Going into this week, contention for the Heisman Trophy was down to three players. Quarterbacks Jameis Winston of Florida State, Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M and Marcus Mariota of Oregon. Winston has been the favorite for the last couple weeks because Florida State is undefeated and has yet to be challenged this season. Manziel is the defending Heisman winner and is putting up better numbers this season than he did last year. Mariota was an underdog coming into this week, but a big performance would have put him back in the race.
Unfortunately, not only did Oregon get blown out 42-16 against Arizona, but Mariota played one of the worst games of his career. He went 27 of 41 for 308 yards with two TDs and two INTs. The two interceptions were his first two of the season, which alone is impressive, but will be one of the last memories in voters minds of Mariota. After getting rushing TDs in his first seven games this season, he has gone four consecutive games without one.
Mariota also played poorly against Stanford, the only other game Oregon lost all season. Winston is playing for a team that will likely be in the BCS championship game which makes him the overwhelming favorite after Manziel and Texas A&M lost their third game of the season. Oregon has a chance to still make a BCS game, but for a team that was in National Title picture four weeks ago, any other game would be a disappointment.
If you looked at Mariota’s numbers overall, they are just as good as Jameis Winston’s numbers. Mariota has 27 TDs and two INTs while Winston has 32 TDs and 7 INTs. Mariota also has the edge in rushing with 529 yards and 9 TDs while Winston has 126 yards and 3 TDS. However, most Heisman voters will look at this game against Arizona as Mariota choking away a chance for Oregon to play in the Rose Bowl and that will cost him any chance at the Hesiman Trophy this season.