All three leading candidates had very solid performances, although Vince Young was able to show off against Texas while Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush took on lowly Arizona.
- Reggie Bush, USC-He injured his knee early in the game, and never looked the same. That said, he managed to rip off a 65-yard run late in the game and finish with 14 carries and 110 yards (7.9 average). He also caught two passes for 16 yards and returned a kick 17 yards. So far nobody will punt to him this year (just 7 returns). His candidacy was hurt because teammate LenDale White overshadowed him, powering his way for 179 yards on 24 carries (7.5 average) and 4 short touchdowns. Bush's knee injury appears to fine, but we'll find out more against Notre Dame (a team Bush almost committed to) this weekend.
- Matt Leinart, USC-Had fun just throwing the ball all over the field against Arizona's soft zones, although his one deep effort was picked off. For the second week in a row, teams dared USC to run the ball, and eventually Leinart gave way to the Thunder/Lightning combo of White and Bush. He finished 26/40 (.650) with 360 yards, 2 TD and 1 INT.
- Vince Young, Texas-Finally overcame Oklahoma. The Sooners were able to contain his run efforts most of the game. Thing is, they also gambled that Texas wouldn't beat them through the air. Oops. Young threw three touchdowns and finished 14/27 (.519) for 241 yards with 3 TD and 0 INT. He also carried the ball 17 times for 45 yards (2.6 average) and no touchdowns. Texas plays Colorado this weekend.
- Drew Stanton, Michigan State-Stellar numbers now (190.1 efficiency rating, 72% completions, 14 TD/3 INT), will finish the year with stellar numbers. Big game at Ohio State this weekend.
- Brady Quinn, Notre Dame-Has the numbers (156.3 rating, 65% completions, 13 TD/3 INT), ND is getting the pub---now can he deliver against USC?
Needing a Boost:
- Maurice Drew, UCLA-Written off, has a dazzling game against California (all kinds of magical returns, touchdowns rushing and receiving, 5 total). The numbers won't be there, but a showcase game against USC could make for a last-weekend dive into New York City. The DrewCLA nickname and story of his grandfather's death are great Heisman material if UCLA can sell them enough (not saying someone should market tragedy, only its a compelling human interest story people like to hear about).
- LenDale White, USC-Three USC Heisman candidates? Damn. Like HP, I don't see this happening. That said, White's gone nuts for USC two weekends in a row and is now 8th nationally in rushing (123.2 yards/game, 7.6 YPC). His ten touchdowns don't hurt, either. Not bad for a backup.
- Sam Keller, ASU-Third loss, and its only halfway through the season. Great numbers and a lot of personality (notably saying about Matt Leinart, he didn't need to hang out with Jessica Simpson to be a great quarterback), but a tough early schedule did him in.