Last Minute Heisman Trophy Updates

Last Minute Heisman Trophy Updates: Alabama’s Smith A Lock?

Written by on January 4, 2021

The Heisman Trophy for the 2020 college football season will be given out virtually Tuesday night on ESPN, and it seems all but a formality that Alabama’s DeVonta Smith will take home the award as he’s a -2000 favorite on the NCAAF odds. Smith would become the first Tide receiver to win the Heisman and first wideout overall to take it since Michigan’s Desmond Howard in 1991.

Heisman Trophy Updates | 2021 NCAAF Expert Analysis

The top-ranked Crimson Tide are in the Jan. 11 national championship game against No. 3 Ohio State and early 7.5-point favorites. In the 31-14 semifinal win over No. 4 Notre Dame, Smith was unstoppable again with seven catches for 130 yards and three touchdowns.

Alabama extended its school record for consecutive games with a score to 267 thanks to Smith’s 26-yard receiving touchdown on the Crimson Tide’s opening drive against No. 4 Notre Dame. The Crimson Tide were last held off the scoreboard in a 9-0 loss to Auburn on Nov. 18, 2000. Alabama has a 212-55 (.794) record over the course of the current streak.

Smith leads the nation in receptions with 105, receiving yards with 1,641 and receiving touchdowns with 20. His eight 100-plus yard performances this year give him 13 for his career as he entered his senior campaign with five in hand. Smith totaled two in 2018 and followed that up with three as a junior a season ago. His 13 100-plus yard performances ties DJ Hall (2004-07) for the second-most in Alabama history.

Smith has totaled 3,750 receiving yards in his Crimson Tide career. That total not only ranks atop the Alabama records but ranks second overall in SEC history. Smith’s 130 yards against Notre Dame put him within nine yards of tying Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews (2010-13) who had 3,759 yards for the all-time conference record.

Smith’s quarterback Jones is the +500 second-favorite to win the Heisman. With 4,036 passing yards this season, Jones moved into the top spot on the UA single-season passing yards list. Jones passed Tua Tagovailoa, who had been No. 1 with 3,966 yards in 2018. Jones is just the fifth quarterback in school history to throw for 3,000 yards in a season and is the first to go over 4,000 yards.

Jones threw for four touchdown passes against Notre Dame to total 36 touchdowns through the air this season. Jones’ 36 touchdowns rank as the second-most in a single season in program history. Only Tagovailoa has thrown more touchdowns for Alabama in a single season with 43 in 2018.

Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence is +1200 and his college career is finished after the Tigers were upset by Ohio State in the semifinals 49-28.  Lawrence fell to 34-2 for his career as Clemson’s starting quarterback while throwing for 400 yards on 33-for-48 passing.

“This was just one of those nights we — yeah, we could have used a few more stops for sure, but they kind of needed us to pick them up,” Lawrence said. “And there were a few times we weren’t just playing complementary football for too long. When we’re punting and they’re scoring pretty much every drive for a quarter, it can get out of hand quick.

Lawrence is a lock to go No. 1 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft to the Jacksonville Jaguars – who might be hiring Urban Meyer as their next coach. Doug Marrone as expected was fired Monday.

The fourth Heisman finalist is Florida QB Kyle Trask, who is +5000. His NCAA career ended in a 55-20 blowout loss to Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl. Trask completed 16-of-28 passes for 158 yards and three interceptions in the loss. The absence of his three best offensive weapons — Kyle Pitts, Trevon Grimes and Karadius Toney — clearly had a detrimental effect on Florida’s passing attack. Even so, the redshirt senior signal caller could not get on the same page with his receivers, throwing two early interceptions that resulted in touchdowns for the Sooners.

Trask broke the single-season school record for passing yards per game (356.9), narrowly finishing ahead of Rex Grossman’s 2001 season (354.2). Trask’s average of 356.9 passing yards per game also ranks third in SEC history, only trailing LSU’s Joe Burrow (378.1 in 2019) and Kentucky’s Tim Couch (388.6 in 1998). Trask finished with 7,386 career passing yards, which ranks eighth on Florida’s career records list. Trask also should be a first-round pick in the 2021 draft.

Expert Pick
  • Smith wins.

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