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College Football: Why Louisville QB Lamar Jackson moves atop the Heisman Watch list

Matt Baker Sports Reporter Headshots
Matt Baker Sports Reporter Headshots
Published Sept. 17, 2016

Heisman watch

5. Clemson QB Deshaun Watson: Still one of the most talented players in the country but two mediocre games in a row are starting to look like a worrisome trend.

4. Florida State RB Dalvin Cook: A healthier offensive line and a marquee matchup gives him a chance to make a big statement at Louisville.

3. Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett: Nine touchdowns accounted for in two games is great, but the first real test comes at No. 14 Oklahoma.

2. Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey: Got an early bye to get ready for USC, a talented defense that allowed only 49 yards on 26 carries for Utah State last week.

1. Louisville QB Lamar Jackson: Lit up two cupcakes but can he keep the production (and points) flowing against a loaded FSU defense?

Local of the week

Florida State WR Auden Tate (Wharton High): The Seminoles can't settle for field goals in the red zone against a high-flying Louisville offense. That means FSU might need a breakout performance from the 6-foot-5, 225-pound sophomore, who snagged his first career catch (and touchdown) last week against Charleston Southern.

Eye on the NFL

NFL general managers will be watching to see how often Louisville pass rusher Devonte Fields lines up against FSU left tackle Roderick Johnson. Johnson was the ACC's top offensive lineman last year, and Fields led the country with 22½ tackles for a loss in 2015. Fields is off to a quiet start (one sack, two pass breakups) but remains one of the conference's top defensive talents. The matchup will help decide their first-round draft stock along with the game.

Viewing guide

Lamest time window: Late. Two great games kick off at 7:30, but the ones at 8 aren't sizzling. This week could provide a slightly earlier bedtime.

Noon: No. 2 FSU at No. 10 Louisville. The first top-10 matchup of the year will determine the ACC Atlantic Division frontrunner (and early positioning for a College Football Playoff push).

3:30: No. 1 Alabama at No. 19 Ole Miss. If an angry Crimson Tide gets revenge on the Rebels, flip over to the nonconference culture clash between No. 22 Oregon and rebuilding Nebraska.

7:30: No. 3 Ohio State at No. 14 Oklahoma. But have your remote batteries ready, because No. 12 Michigan State-No. 18 Notre Dame in the same window is almost equally enticing.

Record watch

USF career rushing yards

1. Andre Hall (2004-05): 2,731

2. Marlon Mack (2014-present): 2,480

FSU career rushing yards

1. Warrick Dunn (1993-96): 3,959

2. Greg Allen (1981-84): 3,769

3. Travis Minor (1997-2000): 3,218

4. Larry Key (1974-77): 2,953

5. Dalvin Cook (2014-present): 2,873