Heisman Top 10 Week 2: Running Backs Surge Ahead


10t. Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon and L.J. Scott, RB, Michigan State

Despite Oregon’s loss at Michigan State, Royce Freeman turned in a strong performance: three receptions for 34 yards, and 92 yards rushing with a touchdown.

The Spartan defense may be the best Freeman and the Ducks see all season. There’s no shame in racking up 126 yards with a score against that side, and the remaining slate will likely bolster Freeman’s candidacy.

Conversely, I wouldn’t anticipate freshman running back L.J. Scott’s place in the Heisman Top 10 lasting long — not by any fault of his own, but rather, because Michigan State is loaded.

Scott shares carries with Madre London to give Sparty a formidable backfield combination. Scott actually rushed for fewer yards than London in Saturday’s marquee win over Oregon.

But with two touchdowns on the night, Scott was Michigan State’s hero. His pinball score late sealed the deal.

“LJ is a phenomenal running back,” London told MLive.com. “The 1-2 punch, we did good. I’m proud of him. We just got a lot more work to do.”

9. Braxton Miller, Utility, Ohio State

Braxton Miller went without a touchdown in a one-sided win Saturday. Still, the Ohio State utilityman continued to demonstrate why he’s so valuable to the Buckeyes offense.

Urban Meyer and offensive coordinator Ed Warinner gave the Hawaii defense something to think about with Miller lined up behind center repeated in the first half.

He didn’t pass, but did pick up 57 yards on the ground and another 16 receiving.

However, the play for which I’m spotlighting Miller this week — his first in the Heisman Top 10 — is a block. Yes, a block.

A former quarterback-turned-wide receiver-slash-running back took out two would-be tacklers on a single block. Let that sentence sink in. That Miller dives into the block like Superman taking flight is strangely apropos.