Look out, Leonard Fournette. Trevone Boykin is coming for your crown.
The LSU running back has established himself as the clear-cut Heisman favorite so far this season, but TCU’s signal caller is doing everything possible to make this a close race.
After a sub-par performance in the Horned Frogs’ season-opener against Minnesota, Boykin has been absolutely en fuego. In TCU’s last four games, Boykin has thrown for 1,566 yards passing, 18 touchdowns and just two interceptions. Not too shabby, wouldn’t you say?
Boykin is fresh off arguably his best game of the season, as he shredded Texas’ defense en route to a 50-7 victory on Saturday. Boykin threw for 332 yards and five touchdowns, four of which came in the first half, and added 52 yards rushing on the ground. Boykin’s stats surely could have been even more impressive had the game’s outcome not been decided so early (TCU led 30-0 after a quarter). He didn’t even play in the game’s final quarter.
Boykin’s best toss of the day was his 15-yard TD connection with his favorite target, Josh Doctson. Boykin threw a perfect fade to Doctson in the corner of the end zone that the elite receiver came down with.
But perhaps Boykin’s most memorable throw was his third touchdown. Boykin’s 49-yard strike to KaVontae Turpin gave the QB his 72nd career touchdown pass, breaking TCU legend and current Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton’s previous record.
Move over, Andy Dalton. Trevone Boykin's program-record 72nd TD pass was this easy 49-yarder to KaVontae Turpin: http://t.co/iPQdaNnia6— ESPN (@espn) October 3, 2015
At this point, Boykin has to be considered the No. 2 Heisman favorite behind Fournette. He’s currently leading a team that is ranked No. 2 in the AP Top 25; history has proven that team success is vital towards being in the Heisman race. History has also shown us just how important being a quarterback is in winning the Heisman; 13 of the past 14 Heisman winners have been quarterbacks. It’s a real testament to how dominant Fournette is that he’s clearly the top dog right now despite the position he plays, but Boykin’s position certainly helps him when compared to other non-Fournette candidates, such as Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott and Georgia running back Nick Chubb.
Boykin’s recent dominance means two things: 1) Fournette can’t afford any slip-ups if he wants to remain the Heisman favorite and 2) the rest of college football needs to be worried, because the Horned Frogs are a true championship threat.
Other names to watch (let’s take a look at some contenders we haven’t discussed in our weekly series):
Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
He’s always going to get overshadowed by Boykin’s brilliance, but let’s not underestimate how important Doctson is for the TCU passing attack. In the past two weeks, Doctson has caught 25 passes for 396 yards and five touchdowns. Read those numbers again because they are out of this world. He’s up to 42 catches for 722 yards and eight touchdowns on the season and has emerged as one of the best receivers in football.
Jared Goff, QB, California
Cal improved to 5-0 on Saturday behind the arm of Goff. He threw for a season-high 390 yards and four touchdowns (he also broke his school's all-time TD record) in the Golden Bears’ 34-28 win over Washington State. He’s now passed for 1,630 yards, 15 touchdowns and four interceptions and has Cal ranked in the AP Top 25 (they’re at No. 23). Goff is playing some great football these days and he’s entered the Heisman race.
Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
When you think of Texas A&M football, you probably think of offensive firepower. Well, Garrett is doing his best to make people focus on the Aggies’ defense. The 6-foot-5, 255-pound defensive end has wreaked havoc this season, posting 9.5 tackles for a loss, 7.5 sacks and three forced fumbles through just five games. Simply put, Garrett is a beast and has played a pivotal role in the Aggies’ defense exceeding expectations this season.