Heisman Watch: Tua Tagovailoa maintains lead on Kyler Murray after taking week off

With Tua Tagovailoa and Alabama in a bye week, Kyler Murray did everything he possibly could to gain ground on the Heisman front-runner. The Oklahoma signal caller did manage to solidify his position as the primary challenger, but he’s probably going to need help from the LSU defense to overtake Tua.

For now, Tagovailoa is still the comfortable leader in the weekly USA TODAY Network Heisman survey, retaining 15 first-place mentions and a second among the 16 official Heisman electors who work for the network. If he turns in another strong performance in primetime in Baton Rouge Saturday in a top-five showdown, he’ll likely all but cement the award.

Murray, however, is keeping his name in the discussion. After accounting for four touchdowns, three by air, and throwing for 353 yards in the Sooners’ romp past Kansas State, he received the only other first-place mention and all the other seconds in this week’s survey.

The third-place votes were somewhat more divided.

Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew II now leads that group, picking up seven mentions following the Cougars’ win against Stanford that now has them alone atop the Pac-12 North. Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins is in fourth place overall with five points.

A rough outing against Northwesterrn dropped Johnathan Taylor from third into a tie for fifth.

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