Oregon Has A New Heisman Candidate
After taking the back seat to De’Anthony Thomas through seven games this season, Kenjon Barner has solidified his position as a Heisman Trophy candidate after an impressive performance this Thursday.
The 5-foot-11, 195-pound senior has been nothing short of amazing so far this season. This past Thursday against ASU, he rushed the ball 16 times for 143 yards and three touchdowns, one of those coming on a 71-yard scamper. And this was in about half the game.
This season, Barner has 132 carries for 870 yards and 12 touchdowns. Barner is averaging 6.6 yards a carry. He has also shown he can catch the ball out of the backfield, adding 111 yards and a touchdown on 11 catches. If Barner stays on track, he will gain 1,490 yards rushing during the regular season, and 1,740 yards if you take into account a possible PAC-12 championship game and bowl game.
The last Heisman-winning running back? Mark Ingram, who rushed for 1,678 yards and 17 touchdowns. Kenjon’s stats compare pretty favorably.
What has been so impressive about Kenjon Barner has been his explosive play ability, especially between the tackles on inside-zone run plays.
While many will say that his yardage and touchdowns come from the Ducks’ poor strength of schedule, Barner has plenty of opportunities during the remainder of the season to wow voters on national television.
The Ducks play at home against Colorado next week, where he will surely blow up the scoreboard. The week after however, the Ducks travel to Los Angeles to take on a ranked USC team with its own Heisman hopeful, Matt Barkley. Then the Ducks take on Cal and Stanford before traveling north to take on a resurgent Oregon State team who will look to play spoiler to the Ducks national title hopes. If OSU continues winning, this game will surely be nationally televised and allow for voters to see Kenjon in action one more time during the regular season.
This season of college football has already been a great one; it will be interesting to see if Oregon gets its first Heisman Trophy winner.