Michigan State’s run at an undefeated season ended with Saturday’s 40-29 loss to Purdue despite Kenneth Walker III’s 146 rushing yards, but its star running back’s chances at winning the Heisman Trophy remain strong in what is still a wide-open race.

Walker enters this week as the FBS leader on the season in rushing yards (1,340) and rushing yards per game (148.9) and is third with 15 rushing touchdowns and 16 total scores. His 155.11 all-purpose yards per game is fourth nationally.

Even with his monster numbers, Walker has work to become the first running back to win the Heisman since Alabama’s Derrick Henry in 2015.


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Walker delivered in a big way two weeks ago in Michigan State’s win over No. 6 Michigan with 197 rushing yards and five TDs, and he has another opportunity to provide a Heisman moment in a Nov. 20 matchup with Ohio State.

The Wake Forest transfer will have to beat out a collection of quarterbacks for the Heisman, with Alabama’s Bryce Young largely considered the current favorite and Ohio State’s CJ Stroud, Ole Miss’ Matt Corral and Oklahoma’s Caleb Williams among the other top candidates.