College Football
Heisman Watch: C.J. Stroud dominates with 6-TD outing
College Football

Heisman Watch: C.J. Stroud dominates with 6-TD outing

Updated Mar. 15, 2023 11:21 a.m. ET

At times throughout this college football season, the Heisman Trophy race hasn't felt like much of a race at all. Sometimes, it's felt more like a long, slow C.J. Stroud coronation party.

Week 6 felt like one of those times.

Stroud, who has been dominant all season, was at his finest once again Saturday, leading Ohio State to a 49-20 victory over Michigan State.

His excellence, combined with the absence of defending Heisman winner Bryce Young due to injury, as well as some uneven performances elsewhere in the field, might soon have fans asking: Can anybody catch Stroud?


C.J. Stroud: The next great Buckeye

The "Big Noon Kickoff" crew explains what makes Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud one of the best in the nation.

See how the leading Heisman candidates heading into Week 6 fared Saturday.

Note: Players are ranked by FOX Bet odds entering Week 6.

1. Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud +160 (bet $10 to win $26 total)

It's difficult to imagine anybody jumping up to knock Stroud out of the top spot after the junior signal-caller had yet another dominant outing.

In Ohio State's win Saturday, Stroud again put up staggering numbers. He completed 21 of 26 passes (80.8%) for 361 yards (13.9 yards per attempt). While he did toss an interception — just his third of the season — Stroud also threw six touchdown passes, tying a school record and lifting his season total to 25. 

Stroud is the first Ohio State player to throw six touchdown passes on three different occasions, a feat he has pulled off in consecutive contests against Michigan State.

Ohio State routs Michigan State

RJ Young reacts to the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes' rout of Michigan State in Week 6.

Week 5 rank: 1

Trending: Steady.

Next: Vs. Iowa on Oct. 22.

2. USC QB Caleb Williams +500 (bet $10 to win $60 total)

Williams completed barely more than 50% of his passes (15 for 29) for a mere 188 yards. But he did help move the chains with his feet as well, gaining 34 yards on nine carries, and he tossed two TD passes while not committing any turnovers.

That care with the ball proved crucial for the Trojans in a gritty, 30-14 victory over Washington State

Caleb Williams throws a 38-yard dime

USC grabbed an early 7-0 lead against Washington State thanks to Caleb Williams' impressive passing TD in the first quarter. 

Week 5 rank: 3

Trending: Steady.

Next: At Utah on Oct. 15.

3. Alabama QB Bryce Young +800 (bet $10 to win $90 total)

Young missed Saturday's win over Texas A&M with a shoulder injury.

Week 5 rank: 2.

Trending: Down.

Next: At Tennessee on Oct. 15.

4: Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker +1200 (bet $10 to win $130 total)

The dynamic, dual-threat signal-caller was a problem once again Saturday, leading the No. 8 Volunteers to a breezy 40-13 victory at No. 25 LSU.

Hooker didn't put up the video-game numbers he has in the past, but he was still impressive, completing 17 of 27 passes for 239 yards and two touchdowns (without an interception), and rushing for 56 yards on 10 carries.

He also made plays like this …

Week 5 rank: 4

Trending: Up.

Next: Vs. Alabama on Oct. 15.

T5. Michigan RB Blake Corum +1800 (bet $10 to win $190 total)

In another difficult Big Ten battle, Corum again proved to be among the most reliable running backs in the nation. The junior rushed for 124 yards on 25 carries, including a 50-yard dash on the third play of the game, as the Wolverines pulled away late for a 31-10 victory at Indiana.

Week 5 rank: T6

Trending: Up.

Next: Vs. Penn State on Oct. 15.

T5. Kansas State QB Adrian Martinez +1800 (bet $10 to win $190 total)

Martinez was once again a dual-threat weapon for the Wildcats, passing for 246 yards and a touchdown (without a pick) and adding 77 yards on the ground.

But the final score in K-State's win over Iowa State10-9 — might make Heisman voters curious about the Wildcats' offense because it didn't look pretty.

Week 5 rank: T6

Trending: Down.

Next: At TCU on Oct. 22.

T7. Georgia QB Stetson Bennett +2000 (bet $10 to win $210 total)

Bennett was fine in the pocket on Saturday as the Bulldogs rebounded from a near-loss against Missouri to throttle Auburn, 42-10

The signal-caller was more workmanlike than dynamic, though, completing 22 of his 32 passes (68.8%) for 208 yards, without a touchdown or interception. He did produce an incredible play with his feet, though, dashing 64 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Week 5 rank: 5

Trending: Down.

Next: Vs. Vanderbilt on Oct. 15.

T7. Alabama RB Jahmyr Gibbs +2000 (bet $10 to win $210 total)

With Young out nursing his shoulder injury, the Crimson Tide leaned heavily on Gibbs in what turned out to be a tough game against Texas A&M, and the junior tailback came through.

The 5-foot-11, 200-pounder carried the ball 22 times for 157 yards, adding three catches for 13 additional yards through the air, as Bama escaped with a 24-20 victory.

Week 5 rank: Unranked.

Trending: Up.

Next: At Tennessee on Oct. 15.

9: Clemson QB DJ Uiagalelei +2200 (bet $10 to win $230 total)

The Tigers struggled through much of their game against Boston College, eventually pulling away to a comfortable 31-3 victory. Uiagalelei, who has played well of late, was uneven early in this one, though his numbers were solid in the end — 220 passing yards with three TDs and an interception, plus another 69 rushing yards on 12 carries.

Week 5 rank: Unranked

Trending: Up.

Next: At Florida State on Oct. 15.

10. North Carolina QB Drake Maye +3500 (bet $10 to win $360 total)

Maye has been the fuel that has sparked the Tar Heels to a 5-1 record. Results were mixed on Saturday, though, even though UNC defeated Miami, 27-24.

Maye passed for 309 yards and two touchdowns, but he also threw two interceptions, one of which set up a field goal in the first half. Will Maye stay on this list?

Week 5 rank: Unranked

Trending: Up.

Next: At Duke on Oct. 15.

Read more:

College football rankings: Ohio State tightens grip on No. 1

- Even at 6-0, Michigan is hard to pin down

- Michigan pulls away to win an emotional game after assistant collapses

- Red River Showdown: With Quinn Ewers back, Texas routs Oklahoma

- College football top plays: All the best from a wild Week 6

- Dorian Thompson-Robinson leads UCLA to big win over Utah


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