Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota: Who Deserves the Heisman More?

By Nicholas Crimarco
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

We are at the point of the season where the Heisman conversation starts to heat up and players get to have their Heisman moment. Last season, Johnny Manziel wrapped up the trophy after beating the defending champions and no. 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. Runners-up Colin Klein and Manti Te’o never had a similar moment, which is why those two seniors lost out to a freshman.

This year, Manziel started off as the favorite to win, but after losing twice already, he has fallen out of the conversation. Recently, Tahj Boyd of Clemson was mentioned as a possible winner, but he got torched by Florida State at home and will not be able to make up the ground necessary to compete with the two favorites.

Right now, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston and Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota are the top two contenders for the Heisman trophy. Winston is a redshirt freshman who has led FSU to an undefeated record and the no. 2 spot in the initial BCS rankings. He has completed 70 percent of his passes and has thrown 23 TDs to only four INTs.

Winston has also run the ball 44 times for 126 yards and three TDs. Mariota has completed 64 percent of his passes and has thrown for 20 TDs without throwing and interception. He has rushed the ball 56 times for 511 yards and nine TDs.

Winston already had one defining win this year. He took FSU on the road and destroyed no. 3 Clemson 51-14. It was the most points a road team has ever scored vs. Clemson and he had a huge day. He threw for a career-high 444 yards and had four total TDs. Mariota’s biggest win came at home against UCLA this past weekend in a 42-14 Oregon victory.

Both QBs will get their chance in their next game to have their defining moment of the season. Florida State plays rival and no. 7 Miami on Saturday in a nationally-televised game. The Oregon Ducks play at no. 5 Stanford next Thursday in another nationally-televised game.

At this point in the season, Winston has the slight edge over Mariota because of that victory against Clemson. Over the next 10 days, things may change and if both of them lose and have bad days, it could open to door for Manziel to sneak back in, or for someone like Duke Johnson or Lache Seastrunk to jump in the picture.

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