It was another wild day in college football, especially for the Oklahoma schools, but the clear biggest star of the day was Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, who moves into the top spot on this week’s Heisman Top 5. The 230-pound junior does everything for the Nittany Lions, including excel as a blocker. To me, Barkley has the cuts and burst of Reggie Bush, but with way more power behind him. Right now, this feels like a two-horse race.
1. Saquon Barkley, Penn State, RB: On the road at Iowa, he had 28 carries and 12 catches for 305 yards from scrimmage. He also had a key block on the game’s final play when Trace McSorley fired a touchdown pass to give PSU a big road win in a very tough place to get a W.
2. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma, QB: His Sooners had their hands full with lowly Baylor, escaping with a 49–41 win and extending the nation’s longest win streak to 14. Mayfield averaged almost 15 yards per pass attempt in the game, throwing three more TDs and no picks. He’s now got a 13–0 TD-INT ratio and is completing around 75 percent of his passes. Not bad for a guy who now longer has the Biletnikoff winner to rely on.
3. Rashaad Penny, San Diego State, RB: The nation’s leading rusher continues to put up big numbers for the 4–0 Aztecs, who notched another nice win over a solid team beating Air Force. The 5'11", 220-pounder ran for 128 yards and three TDs. He now has three runs of 50+ on the season.
4. Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State, QB: His Cowboys went down at home to TCU as the Horned Frogs exposed a suspect defense and the senior QB slips down our list. Rudolph certainly didn’t have his best day either, throwing two interceptions in the 44–31 loss. His numbers on the day weren’t awful though: 22 for 41, 398 yards. For the season he has 13 TDs and three INTs.
5. Sam Darnold, USC, QB: The Trojans captain comeback didn’t put up huge numbers in the 30–20 win at Cal, where he was without two of his biggest weapons (Ronald Jones and Steven Mitchell), but he’s carried the Trojans to a 4–0 start. His seven interceptions for the season though is holding him down some.