Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud entered the season as the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. However, after the Buckeyes captured a 21-10 non-covering home win over Notre Dame, Stroud and Alabama QB Bryce Young are listed as +300 co-favorites at FanDuel.
Ryan Day’s team lost preseason All-American WR Jaxson Smith-Njigba to a hamstring injury early in the first half. Without him, the offense struggled and Ohio St. trailed the Fighting Irish 10-7 at halftime.
Stroud finished the night completing 24-of-34 passes for 223 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. That’s certainly not a bad performance, but those aren’t Heisman-like numbers, either.
Young, who is trying to become the second player in college football history to win back-to-back Heisman Trophies, led the Crimson Tide to a 55-0 win over Utah St. as a 42-point home favorite. By the way, the Aggies went 11-3 last year, going undefeated against a pair of Pac-12 teams and won the Mountain West Conference Championship Game by 33 points.
Young connected on 18-of-28 throws for 195 yards and five touchdowns without an interception. He also led ‘Bama in rushing yards (100) on just five attempts and had a four-yard TD run.
Alabama RB Jahmyr Gibbs made his debut for last year’s College Football Playoff runner-up, producing 93 rushing yards on nine carries. He had one catch for five yards, while LB Will Anderson recorded five tackles, one tackle for loss and one QB hurry.
The next-shortest odds at FanDuel belong to USC QB Caleb Williams (+600), Florida QB Anthony Richardson (+1800 or 18/1), Georgia QB Stetson Bennett (20/1), Oklahoma QB Dillon Gabriel (25/1), Anderson (30/1), Clemson QB DJ Uiagalelei (40/1), Miami QB Tyler Van Dyke (40/1), Texas RB Bijan Robinson (40/1) and Wisconsin RB Braelon Allen (40/1).
Williams helped the Trojans to a 66-14 win over Rice. The former Oklahoma Sooner completed 19-of-22 passes for 249 yards and two TDs without an interception. Williams had a team-best 68 rushing yards on just six carries. He also had an 11-yard reception.
Richardson carried the Gators to a thrilling 29-26 win over Utah as 2.5-point home underdogs. He connected on 17-of-24 passes for 168 yards, but he did the most damage with his legs. Richardson ran for 106 yards and three TDs on only 11 attempts. The Gainesville native also had this brilliant, Heisman-like play (below) on a two-point conversion that proved to be critical.
Richardson was available anywhere from 40/1 to 60/1 throughout the summer, while UGA’s Bennett had 100/1 odds at some books as recently as mid-August. I got Richardson at 60/1 along with Allen at the same number back in July.
Bennett torched Oregon in a 49-3 win for the Bulldogs as 16-point ‘chalk.’ He completed 25-of-31 passes for 368 yards and two TDs without an interception. Bennett also had a one-yard TD run to stake UGA to a 14-0 lead on the opening play of the second quarter.
Bennett and Richardson were popular sleeper picks throughout the summer. If there’s one more that still has value, I believe it’s Mississippi St. QB Will Rogers, who is 80/1 at FanDuel.
Rogers was sharp in the Bulldogs’ opener, a 49-23 revenge win over Memphis as a 17-point home favorite. He completed 38-of-49 throws for 450 yards and five TDs compared to only one interception.
If you think Clemson true freshman QB Cade Klubnik is going to take Uiagalelei’s job before the end of the month, perhaps he’s worth consideration at 80/1 (FanDuel)?
DraftKings has Young as the +300 favorite with Stroud at +350. Williams is +600, followed by Bennett (18/1), Anderson (20/1), Richardson (22/1), Robinson (28/1), Gabriel (30/1) and Gibbs (30/1).
Rogers and Klubnik both have 60/1 odds at DraftKings, while Allen is at 50/1. I’m not against snagging Allen, who ran for 148 yards and two TDs on 14 carries in a 38-0 win over Illinois St.