Two huge wins. Two monster games. One giant lead in the Scripps Heisman Poll.
West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith led the Mountaineers to lopsided victories in their first two games while completing 88 percent of his passes and throwing for 734 yards and nine touchdowns without an interception. He also rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown on just 10 carries.
The senior's performances impressed the nine voters in this week's Scripps Heisman Poll. Eight voted him on top, and the other picked him second, behind UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin.
The Scripps poll is the longest running Heisman poll in the nation. Since its inception in 1987, it has correctly picked the Heisman winner in its final weekly poll 21 of 25 years, including Robert Griffin III last year. Nine Heisman voters each selected five players this week, and points were awarded on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis, with five points for a first-place vote, four points for second, etc.
Smith's 44 points lead the poll, followed by Oregon running back/wide receiver De'Anthony Thomas with 22 points, and Franklin with 20. Eleven other players received votes. But none of those players appeared on more than three of the ballots.
While Smith's lead is substantial, there is plenty of time for other contenders to move up in the weekly rankings before the Heisman Trophy is awarded this December. In the first Scripps Heisman Poll last season, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck had a sizable lead over Griffin. Luck held that lead all season until the final week when the pollsters moved Griffin to the top, a few days before the Baylor quarterback won the Heisman.
Player, School, Season Stats, Poll Points.
1.QB Geno Smith, West Virginia, 66-of-75, 734 yards passing, 9 TDs, 44 (8).
2. RB/WR De'Anthony Thomas, Oregon, 228 yards rushing, 17.5 yards per carry, 4 TDs, 154 yards receiving, 3 TDs, 22.
3. RB Johnathan Franklin, UCLA, 541 yards rushing, 8.2 yards per carry, 3 TDs, 20 (1).
4. QB Matt Barkley, USC, 66-of-109, 813 yards passing, 10 TDs, 9
5. (tie) RB Stepfan Taylor, Stanford, 338 yards rushing, 5.0 yards per carry, 3 TDs, 8.
5. LB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame, 30 tackles, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 interception, 8.
Others receiving votes: Georgia LB Jarvis Jones 6, Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater 4, Georgia QB Aaron Murray, 4, Kansas State QB Collin Klein 3, Ohio State QB Braxton Miller 3, Texas Tech QB Seth Doege 2, Michigan QB Denard Robinson 2, Florida State RB Chris Thompson 1.
Voters: Kirk Bohls, Austin American-Statesman; Randy Beard, Evansville Courier and Press; Jimmy Burch, Fort Worth Star-Telegram; Bob Condotta, Seattle Times; Dennis Dodd, CBSSports.com; Vahe Gregorian, St. Louis Post-Dispatch; John Helsley, The Oklahoman; Mike Griffith, Knoxville News-Sentinel, and Todd Jones, Columbus Dispatch.
(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service)