Jayden Daniels Should Become a Heisman Trophy Finalist

Jayden Daniels’ historic performance has put his name in the Heisman Trophy conversation. The LSU QB became the first player in FBS history to throw for 350+ yards and rush for 200+ yards in the same game.

Daniels easily cleared those numbers by throwing for 372 yards, 3TDs and running for 234 yards and another 2TDs. Daniels accounted for 606 yards and five total touchdowns in LSU’s 52-35 win against Florida. His 85-yard rushing touchdown, the longest in LSU history, was the pinnacle of his historic performance.

While the thrilling, 87-point LSU-Florida game was Daniels’ peak performance in his collegiate career, he has put up video game numbers often during the 2023 regular season.

The 22-year-old is leading college football’s No. 1 offense. LSU is averaging 560.2 yards per game and 8.41 yards per play — both of which are top marks in FBS. Additionally, the team’s 59 touchdowns are third in college football, and Daniels has accounted for 38 of those scores.

The 2023 Heisman race will be interesting, as multiple players have arguments to win the award. Jayden Daniels’ late-season performance should improve his odds to become a Heisman Trophy finalist during the Dec. 9 selection ceremony.

Generally, a quarterback leading one of the nation’s top offenses wins the award. USC quarterback Caleb Williams won the award last season, and former Alabama QB Bryce Young won in 2021. In fact, 11 of the last 13 Heisman winners were offensive generals.

With that being said, let’s look at other potential Heisman finalists for the season.

Oregon quarterback Bo Nix is the Heisman favorite, according to DraftKings Sportsbook, following his impressive performance against Caleb Williams and the USC Trojans. The Ducks defeated USC 36-27, and Oregon needed all of Nix’s 412 passing yards and four passing touchdowns to secure the victory.

Oregon’s No. 2 offense has led to a number of wins against PAC-12 opponents. The Ducks are 9-1, and their only loss came against Washington in mid-October.

Nix has the sixth-most passing yards in college football, and has totaled 34 touchdowns in 10 games.

Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. is in the conversation to become the Huskies’ first-ever Heisman winner. Penix Jr. is leading the nation’s No. 6 offense and continues to win games. The Huskies are 10-0 for the first time since 1991, and hold the country’s second-longest winning streak (17).

The Huskies are on the verge of their second College Football Playoff appearance, and their success has come against tough PAC-12 opponents.

Washington has secured three top 25 wins and is the only undefeated team in the PAC. The Huskies will play the Oregon State Beavers, a top-10 team in the country, this week, and another impressive performance could help secure the trophy for Penix Jr.

The 2023 Heisman Trophy selection will take place on Dec. 9 in New York City. The final two weeks of the season will greatly impact who comes home with the award. The three QBs should become Heisman finalists in the upcoming weeks.

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