4. Cody Kessler, QB, USC
USC head coach Steve Sarkisian and offensive coordinator Clay Helton used the opportunity posed against an overmatched Idaho team to open the playbook to Cody Kessler.
The quarterback obliged, connecting with 12 different pass-catchers for 410 yards on 26 completions and three touchdowns.
The consummate quarterback, Kessler said afterward: “There are still some negatives I’ve got to work on.”
“It’s never as good as you think, it’s never as bad as you think,” he added, perhaps inadvertently stumbling into some solid advice for evaluating the Heisman race this early into the season.
3. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
Twitter did what Twitter does in Week 1, lambasting Ohio State’s coaching staff for not giving Ezekiel Elliott more touches.
Elliott ran 27 times against Hawaii, though less efficient, barely surpassing the century mark. Contrast that with 122 yards he had on just 11 carries Week 1.
However, three of Elliott’s rushes Week 2 went for touchdowns. As it pertains to the Heisman Trophy, a game against an overmatched opponent like Hawaii is readymade for piling on numbers that look great at the end of the year without much context — i.e., Melvin Gordon vs. Bowling Green in 2014.
Obviously Elliott didn’t go off at a record-setting level, but three scores gives him a nice foundation before Big Ten play.