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  • Star quarterbacks around the country ruled the day and reshuffled the Heisman Trophy race. Here's the new top five.
By Bruce Feldman
September 10, 2017

The quarterbacks are shining, especially the ones in the state of Oklahoma. Baker Mayfield was the star of the second full weekend of the college football season, leading the Sooners to a victory on the road at No. 2 Ohio State. He was far from the only signal-caller to show out. Here are our top five Heisman candidates through Saturday night:

1. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma, QB: First, the feisty senior torched the Buckeyes’ defense. Then, he planted the Sooners’ flag at midfield of the Horseshoe. Mayfield was nearly perfect when it mattered most to help Oklahoma put away a signature win, going 16-of-17 for 228 yards and three TDs in the second half of a 31–16 win. Through two games of the 2017 campaign, Mayfield is completing 84% of his passes and has six TDs and no picks.

2. Lamar Jackson, Louisville. QB: The defending Heisman winner is off to another amazing start with mind-boggling stats. Jackson’s completion percentage in two games is at 65%, up from 56% in 2016, and through two games he is averaging 505 yards of total offense. Not too shabby.

3. Saquon Barkley, Penn State, RB: The dynamic junior was held under 100 rushing yards in a 33–14 romp over rival Pitt, but he did produce 133 yards of total offense and two touchdowns. Barkley’s presence just puts so much pressure on the opposing defense, he opens everything up for quarterback Trace McSorley & Co.

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4. Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State, QB: Of all the guys on this list, Rudolph has faced the most suspect competition and has yet to see a Power 5 opponent. Still, he’s completing 73% of his passes and averaging a hefty 10.3 yards per pass attempt. 

T-5. Sam Darnold, USC, QB: The Trojans’ passing game bounced back from a sluggish opener, lighting up a really good Stanford secondary in a 42–24 win. Darnold hit on 81% of his passes and threw for four TDs. His 4/4 touchdown-to-interception ratio doesn’t look great, but he is connecting on 75% of his passes against two tough opponents.

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T-5. Josh Rosen, UCLA, QB: The Bruins built off their momentum from their big season-opening rally against A&M, blasting Hawaii. In Rosen’s last five quarters, he is 41-of-51 for 621 yards, nine touchdown passes and no interceptions.

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