Heisman watch: Caleb Williams and Max Duggan shine brightly

USC strategist Caleb Williams faked the transfer, kept the ball himself, and rushed into the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown run. The Trojans’ sophomore caller leapt into the air and gave a shout to the USC faithful before running to his team’s sideline and striking a Heisman pose.

It may not be the last time Williams strikes over the next month. After another impressive performance in a 38-27 victory over Notre Dame on Saturday, Williams now appears to be in a two-way race for this year’s Heisman Trophy, joining Ohio State’s CJ Stroud as heavy favorites.

Stroud, who was the betting favorite to win the Heisman ahead of Saturday, had a strong outing but ended in a loss to his rival Michigan. Meanwhile, Wolverines RB Blake Corum only played one series against the Buckeyes due to injury, and Oregon QC Bo Nix staged a great outing but was also limited due to injury.

Now, as conference championship week approaches, the question is, has Williams closed the gap?

Find out how the leading Heisman candidates ahead of Week 13 fared this week.

Note: Players are ranked by FOX Bet odds entering Week 13.

1. ohio state QC C.J. Stroud: -133

Stroud had a solid outing against Michigan, but the No. 2-ranked Buckeyes couldn’t establish run on the offensive side of the ball, which led to him throwing the ball 48 times in a 45-loss. 23 against the Wolverines. He completed 31 of those 48 passes for 349 yards and two scores, while adding two interceptions.

If Stroud had put those numbers in a win, his Heisman chances would be really good right now. But the talented signalman didn’t have that true “Heisman moment” on Saturday, instead throwing a pair of costly interceptions late in the competition.

Ohio State’s CJ Stroud hits Marvin Harrison Jr. for the 42-yard touchdown

Ohio State's CJ Stroud hits Marvin Harrison Jr. for the 42-yard touchdown

Ohio State’s CJ Stroud hits Marvin Harrison Jr. for the 42-yard touchdown to regain the lead, 20-17.

Ranking week 12: 1

Tendency : Constant.

Next: To be determined

2. USC QC Caleb Williams: +110

Another week, another dominating performance from USC’s sophomore quarterback. On a day when several other Heisman candidates struggled, Williams shone, throwing for 232 yards and a touchdown while adding 35 yards and three rushing touchdowns. Williams’ 3-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter marked his 42nd touchdown of the season, which is the most in a single season by a USC QB.

The fact that Williams played so well throughout the streak while leading his team to a near-perfect 11-1 regular season and a berth in the Pac-12 Conference Championship Game should only help his chances of winning college football’s most prestigious individual award. To say he looks like Patrick Mahomes 2.0 would be a bold, yet accurate assessment. He is a joy to watch.

Ranking week 12: 5

Tendency : At the top.

Next: Pac-12 Championship game, Dec. 2.

3. Michigan RB Blake Corum: +1400

Corum came into Saturday’s showdown with Ohio State nursing an injury, and he wasn’t even sure he was going to play. The all-around running back carried the ball twice on Wolverines’ first possession of the game, but didn’t return to action afterwards.

Donovan Edwards took over in the Wolverines backfield, rushing for a career-high 216 yards and two touchdowns in Michigan’s 45-23 win. As Heisman’s hopes of Corum took a hit, it was a day to remember for everyone in the Wolverines.

Ranking week 12: 3

Tendency : Down.

Next: Big Ten Championship Game, Dec. 3.

4. Oregon QC Bo Nix: +5000

Win or lose, Nix continues to put up video game-like numbers on a weekly basis. The transfer from Auburn completed 27 of 41 passes for 327 yards and two touchdowns in Oregon’s 38-34 loss to Oregon State. Nix’s limited mobility due to a right ankle injury was a major factor in the loss. He entered the game averaging almost 50 yards per rushing fight, but only rushed the ball three times for -5 yards on Saturday.

Ranking week 12: ten

Tendency : Constant.

Next: To be determined

5. TOS QC Max Dugan: +6000

After another dominating performance on Saturday, Duggan should continue to receive more and more Heisman hype ahead of next weekend’s Big 12 Championship game. The senior QB was 17 of 24 for 212 yards and three touchdowns in the Horned Frogs’ 62-14 win over Iowa State. He completed passes to 10 different players in the win.

Duggan has now thrown three or more touchdown passes in seven games this season. With a perfect 12-0 regular season and another impressive performance on his resume, Duggan boosted his Heisman chances heading into Conference Championship weekend.

Ranking week 12: seven

Tendency : At the top.

Next: Big 12 Championship game, December 3.

6. USL QC Jayden Daniels: +8000

Daniels continued to build momentum in the Heisman Trophy race through the second half of the season. But his Heisman hopes and LSU’s CFP chances were likely ended Saturday in the Tigers’ 38-25 loss to Texas A&M. Daniels completed 21 of 35 passes for 189 yards and failed to throw for a touchdown. He also added 84 rushing yards.

Ranking week 12: 8

Tendency : Down.

Next: SEC Championship Game, Dec. 3.

seven. North Carolina QC Drake May: +10000

Maye looked like one of, if not the best quarterback in college football through the first 11 weeks of the season. The UNC QB has struggled in his last two outings, including a 30-27 loss to NC State on Friday. Maye completed 29 of 49 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown, as well as an interception. He also added 32 yards and a rushing score in the loss.

Maye has now made less than 60% of his shots in two straight games after finishing 63% or better in nine of the previous 10 games. Maye is probably on the outside when it comes to the Heisman Trophy, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that he had a stellar freshman campaign in the redshirt.

Ranking week 12: 4

Tendency : Down.

Next: ACC Championship Game, Dec. 3.

8. Georgia QC Stetson Bennet: +10000

Bennett threw just 18 passes on Saturday, but in the end, it didn’t matter. He completed 10 of those 18 passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns as No. 1-ranked Georgia cruised to a 37-14 victory over state foe Georgia Tech. Bennett’s stats are impressive this season — 3,011 passing yards, 14 touchdowns — but it’s his ability to step up in the big moments that makes him such a special player. Bennett is now 26-3 as a starter under Georgia’s center.

Ranking week 12: 6

Tendency : Constant.

Next: SEC Championship Game, Dec. 3.

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