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Heisman Watch: Drew Lock makes a move

A big game against Wyoming keeps Missouri’s QB firmly in the conversation.

NCAA Football: Wyoming at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

After a quietly efficient opener against UT-Martin, Drew Lock re-established himself in the Heisman race with his arm and legs in the 40-13 win over Wyoming

Drew Lock Heisman Watch: Week 1 |

Like I wrote after Week 1, Lock will have to have a statistical significant year and Missouri will have to win a lot of games for the Tigers’ QB to remain in the running for the Heisman Award. It’s a sliding scale — the more games Missouri wins, the less impressive Lock’s stats have to be (although they certainly have to still be impressive). The more impressive Lock’s stats are (think Tim Tebow or Lamar Jackson numbers), the fewer games Missouri has to win.

But through two weeks, Missouri has two wins and Lock has put up some impressive numbers. Lock is completing 74-percent of his passes with eight touchdowns and no interceptions. He’s also slowly building those Heisman-reel highlights, as his truck-stick run and rushing touchdown against Wyoming show.

As a reminder, we’re comparing Lock’s numbers to the past five former Heisman winners at this stage in the season; Lock’s projected stats are based on the average percentage of total yards and touchdowns those Heisman winners accumulated through the same time span.

Here’s how the last five Heisman winners looked through two games of their season:

Heisman Watch

Year Player Record through 2 games Stat line through 2 games % of season yards % of season TDs
Year Player Record through 2 games Stat line through 2 games % of season yards % of season TDs
2013 Jameis Winston 2-0 40-45, 570 yards, 6 TDs, 1 INT; 12 carries, 33 yards, 2 TDs 14.10% 18.20%
2014 Marcus Mariota 2-0 31-48, 585 yards, 6 TDs; 15 carries, 85 yards, 1 TD 12.80% 12.30%
2015 Derrick Henry 2-0 31 carries, 243 yards, 6 TDs; 2 catches, 12 yards 11.50% 21.40%
2016 Lamar Jackson 2-0 37-62, 697 yards, 7 TDs, 1 INT; 32 carries, 318 yards, 6 TDs 19.80% 25.50%
2017 Baker Mayfield 2-0 46-55, 715 yards, 6 TDs; 702 yards total offense 14.30% 12.50%
Drew Lock Heisman Watch: Historical Comparisons

Lock’s number compare favorably to each of these players. At this stage, he’s most similar to Baker Mayfield.

However, the Heisman race through two weeks this season is as crowded as expected. As a reminder, we’re only factoring in quarterbacks and running backs into the candidates list (sorry, Emanuel Hall, but receivers just don’t win the Heisman anymore).

Here are some notable stat lines through two games:

Notable Week 2 Stat Lines

Player Opponent Through 2 weeks Projected total yards Projected total TDs
Player Opponent Through 2 weeks Projected total yards Projected total TDs
Drew Lock Wyoming (W) 52-70, 687 yards, 8 TDs, 0 INT; 743 total yards, 9 TDs 5,196 50
Will Grier Youngston State (W) 46-60, 761 yards, 9 TDs, 1 INT; 758 total yards 5,227 50
Tua Tagovailoa Arkansas State (W) 25-35, 455 yards, 6 TDs, 0 INT; 501 total yards, 7 TDs 3,455 39
Dwayne Haskins Rutgers (W) 42-53, 546 yards, 9 TDs, 1 INT; 561 total yards 3,869 50
Steven Montez Nebraska (W) 55-75, 689 yards, 7 TDs, 1 INT; 716 total yards, 8 TDs 4,938 44
Jordan Ta'amu SIU (W) 45-65, 784 yards, 7 TDs, 0 INT; 789 total yards 5,441 39
Scottie Phillips SIU (W) 31 carries, 311 yards, 4 TDs; 315 total yards 2,172 22
Johnathan Taylor New Mexico (W) 51 carries, 398 yards, 5 TDs 2,745 28
Kylin Hill Kansas State (W) 26 carries, 261 yards, 3 TDs; 323 total yards, 5 TDs 2,228 28
Through 2 weeks

DROPPED OUT: Texas A&M RB Trayveon Williams; UCF QB McKenzie Milton

MOVED IN: Ole Miss RB Scottie Phillips; Mississippi State RB Kylin Hill; Colorado QB Steven Montez

Week 2 Heisman Rankings

  1. Will Grier — His numbers look similar to Drew Lock at this point and he’s done nothing to show he shouldn’t be considered the front-runner, especially with West Virginia being a major contender in the Big 12 this year.
  2. Jonathan Taylor — Wisconsin is a national title contender and Taylor is putting up gaudy stats through two weeks. He’s the best running back in the nation so far.
  3. Dwayne Haskins — Same reasons as Grier. He’s going to get his stats in Ohio State’s offense. Week 3 at TCU will be a huge test for whether Haskins remains in the picture.

Lock is quickly moving up the board, however. After Week 2, Missouri’s schedule does not look as daunting — Florida looked abysmal against Kentucky; Arkansas blew a big lead against Colorado State; while South Carolina is still talented, it had a deflating loss to Georgia. That doesn’t include Purdue and Memphis, which both lost on Saturday.

We’re still projecting that Missouri needs to win 9-10 regular season games in order for Lock to remain in the Heisman race. While it’s still tough, the path to that win total has opened up, if only a little bit.