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Sport AP Top 25 Takeaways: Heisman race begins as Fields enters

04:15  25 october  2020
04:15  25 october  2020 Source:   ap.org

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The quarterback at Ohio State is really good, too, but Justin Fields is now third in line among Heisman contenders in Columbus With a month to go, a Heisman top -five (from a non-voter). A reminder: One loss doesn't eliminate any team from the College Football Playoff race , but there are plenty of

The Alabama quarterback looked only OK in the top -ranked Crimson Tide's shutout of No. 18 Mississippi State . West Virginia's Will Grier is still hanging around the Heisman race , too. He had three touchdown passes in a blowout of TCU . Remember when Virginia Tech was in the Top 25 ?

Now that Justin Field has arrived, the Heisman Trophy race can begin.

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day, left, talk with quarterback Justin Fields during the second half of their NCAA college football game against Nebraska Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Nebraska 52-17. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) © Provided by Associated Press Ohio State head coach Ryan Day, left, talk with quarterback Justin Fields during the second half of their NCAA college football game against Nebraska Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Nebraska 52-17. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

Though the front-runner might not be the quarterback you think.

Fields made up some ground Saturday, with a spectacular season debut for No. 5 Ohio State against Nebraska.

He went 20 for 21 for 276 yards and a couple of touchdowns. His only incomplete pass was a deep ball that hit Chris Olave in the hands in the end zone, but the receiver couldn't hold on after hitting the turf hard.

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In the East, it looked like a Georgia-Florida race at the start of the season and nothing that has Except at the very top . The best-case scenario for the SEC is an But it's probably Trevor Lawrence's Heisman to lose Coastal Carolina should be ranked when the new AP Top 25 comes out Sunday.

Clemson might relinquish the No. 1 ranking on Sunday when the new AP Top 25 is released, and Trevor Lawrence is probably already out of the Heisman It's little more than an eye test at this point but right now Ohio State makes a compelling case. Justin Fields has been as good as advertised and

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) runs the ball during an NCAA college football game against Syracuse in Clemson, S.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. (Ken Ruinard/Pool Photo via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) runs the ball during an NCAA college football game against Syracuse in Clemson, S.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. (Ken Ruinard/Pool Photo via AP)

“You guys saw the arm we saw,” Nebraska linebacker Collin Miller said. “He’s making throws guys on Sundays make.”

Fields also ran for 54 yards and a score, with a nice spin move to get into the end zone.

Fields and fellow Georgian Trevor Lawrence came into the season as the presumptive Heisman favorites, but with the Big Ten starting late Fields will only get nine games tops to make his case. That could be enough.

Meanwhile, Lawrence had his worst game of the season throwing the first pick-6 of his career and averaging only 6.7 yards per attempt as No. 1 Clemson messed around for a little while before putting Syracuse to sleep. Of course a ‘bad’ game for Lawrence was still pretty good.

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The SEC entered the weekend with five top -10 teams that were scheduled to play seven games against each From a scheme standpoint, Baylor had been all about the spreading the field , playing fast and lighting up There should be at least a couple of spots opening in the AP Top 25 on Sunday.

Week 5 AP poll and rankings are out! Justin Fields and Ohio State overtook Jalen Hurts and Justin Fields and Ohio State overtook Jalen Hurts and Oklahoma. Trevor Lawrence and Clemson stayed ahead Sam Ehlinger has the 'best value' as a Heisman choice behind Lawrence —Joel Klatt | CFB

So who's the Heisman favorite at this point? Probably Alabama's Mac Jones.

Jones is surrounded by blue-chippers and he had a high bar to clear in Tuscaloosa as Tua Tagovailoa's replacement. But he's not just another guy. The junior has three 400-yard passing games already and just missed another, going for 387 against Tennessee.

The big news out of that game was Alabama star Jaylen Waddle breaking his ankle. The injury ends his season and deprives college football of one of its most thrilling players.

There is no upside to Waddle's injury, but if Jones can keep up his torrid pace and excellent play without him it will only bolster his Heisman resume.

BYU's Zach Wilson and UCF's Dillion Gabriel, who is putting up crazy numbers, deserve to be on the radar of Heisman voters but it sure looks like trophy will go to one of the quarterbacks playing for the three best teams in the country: Clemson, Alabama and Ohio State.

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Clemson might relinquish the No. 1 ranking on Sunday when the new Top 25 is released, and Trevor Lawrence is probably already out of the Heisman The slow start for Lawrence has put him so far behind Tagovailoa, Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts, LSU's Joe Burrow and Ohio State's Justin Fields in the

In the East, it looked like a Georgia-Florida race at the start of the season and nothing that has happened over the But it's probably Trevor Lawrence's Heisman to lose Coastal Carolina should be ranked when the Jaguars started kicker who never kicked a regular-season field goal at any level.

IU BREAKTHROUGH

Tom Allen pulled one over on James Franklin and No. 8 Penn State and Indiana pulled out a victory against a Top 10 team for the first time in 33 years.

The Hoosiers' coach let Penn State score a late touchdown just to get the ball back. After Nittany Lions freshman running back Devyn Ford obliged, Michael Penix Jr. and the Hoosiers made all the big plays, and Indiana had its biggest victory since beating Ohio State in 1987.

Franklin's been one of the best coaches in the country, though he does draw some criticism for handling of late-game situations.

Whether that's always fair is debatable. In this case, no doubt Penn State blew the end-game. Franklin said he went over the do-not-score scenario with his offense, but clearly not enough.

And really Penn State didn't even need to run a play. Four quarterback kneel downs from the IU 14 would have given Indiana about 15 seconds to get into field-goal position with no timeouts.

Then in OT, Allen went for and the win to break a 42-game losing streak against Top 10 teams.

“We’ve been close, and I’m sick and tired of being close,” Allen told reporters. "In my gut, it seemed like the right thing to do.”

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The fun in a college football season does not really start until there is big upset, a Top Ten team losing to an unranked team. BYU provided the season’s first shocker, one that could reset the College Football Playoff race and have long-term ramifications for the Big Ten.

The College Football AP Poll Top 25 has been released for week 8 of the CFB season. Lovie Smith’s team entered the game as 30.5-point underdogs to pull off the 2nd biggest upset in Big Ten history. The Heisman Trophy Race is starting to shape up in 2019, with star players like Justin Fields , Tua

The Nittany Lions are now staring at an 0-2 start with Ohio State coming to Happy Valley next week.

WINNING WITH DEFENSE

Just when the SEC looked as if it was turning into the Big 12, the best team in the conference known for wide-open offense and suspect tackling is doing it with the defense.

No. 6 Oklahoma State remained the only unbeaten team in the Big 12, grinding down No. 17 Iowa State.

During Mike Gundy's long run as Cowboys coach, Oklahoma has been a quintessential Big 12 squad. Spread offense. Up-tempo. Not much D.

Not this year.

Cowboys came into the game leading the nation in yards per play allowed at 4.05. Other than a couple long runs by Cyclones star Breece Hall, defensive back Tre Sterling, linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez and the Pokes mostly held Iowa State in check.

To be clear, this isn't 2011 Alabama level defense, but the Cowboys make their opponents uncomfortable.

“We haven’t made plays (in past years) like the ones we made today," Gundy said.

If the Big 12 wants to get a team in the playoff, Oklahoma State is pretty much the only hope.

AROUND THE COUNTRY: Two coaches who really needed victories had good weekends: Tom Herman's Texas team buried Baylor to snap a two-game losing streak. Maybe more importantly, the Longhorns players stayed on the field for the playing of the “Eyes of Texas” after a week of drama in Austin about song. In the SEC, Auburn got a late score to beat Ole Miss and take some heat off Gus Malzahn. For the second time in three weeks, the Tigers got the benefit of a fortuitous replay decision on a play that could have decided the game. Regardless, Auburn is 3-2 ... Rutgers snapped a 21-game Big Ten losing streak by winning at Michigan State in coach Greg Schiano's first game in his second stint at the school. Not to take anything away from the Scarlet Knights but no Big Ten team was positioned to fail this season more than Michigan State. The Spartans had a late coaching change to Mel Tucker after Mark Dantonio stepped down in February. Then the pandemic hit and wiped out the spring and summer. Even in a typical year this would have been a rebuilding season in East Lansing. Now, the Spartans will be fortunate to win a game or two ... No. 25 Coastal Carolina played it first game as a ranked team and stayed unbeaten by beating Georgia Southern without quarterback Grayson McCall.

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Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at https://westwoodonepodcasts.com/pods/ap-top-25-college-football-podcast/

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More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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