We were all clamoring to just give Penn State running back Saquon Barkley the Heisman Trophy already. After ridiculous outings against Pitt, Iowa and Indiana, there didn’t appear to be anyone that would contend with the junior as college football’s top talent.
After a few weeks, Barkley had earned a substantial lead in the Heisman race. But now, that margin is shrinking according to Yahoo Sports.
Barkley struggled mightily against Northwestern last Saturday, heading into halftime with negative rushing yardage. Eventually, he was able to get things moving and finished the afternoon with 75 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but the first half troubles were too much for Yahoo to ignore.
It’s created way for Stanford’s Bryce Love to work his way into the conversation.
Love currently leads the nation in rushing yardage with 1,240 yards on 118 carries, which is a 10.5 yards per carry average. He’s also scored nine rushing touchdowns on the season. Barkley has 641 yards and six touchdowns on the ground, but has made an impact as a receiver and a kick returner.
Here’s what Yahoo had to say about the closing gap between Barkley and Love:
Stanford running back Bryce Love is gaining ground on Penn State’s Saquon Barkley in our Heisman Watch. Love continues to put up huge rushing totals on a weekly basis, most recently gutting Utah for 152 yards and a game-sealing 68-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown in a 23-20 win. Love leads the nation with 1,240 rushing yards so far this year, but we’re still slotting him behind Barkley — for now — despite back-to-back underwhelming rushing efforts from the PSU junior.
Barkley has combined for 131 yards over the past two games, but his all-around impact playing for a superior team gives him the slightest of edges in the Heisman race through six weeks.
Barkley also ranks second nationally in all-purpose yardage (1,302) and has accounted for rushing, receiving, passing and kickoff return touchdowns this season.
Penn State has a Week 7 bye before hosting Michigan next Saturday.