Heisman Trophy Watch: Kyler Murray Keeps Pace With Four-Touchdown Day

Kyler Murray and Tua Tagovailoa both had big days in Week 8 to stay atop the Heisman leaderboard.
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Week 8 is in the books for college football, and the top Heisman contenders continue to cement their status in the running for the illustrious trophy.

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa kept the Tide's opening drive touchdown streak alive, while Jonathan Taylor quietly helped lead Wisconsin to a win in the snow. Oklahoma's Kyler Murray continued putting up big numbers that are similar to Sam Bradford's 2008 Heisman-winning season.

Here's the top five contenders for the Heisman Trophy through Week 8:

1. Tua Tagovailoa, Sophomore, QB, Alabama

This week: 19 for 29, 306 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs in win vs. Tennessee

Season stats: 2,066 yards, 25 TDs, 0 INTs

No. 1 Alabama has scored a touchdown on the opening drive of every game this season, and Tua Tagovailoa continued that streak with an 11-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jerry Jeudy. Later in the first quarter, Tagovailoa threw a stunning 77-yard pass to wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, who was double-covered. Waddle ran it down the sideline and into the end zone for Alabama's third touchdown in only eight minutes. Tagovailoa's four touchdowns in Saturday's 58–21 victory over Tennessee gives him 25 touchdown passes for the season, and he still has not thrown an interception. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Tagovailoa has three games this season with 300 passing yards and four touchdown passes, which is the most in a season in school history.

2. Kyler Murray, Junior, QB, Oklahoma

This week: Passing: 19 for 24, 213 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs; Rushing: 9 carries, 51 yards in win vs. TCU

Season stats: 1,977 yards, 25 TDs, 3 INTs

No. 9 Oklahoma bounced back from its only loss of the season with a 52–27 victory over TCU. Kyler Murray connected with an open CeeDee Lamb for a 37-yard pass for the Sooners' first touchdown halfway through the first quarter. After being barely ahead 28–24 at halftime, the Sooners began to pull away with the lead midway through the third quarter. Murray threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to wide reciever Lee Morris to put Oklahoma up 38–27. The junior quarterback also showed off his wheels on Saturday with nine carries for 51 yards. Murray now has 25 touchdown passes for the year, which is the most by a Sooner through the first seven games of the season since Sam Bradford's 26 in 2008. Bradford went on to win the Heisman Trophy that year.

3. Travis Etienne, Sophomore, RB, Clemson

This week: Rushing: 15 carries, 39 yards, 3 TDs; Receiving: 1 reception, 24 yards, 0 TDs in win vs. NC State

Season stats: 98 carries, 800 yards, 14 TDs

Travie Etienne is on another incredible run for No. 3 Clemson, becoming the first Tiger running back to score three touchdowns in three straight games. Etienne got to work early with a three-yard touchdown run on Clemson's first possession of the game. Etienne was held to 39 yards in Clemson's 41–7 win over NC State but scored two additional touchdowns in the second and third quarters. The sophomore is on pace to break single-season school records for rushing touchdowns, rushing yards per game and yards per carry. Clemson will no doubt continue to rely on Etienne as it rolls on with its push to return to the College Football Playoff.

4. Jonathan Taylor, Sophomore, RB, Wisconsin

This week: 27 carries, 159 yards, 0 TDs in win vs. Illinois

Season stats: 170 carries, 1,109 yards, 8 TDs

It was a snowy day at Camp Randall Stadium, but Jonathan Taylor continued to shine for No. 23 Wisconsin in a 49–20 win over Illinois. Taylor ran for 159 yards on Saturday, making it his third game this season of 150-plus yards.

5. Dwayne Haskins, Sophomore, QB, Oklahoma

This week: Passing: 49 for 73, 470 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INTs; Rushing: 5 carries, 7 yards in loss vs. Purdue

Season stats: 2,801 yards, 30 TDs, 5 INTs

Despite being upset 49–20 by Purdue, Dwayne Haskins set No. 2 Ohio State's single-game passing record with 470 yards. Haskins broke a 37-year-old record held by Art Schlichter, who recorded 458 yards against Florida State in 1981. Ohio State stuck mostly to short passes and screens, but Haskins connected with Johnnie Dixon for a 32-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.