As we are heading into the fourth week of college football, the road to the Heisman Award is gaining a lot of clarity. A few players are being mentioned that are gaining notoriety to potentially win the award to the most outstanding college football player of the year. Among them, Southern Cal’s Quarterback Caleb Williams stands out. The 2023 Heisman winner is maintaining a remarkable pace and has not only set his sights on breaking his own record but has also propelled the #8 Trojans to the top of the Pac-12 standings. This sets the stage for an exciting showdown this weekend as they face Shedeur Sanders and the Colorado Buffaloes.
Williams has thrown for 1,200 yards and 15 touchdowns on the season after four games and he has shown he is only getting better. The consensus first pick in the 2024 NFL Draft has drawn comparisons to Patrick Mahomes. They have very similar mannerisms, pinpoint accuracy rolling both ways, and the ability to throw off balance has NFL scouts salivating. A Swiss army knife approach. Whatever you give Caleb, he will take and sometimes, he finds a way to make something out of nothing. If he stays on pace and the Trojans are undefeated, the DC native could become the second player to win the prestigious award twice. Such an accomplishment would mark the first instance of a two-time winner in over 48 years, a distinction currently held by Archie Griffin.
This week’s Caleb Williams Heisman reel moment pic.twitter.com/G4XnA7ZQvj
— Pac-12 Apostles Podcast (@Pac12Apostles) September 24, 2023
In his second year with Washington, Michael Penix Jr. is living up to the preseason projections. The Tampa native has been steadily improving with each game. Following the recent struggles of Williams’ Trojans against conference rival Arizona State, they slipped three places in the rankings. As a result, the Huskies now hold the seventh position, which is the highest ranking within the Pac-12 conference, surpassing the Trojans.
Penix was named one of the captains and he started the season with a bang, completing 29 of his 40 passes for 450 yards passing and five touchdowns. The third-highest yardage total in his career and the fourth-most in a game by a player from the University of Washington. In his recent matchup against the Michigan State Spartans, Penix further solidified his status as a frontrunner in the race. He displayed dominance by completing 27 of his 35 passes for an astounding 473 yards, adding four touchdowns to his tally, all without throwing any interceptions.
Transferring from Indiana in 2019, after battling injuries and showing flash, it seems like it has come together. He’s drawn comparisons to Teddy Bridgewater despite being left-handed and having a leaner physique. However, he possesses an impressive arm and stands out as an excellent decision-maker who doesn’t jeopardize his team’s success, all while demonstrating a keen ability to read the field effectively.
The Heisman race will be long. However, Williams and Penix Jr. are leading the way, and their showdown in the first week of November will be one of the most hyped games of the year.