After a summer full of anticipation, opening weekend is bound to illicit knee-jerk reactions.
Then there's trying to make sense of the preseason contenders who either fell flat on their faces or delivered less-than impressive stat lines in Week 1, a list that includes Navy's
The first in-season Heisman Watch is about trying to balance opening-week perceptions with reality, but the fact remains: You have to play, and play well, to make this list. In light of that, we welcome some new faces who weren't on the preseason radar, and temporarily say goodbye to reigning winner
His numbers weren't jaw-dropping, but Moore did what he's always done: win. Playing in front of a decidedly pro-Virginia Tech crowd, he marched the Broncos downfield when their BCS title dreams were on the line, throwing the decisive touchdown with 1:09 remaining to improve to 27-1 as a starter. It will be tough for any non-BCS player to win, but after putting his team on his back in the opening week's premiere game, Moore takes the lead.
Sure, Mallett's big opening game came against an FCS defense, but what more could Big Tex have done? Of the three passes he missed, only one was a legitimate incompletion (one was tipped to a defender, the other was a drop that should have been a touchdown). Mallett also showed no lingering effects from offseason foot surgery, and after facing criticism for being a statue in the pocket, he appears more comfortable running when pressured.
After we spent the offseason debating whether he could pick up where he left off in the Rose Bowl, Pryor showed poise in the pocket against Marshall, going through his progressions instead of bailing on a play and running like the past. He did try and force two deep balls, both of which could have been picked. Marshall rarely tested him, but Ohio State should be pleased with Pryor's maturity level heading into a duel with Miami's
Throwing five touchdown passes is nothing new for Keenum, who's managed that or more eight times in his career. But only once -- against Tulsa in 2008 -- did he do it one half. After having his way with an FCS defense that gave up over 230 passing yards a game last season, Keenum could put up similar numbers this week against a UTEP team he burned for 536 yards and five scores last year.
After missing most of last season with an ankle injury, Hunter was the forgotten man on the preseason All-Big 12 teams. Few will forget him now after he torched Wazzu in just over two quarters of work. This was the same Cougars defense that ranked 120th last season, so it's hard to judge Hunter's staying power, but it's hard not to be impressed, especially since the perception was that new offensive coordinator
It was bizarre to see the former Florida quarterback at the helm of
Robinson turned in the weekend's breakout performance, torching a team many believe will contend for the Big East title. It was a reminder of how dangerous
He hasn't returned kicks since high school, but Peterson showed little rust. He recorded 244 of his 257 combined return yards in the first half, including an 87-yard punt return for a touchdown. He was facing a UNC special teams group depleted by suspensions, but he clearly helped his Heisman candidacy, eliciting more than a few comparisons to