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College

Quarterbacks dominate Heisman race at halfway point

  • s5kyler-jpg-1

    Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray accounted for five touchdowns Saturday, but the Sooners fell to rival Texas.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Alabama-Arkansas-Football

    Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw for four touchdowns Sunday vs. Arkansas.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

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We’ve reached the halfway point of the college football regular season with a crystal-clear portrait of the Heisman Trophy race.

The candidacy of four quarterbacks near the top of the polls continues to lead, as many of the alternate candidates have run into bad luck. The two best running backs, Bryce Love of Stanford and A.J. Dillon of Boston College, both missed Saturday’s games with injuries as their teams lost. Ohio State’s Nick Bosa, likely the best defensive player in the country, is out indefinitely with an injury.

However, the top quarterbacks continue to shine.

Alabama-Arkansas-Football

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw for four touchdowns Sunday vs. Arkansas.

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1. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama. If this season were an NCAA video game, it would be time for Alabama to change the difficulty from “All-American” to “Heisman.” The Tide is crushing everyone, and Tagovailoa rarely is needed beyond the first half. In a 65-31 beating of Arkansas, Tagovailoa almost was perfect: 10-for-13, 334 yards, and four touchdowns.

2. Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State. Behind Haskins, the Buckeyes are the heavy favorite to win the Big Ten. The redshirt sophomore threw two interceptions in a 49-26 win against Indiana, but he offset them with six touchdown passes, a 75 percent completion percentage, and a runaway victory. Haskins is on pace for 50 regular-season touchdown passes.

3. Kyler Murray, Oklahoma. The Sooners might have lost to rival Texas, but Murray was the only reason it was close. Murray had 396 yards of total offense and five total touchdowns, and he helped erase a 21-point fourth-quarter deficit before Texas kicked the winning field goal. Murray and the Sooners aren’t out of the playoff picture by any means.

4. Will Grier, West Virginia. Grier had a shaky game — he turned over the ball four times — but he still threw four touchdowns and the Mountaineers improved to 5-0. Now, we’ll find out whether WVU is for real. A trip to Iowa State awaits this week, and Texas, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State remain on WVU’s schedule.

Contact Nicholas Piotrowicz at npiotrowicz@theblade.com, 419-724-6110 or on Twitter @NickPiotrowicz

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