgers.  In the loss, he carried the ball 18 times for 69 yards and caught a pass for 26 yards.  On the season, he has carried the ball 204 times for 1,319 yards and 17 touchdowns to go along with 195 yards and two touchdowns receiving.

Up next for Abdullah and Nebraska is game against Minnesota.

16.  Rakeem Cato, senior, quarterback, Marshall: Cato had another big day as the Thundering Herd stayed undefeated with a 41-14 win over Rice.  In the victory, he completed 23 of 37 passes for 297 yards, including touchdown passes of 2, 25, 30 and 7 yards.  On the season, he has completed 59.2 percent of his passes for 2,613 yards and 26 touchdowns to go along with 359 yards and six touchdowns in the running game.

Up next for Cato and Marshall is a game at UAB.

15.  James Conner, sophomore running back, Pittsburgh: Conner had his second straight 200-yard game in a losing effort as the Panthers fell 40-35 to North Carolina.  In the loss, he carried the ball 30 times for 220 yards, including touchdown runs of 56, 16, 2 and 22 yards.  On the season, he has recorded 250 carries for 1,562 yards and 21 touchdowns.

Up next for Conner and Pittsburgh is a game against Syracuse.

14.  Devon Johnson, junior, running back, Marshall: After missing the game against Southern Mississippi, Johnson was back in full force in the big victory over Rice.  In the win, he carried the ball a season-high 27 times for 199 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown run.  ON the season, he has totaled 164 carries for 1,402 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Up next for Johnson and the Thundering Herd is a game at UAB.

13.  Bo Wallace, senior, quarterback, Mississippi: Wallace and the Rebels had the week off to prepare for the end of the year.  On the season, he has completed 64 percent of his passes for 2,556 yards and 22 touchdowns as well as four scores in the running game.

Up next for Wallace and Mississippi is a matchup with Arkansas.

12.  Tevin Coleman, junior, running back, Indiana: Coleman had a huge day, but it wasn’t nearly enough as the Hoosiers dropped their fifth game in a row 45-23 to Rutgers.  In the loss, he carried the ball 32 times for a season-high 307 yards and a touchdown.  On the season, he has registered 214 carries for 1,678 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Up next for Coleman and Indiana is a tough matchup against Ohio State.

11.  Jay Ajayi, junior, running back, Boise State: Ajayi played a huge role as the Broncos came back from a 20-point deficit to knock off the San Diego State Aztecs.  In the win, he carried the ball 31 times for 134 yards, including second half touchdown runs of 5, 3 and 10 yards.  On the season, he has carried the ball 260 times for 1,280 yards and 17 touchdowns to go along with 42 receptions for 443 yards and three more scores.

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

10.  Jameis Winston, sophomore, quarterback, Florida State: Winston and Florida State overcame a huge deficit to knock off the Miami Hurricanes 30-26.  In the win, he completed 25 of 42 passes for 304 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown pass.  On the season, he has completed 65.8 percent of his passes for 2,844 yards and 18 touchdowns with 12 interceptions.

Up next for Winston and the Seminoles is matchup with Boston College.

9.  Brett Hundley, junior, quarterback, UCLA: Hundley and the Bruins had the week off to prepare for their rivals.  On the season, he has completed 72.1 percent of his passes for 2,547 yards and 17 touchdowns to go along with 564 yards and seven scores in the running game.

Up next for Hundley and the Bruins is a matchup with the USC Trojans.

8.  Cody Kessler, junior, quarterback, USC: Kessler was in fine form as the Trojans outlasted the Cal Bears 38-30 on Thursday night.  In the win, he completed 31 of 42 passes for 371 yards, including touchdown passes of 10, 32, 9 and 15 yards.  On the season, he has completed 70.2 percent of his passes for 2,919 yards and 29 touchdowns with three interceptions.

Up next for Kessler and USC is a matchup with UCLA.

7.  Amari Cooper, junior, wide receiver, Alabama: Cooper had another solid day as Alabama took care of No. 1 ranked Mississippi State 25-20.  In the win, he caught eight passes for 88 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown.  On the season, he has registered 87 receptions for 1,303 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Up next for Cooper and the Crimson Tide is a game against Western Carolina.

6.  Bryce Petty, senior, quarterback, Baylor: After their most impressive effort of the season, Petty and the Bears has the week off to prepare for the stretch run of the Big 12 schedule.  On the season, he has completed 58 percent of his passes for 2,421 yards and 21 touchdowns with just three interceptions as well as three scores in the running game.

Up next for Petty and Baylor is a matchup with Oklahoma State.

5.  Dak Prescott, junior, quarterback, Mississippi State: Prescott struggled as the Bulldogs lost their first game of the season 25-20 to Alabama.  In the loss, he completed 27 of 48 passes for 290 yards and two touchdowns, but also threw three interceptions.  He also recorded a game-high 82 yards rushing.  On the season, he has completed 60 percent of his passes for 2,521 yards and 20 touchdowns to go along with 861 yards and 11 scores on the ground.

Up next for Prescott and the Bulldogs is a matchup with Vanderbilt.

4.  Trevone Boykin, junior, quarterback, TCU: Boykin and the Horned Frogs survived a scare as they came from behind to beat the Kansas Jayhawks 34-30.  In the win, he completed 26 of 36 passes for 330 yards, including a 27-yard touchdown pass.  On the season, he has completed 59.3 percent of his passes for 3,021 yards and 24 touchdowns to go along with 548 yards and seven scores on the ground.

Up next for Boykin and TCU is a bye before a matchup with the Texas Longhorns.

3.  J.T. Barrett, freshman, quarterback, Ohio State: Barrett had it working on the ground and through the air as the Buckeyes beat Minnesota 31-24.  In the win, he completed 15 of 25 passes for 200 yards and three touchdowns to go along with 17 carries for 189 yards and another score.  On the season, he has completed 64 percent of his passes for 2,356 yards and 29 touchdowns.  He has also put up 771 yards and nine touchdowns in the running game.

Up next for Barrett and the Buckeyes is a matchup with Indiana.

2.  Marcus Mariota, junior, quarterback, Oregon: Mariota and the Ducks had the week off to prepare for the end of the Pac-12 schedule.  On the season, he has completed 67.1 percent of his passes for 2,780 yards and 29 touchdowns as well as 524 yards and eight scores in the running game.

Up next for Mariota and the Ducks is a matchup with the Colorado Buffaloes.

1.  Melvin Gordon, junior, running back, Wisconsin:  All it took was a Marcus Mariota bye week and the best rushing game in FBS history to vault Gordon to the top of the list.  In a 59-24 win over Nebraska, Gordon carried the ball 25 times for 408 yards, including touchdown runs of 62, 1, 6 and 26 yards in just three quarters of action.  On the season, he has carried the ball 223 times for 1,909 yards (8.6 yards per attempt) and 23 touchdowns.  He also has two receiving touchdowns.

Up next for Gordon and the Badgers is a trip to Iowa to face the Hawkeyes.

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