Christian Hackenberg Hits a Speed Bump, Shaq Thompson a Two-Way Star
The Heisman race is the only sports award that determines its field of contenders before the season actually starts. As such, we’ll keep track of all the contenders (and pretenders) for the award here.
In Week 2, the potential frontrunner Marcus Mariota had perhaps the most impressive game against the Michigan State defense in four seasons, but he wasn’t the only one to make noise on the big state.
Here’s how the field performed in the second week of the year:
Mariota had the best passing day against a Michigan State defense since 2010. His 318 yards was the most since Penn State’s Matt McGloin’s 312 and his efficiency rating (191.5) and yards per attempt (11.4) were the best against Sparty since Alabama in the Capital One Bowl that year.
Hill picked up a nice highlight with this hurdling of a Texas defender. More important, the Cougars quarterback has become much more sound a passer, completing 73 percent of his passes this season. He’s also rushed for 196 yards and five touchdowns in a pair of road games.
Welcome back, Everett. The Notre Dame quarterback continued to show command of the Irish offense by completing 23-of-34 passes for 226 yards with three touchdowns in a rout of Michigan. He’s completing 66.1 percent of his passes this season compared to 58.8 in 2012.
|Bryce Petty||Rest assured, Petty would have done awful, horrible things to Northwestern State if he were healthy. Instead, he sat out to rest his back. That may turn out to be a boost for his season, but for now it’s a very minor setback. Seth Russell completed 16-of-25 passes for 438 yards with five touchdowns in Petty’s absence.|
|Jake Waters||Waters turned in a Collin Klein-like effort against Iowa State, especially running the ball on third downs. He was 16-of-29 for 238 yards passing while rushing for 138 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries in a second-half comeback against Iowa State.|
|Shaq Thompson||Playing on a defense that allowed 52 points and 573 yards to Eastern Washington should sting, but Chris Petersen lived up to his promise to play Thompson on offense. He rushed for a 57-yard touchdown for one of his three carries. He also finished with 14 tackles and a sack.|
|Christian Hackenberg||Shouldering the load for Penn State is tough. A week after setting a school record with 454 passing yards against UCF, Hackenberg threw two interceptions against Akron. He finished with 319 yards and three touchdowns, but it wasn’t pretty.|