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NATIONAL REPORT: NIU’s Jordan Lynch a worthy Heisman candidate

Alabamwide receiver KevNorwood (83) hauls 22-yard touchdown pass as Tennessee defensive back CamerSutt(23) defends during first half an NCAA college

Alabama wide receiver Kevin Norwood (83) hauls in a 22-yard touchdown pass as Tennessee defensive back Cameron Sutton (23) defends during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

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Updated: December 1, 2013 6:56AM



HEISMAN WATCH

My top five, if I were voting today.

1. QB Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois: One scholarship, two BCS bowls possible and countless boggling performances. This guy fits the Heisman’s Mission Statement to a T.

2. QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon: Nineteen passing TDs and no interceptions through seven games? Is that a misprint or a ticket to the BCS title game?

3. QB Jamels Winston, Florida State: A week after cementing candidacy with stellar day at Clemson, burned N.C. State for 277 yards and three TDs — by halftime.

4. QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M: Don’t know about striking the pose twice, with all that baggage. But the guy sure can play.

5. RB Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin: Yeah, the Heisman’s obsessed with QBs. But if you want to at least think about a running back, Gordon’s a good one.

GAME BALL

QB JOHNNY MANZIEL, TEXAS A&M

Johnny Football can play hurt, too — if he was hurt. Shaking off a shoulder injury that left coach Kevin Sumlin wondering if he’d be able to go, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel led the Aggies past Vanderbilt 56-24. The 2012 Heisman winner threw for four TDs and 305 yards. ``To miss the game really wasn’t an option for me,’’ Manziel said.

GAMES OF THE WEEK/WEAK

Week: No. 17 Oklahoma 38, No. 10 Texas Tech 30. Sooners QB Blake Bell threw two TD passes, and running back Damien Williams added two more as Oklahoma handed Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury his first loss as a head coach.

Week: No. 19 Oklahoma State 58, Iowa State 27. The Cowboys’ rout of the Cyclones puts them in the thick of the Big 12 race. And they’ll have a chance to make a real statement when they play Texas Tech next week. Of concern, QB Clint Chelf completed only 10 of 26 for 78 yards, but coach Mike Gundy indicated Chelf will start against the Red Raiders.

Weak: No. 7 Miami (Fla) 24, Wake Forest 21. The Hurricanes have an outside shot at the national championship. They almost blew that up before pulling out a victory on a one-yard TD run by Duke Johnson with 53 seconds left.

Weak: No. 21 UCF 62, UConn 17. This was a game only a Central Florida mother could love. Quarterback Blake Bortles threw for four TDs and ran for another as the Knights (6-1) routed winless Connecticut (0-7).

POLLING

Up: No. 17 Oklahoma. The Sooners hand No. 10 Texas Tech its first loss. The Oklahoma win leaves five teams within a game of the Big 12 lead.

Down: No. 16 Virginia Tech. Hey, Hokies, it’s OK to lose to Duke in hoops. But football? The Blue Devils, who ended a 12-game losing streak to Va. Tech, rallied from a 22-0 deficit last week to beat Virginia 35-22.

In: Michigan State. When it’s not playing Illinois, that offense will put you to sleep. But the defense will beat you — in a lackluster Big Ten.

Out: No. 25 Nebraska. Bo Pelini should hold off on that swimming pool, and other home improvements.

EXTRA POINTS

• Alabama led Tennessee 35-0 at the half en route to a 45-10 win. FSU led N.C. State 42-0 at the half of a 49-17 win. Texas A&M beat Vanderbilt 56-24. Good thing the voters aren’t supposed to pay attention to margin of victory.

• Bouncing back from last week’s 38-35 loss to Central Florida, Teddy Bridgewater led Louisville to a 34-3 rout of South Florida. The junior QB threw for 344 yards and three TDs as the Cardinals got headed back in the right direction, so to speak.

• Crushed 51-14 by FSU last week, Clemson also got back on the horse, defeating Maryland 40-27. Tajh Boyd threw for one TD and ran for another, and Roderick McDowell rushed for 161 yards and two TDs. Sammy Watkins caught a school-record 14 catches for 163 yards.



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