You can't spend a Saturday watching college football without hearing about Trevone Boykin and Dalvin Cook. But what about the dark horses? The players that are shunned by Herbstreit and Co? Well we're to break it down, so you don't have to.
Matt Breida: The Georgia Southern Junior running back has been unbelievable. Fresh of a 205 yard, 2 TD performance against Texas State, Breida keeps getting better as the season progresses. Sure, it was Texas State which is ranked 124th in the nation in Points Against, but this still another dominant performance. The problem with Breida is when they have needed him most, he's hasn't been a game changer. Against Sun Belt front-runners Appalachian State he was held to only 78 yards rushing, however, still managed 5.6 yards a carry. Yet it's hard to ignore that he average 16, yes, 16 yards-per-carry against a pretty solid Western Michigan defense and scored 4 touchdowns.
Brandon Doughty: The Senior Western Kentucky Hilltopper is completing over 71% of his throws this year and just finished with a gutsy performance against a red-hot LSU team that had WKU over matched in almost every possible way. Even in the loss Doughty finished with 325 yards, 3 TD against only one interception. To put that into perspective, 2014 Heisman candidate Dak Prescott only managed 1 touchdown in his meeting with the Tigers. He also had a lights-out performance against P5 opponent Indiana, tossing for 484 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Paxton Lynch: The Memphis Tigers shocked the world on October 17th when they sent Ole Miss home with an L. Lynch blew up the "EssEeeSee" defense known as the "Land Sharks" to the tune of 384 yards and 3 TDs passing with one pick. Oh and that one pick...is the only one he's had ALL SEASON. While he may not have the gaudy numbers that Doughty has, it's his ability to take care of the ball that puts him in the Heisman running. There a few QBs in the nation that are in the one pick club, but none have shown production, nor the rocket arm, that Lynch has.
Keyarris Garrett: No receiver shows up in big games like this Senior at the University of Tulsa. Against in-state football powerhouse Oklahoma, Garrett finished the night with 189 yards on 14 receptions with a TD. And that was just a warm up. The 6-foot-4 222-pounder decided to save his best game for in-conference play. In Tulsa's October 23rd barn-burner against undefeated Memphis, Garret snatched 14 receptions for 289 yards and 3 touchdowns. He may not be getting the spotlight due to Tulsa's pedestrian 3-4 record, but he sure does deserve a look.
Keenan Reynolds: Navy Midshipmen quarterback Keenan Reynolds looks to spend the second half of his senior season living by the immortal words of Jay-Z: "What more can I say? What more can I do?" The four year starter for the Midshipmen who is currently fourth among active quarterbacks in career wins with 26 seems to hold or is in reach of every meaningful rushing record a quarterback could hope to accomplish.
Here's a snapshot of the records he already holds: Most rushing TDs in a career by a QB (75); most games with 3 or more TDs in a career (14); most rushing TDs by a QB in a season (31); most points in a career by a QB (452); most rushing TDs in a game against an FBS opponent (7).
Then there are the records he has a strong chance of breaking over the next 6 weeks: most rushing TDs in a career by any player (2 shy of Montee Ball's record of 77); most total TDs in career by FBS player (8 shy of Montee Ball's record of 83); most rushing yards in a career by a QB (673 shy of Denard Robinson's record of 4495); most points scored in a career by a non-kicker (48 shy of Montee Ball's record of 500).
He is in striking distance of all of these records, and if he stays on pace through Navy's probable bowl game, he will break all of them. The Heisman is not a career award and should only represent what Reynolds does on the field this season, but what he has already accomplished and stands to accomplish this season is nothing short of incredible. He has the Midshipmen keeping pace with Memphis and Houston so far in the ultra-competitive AAC West and if he is able to put together a special November he might just find himself needing to catch a ride from Philadelphia to New York on December 12th.
The Mids take on rival Army that afternoon, and it would only be fitting for Reynolds to cap off an afternoon beating his archrival for the fourth time and running Navy's win streak against the Black Knights to 14 before having to "rush" to New York in order to be front and center in his Service Dress Blues for the Heisman Trophy presentation that night. It's been a looooong time since a service academy player received this kind of praise. He's our favorite out of the field due to his career achievements and the mark he'll make on college football history.
Anchors aweigh, Keenan.