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Top Five 2012 Heisman Candidates Heading Into Week 3

Here’s a look at the top five 2012 Heisman Candidates heading into Week 3 of the 2012 college football season.

5. UCLA Bruins RB Johnathan Franklin

Franklin has quickly jumped up this list over the last two weeks after recording back-to-back 200 yard games–including a performance against Nebraska in Week that consisted of 276 yards from the line of scrimmage to go along with one touchdown. With a favorable matchup against a Houston Cougars that has given up 43 points per game–Franklin could be in for another big game on Saturday.

4. Michigan State Spartans RB Le’Veon Bell

Last week, Bell recorded 70 rushing yards and two touchdowns as Michigan State had no trouble beating Central Michigan. While the Spartans didn’t need to rely on him as much in Week 2, Bell should receive more carries on Saturday against Notre Dame–a team that held him to just 27 rushing yards during their matchup last season.

3. Oregon Ducks RB De’Anthony Thomas

Thomas has been living up to expectations so far this season with five total touchdowns over the first two games and is coming off an impressive performance against Fresno State in which he recorded 102 rushing yards on just seven carries. The Ducks have scored 99 points over their first two games and considering they’re going against a Tennessee Tech team that has never beat a Division I-A team–expect another strong performance from Thomas.

2. West Virginia Mountaineers QB Geno Smith

The Mountaineers were off last week, but Smith’s performance against Marshall in Week 1 (32 of 36 passes for 323 yards with four touchdowns) means even higher expectations for the quarterback in Week 3. While Smith and West Virginia has a favorable matchup against James Madison on Saturday, let’s not forget this is a Dukes team that upset Virginia Tech back in 2010.

1. USC Trojans QB Matt Barkley 

Not even a game delay in the second half could stop Barkley from six-touchdown performance against Syracuse last weekend, but he’ll have his hands full against a Stanford team he has yet to beat in his career. Stanford has won four of the last five games in this matchup–so Barkley will be facing the pressure come Saturday considering the Cardinal have only allowed 30 points so far this season.

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