At this point, there’s only so much Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins can do in order to help himself in the Heisman Trophy rankings. After a record-tying performance in the Buckeyes’ win over Indiana last week, the gunslinger’s odds to win college football’s most prestigious award at season’s end somehow decreased slightly from last week.
He may have completed 33-of-44 passes (75 percent) for 455 yards, six touchdowns, and two interceptions, just three yards short of the single-game school record and tying the school record with six touchdowns,1 but somehow, his Heisman odds still slightly fell. Heading into Week 7 of the college football season, the first-year starter’s odds decreased from 15-to-4 last week to 9-to-2 this week, moving up to second in the rankings but still trailing Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (2-to-3), according to Bovada. It’s just been that kind of year for Haskins. The redshirt sophomore’s odds seemingly took a hit because Tua seemed to become even more of a favorite.
Unfortunately, it just seems that the longer this season goes, the more bettors are going to side with Tagovailoa. It’s not because of what Haskins is or isn’t doing, it’s just that Alabama is dominating and their quarterback is one of the main reasons why that’s the case. They may be competing for the Heisman Trophy and a national championship, but Haskins and Tagovailoa are not only good friends but talk on a weekly basis.
“We sent each other scriptures before the game on Saturday, just send out blessings to each other,” Haskins said following practice on Tuesday.
“I go, ‘How did you go 10-for-13 for 300 yards?’ He was like, ‘I don’t know,'” he said. “That’s pretty cool. I wish I could do that in one of these games this year. …He’s an accurate guy. Brings a lot to his offense. Really upbeat, well-spirited guy. I admire his game.”
Haskins may have better numbers but looking at the big picture, Tagovailoa hasn’t really needed to throw the ball or even play in the fourth quarter of the majority of Alabama’s games. Through six games, is 76-for-101 (75.2 percent) for 1,495 yards with 18 touchdowns. Not only has he not thrown an interception, but he has been sacked just twice, further proving the Crimson Tide’s dominance. Haskins is 142-for-198 (71.7 percent) for 1,919 yards with 25 touchdowns and four interceptions. Any other year, the Ohio State gunslinger would be at the top of the Heisman odds, but this year is just different.
Much like in Vegas, Haskins’ odds decreased but he moved up to second in the ESPN poll that was done by experts. With 31 points, he’s just ahead of Murray (29 points) but trails Tagovailoa (50 points) by quite a bit. The Crimson Tide quarterback now has all 10 first-place votes as well.
There’s only so much Haskins can do. So far, he’s doing everything he can and more, which is all you can ask for. Everything will work itself out eventually, but if the first half of the season is any indication, the award is Tagovailoa’s to lose. At this point, the Ohio State quarterback is just happy to be among the top of the rankings.
“It’s just a blessing to be considered with those guys,” he said. “Those are great quarterbacks and we all are pretty cool with each other. So, we’re competing every week.”
Much like Alabama is the top-ranked team in the country, neither of those things will change unless the Crimson Tide lose during the regular season. Now we just have to wait and see if that actually happens.
Luckily for Buckeye Nation, Haskins seems to know where he stands in terms of the Heisman but has his eyes and all of his attention on the biggest prize in college football. His focus is on improving because he knows that if he can continue to get better, the team will only improve as well.
“I don’t think I’m paying attention to it. I’m aware of it, more so,” he said. “It’s not my main focus right now. My main focus is every day getting better so I can be in that conversation for the rest of the season.
“Everyone wants to get into the hype of what can happen, what can be, and you’ve got to get there first. If you lose versus Minnesota, that doesn’t matter. That’s what we’re focused on is winning every game to stay in this conversation.”
Haskins may be one of the best quarterbacks in the country, as the Heisman Trophy odds prove that, but he seems to be focused on two things: Continuing to improve and helping his team not only make a College Football Playoff appearance but win a national championship. The kid is not only good but is so mature considering he’s only started six games thus far. That’s all Ohio State can ask of their quarterback at this point.
- Kenny Guiton became the first quarterback in program history to do so in 2013; J.T. Barrett tied the record in 2014 and again in 2016. [↩]