Lamar Jackson

Penn State's Saquon Barkley not among Heisman Trophy finalists

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Penn State's Saquon Barkley not among Heisman Trophy finalists

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield made Heisman Trophy history just by being selected as a finalist.

Mayfield, reigning Heisman winner Lamar Jackson of Louisville and Stanford running back Bryce Love were chosen as finalists for the 83rd Heisman Trophy on Monday night.

The award for most outstanding college football player will be given out Saturday night in New York.

Mayfield and Jackson are finalists for the second straight year, and Jackson is trying to become the second player to win two Heismans, joining former Ohio State star Archie Griffin.

Mayfield, though, will come to Manhattan as the clear favorite. He finished fourth in the Heisman voting in 2015, but was not invited to New York. Last year, he was one of five finalists and finished third behind Jackson and Clemson's Deshaun Watson.

Mayfield is the seventh player to finish in the top five of Heisman voting three times , joining Glenn Davis and Doc Blanchard of Army, Doak Walker of SMU, Griffin, Herschel Walker of Georgia and Tim Tebow of Florida.

The Heisman has been naming finalists and bringing them to New York for the presentation since 1982. Mayfield is the ninth Oklahoma player to be selected as a finalist, matching Miami for the most from one school.

Mayfield is trying to become the sixth Heisman winner from Oklahoma and third Sooners quarterback (Jason White and Sam Bradford) to win since 2003.

This season, Mayfield has led the No. 2 Sooners (12-1) to the Big 12 championship and the College Football Playoff. Oklahoma plays Georgia (12-1) in the Rose Bowl semifinal on Jan. 1. Mayfield leads the nation in efficiency rating at 203.76 and has thrown for 4,340 yards and 41 touchdowns.

Jackson's numbers have been better than last season in some categories, but Louisville (8-4) has not had the big wins to go with it. With little fanfare, the quarterback is averaging 411 total yards -- up from 393 last season-- and accounted for 42 touchdowns.

"I'm honored to be chosen as a finalist with these two outstanding players," Jackson said in a statement. "They both had great seasons and deserve this tremendous honor. I want to thank all my teammates and coaches for achieving this honor together."

Griffin won back-to-back Heisman trophies for Ohio State in 1974 and '75.

Love is second in the nation in rushing at 164.42 yards per game and is averaging 8.32 yards per carry for the 15th-ranked Cardinal. An ankle injury slowed Love the last month of the season, but he still led the nation in rushes of at least 50 yards with 12. He also scored 17 touchdowns.

Not making that cut was a couple of talented running backs.

Penn State's Saquon Barkley is second in the nation in all-purpose yards (179.5) and is fifth with 21 touchdowns, including two kickoff return touchdowns for the No. 9 Nittany Lions. He was also 2 for 2 passing with a touchdown. He was considered the favorite heading into the final month of the season, but the Nittany Lions lost twice, and his production fell off until a late surge.

San Diego State's Rashaad Penny leads the nation in rushing (168.9) and all-purpose yards (224.8). Against Nevada three weeks ago, he scored on a rush, a kickoff return and a punt return. Penny had big games against Pac-12 teams Stanford and Arizona State early in the season but was held in check by San Diego State's top Mountain West rivals, Fresno State and Boise State.

Louisville's Lamar Jackson wins Heisman Trophy

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Louisville's Lamar Jackson wins Heisman Trophy

NEW YORK -- Lamar Jackson leapt over a loaded field of Heisman Trophy contenders early in the season and by the time he slowed down nobody could catch him.

The sensational sophomore quarterback became the first Louisville player to win the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night, beating out preseason favorite Deshaun Watson of Clemson despite some late-season struggles.

Baker Mayfield finished third and Oklahoma teammate and fellow finalist Dede Westbrook was fourth. Michigan's Jabrill Peppers was fifth.

Watson, who finished third in Heisman voting last year, led a stacked group of contenders entering this season that included five of the top seven vote-getters in 2015.

Jackson outdid them all in his first season as Louisville's full-time starter, accounting for 51 touchdowns and averaging 410 yards per game in total offense. He ultimately won going away, with 2,144 points to Watson's 1,524. By percentage of possible points received, Jackson's victory was the sixth largest in Heisman history, and he became the youngest winner at 19 years, 352 days.

Jackson is the first Heisman Trophy winner to play on a team that lost its last two games of the regular season since Tim Brown of Notre Dame in 1987. He's the first to enter the postseason without a chance to win the national title since Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M in 2012.

No matter. Jackson did so much before November it was difficult to deny him the award because of a couple of missteps at the end.

He provided a signature moment against Syracuse, hurdling a defender on his way into the end zone, and then played his best against Louisville's toughest competition.

In a romp over Florida State and a close loss at Clemson, Jackson threw for 511 yards, ran for 308 and accounted for eight touchdowns. After ripping apart Florida State in September, he earned the stamp of approval from his idol, former Virginia Tech and NFL star Mike Vick.

Jackson left that Oct. 1 game in Death Valley as a threat to run away with the Heisman, but losses to Houston and Kentucky, when he committed four turnovers, in late November provided an opportunity for others to sway voters.

Watson made the biggest surge, but ultimately fell short.

Jackson continues a recent trend of breakout stars winning the Heisman. He is the sixth player to win the award as either a redshirt freshman or sophomore, all since 2007, joining Manziel (redshirt freshman), Jameis Winston (redshirt freshman), Mark Ingram (sophomore), Sam Bradford (sophomore) and Tim Tebow (sophomore).

Jackson came to Louisville as a three-star recruit from Boynton Beach High School in Florida. Some colleges were not sold on him as a quarterback, but Jackson was such a dynamic talented Louisville coach Bobby Petrino altered his offense to accommodate Jackson's speed and elusiveness.

Jackson flashed brilliance as a freshman and showed what was to come in the Music City Bowl against Texas A&M. He had 453 total yards and led Louisville to a victory.

Still, with so many well-established stars from Watson and Mayfield to running backs Christian McCaffrey of Stanford, Dalvin Cook of Florida State and Leonard Fournette of LSU, Jackson entered the season without much fanfare.

Just the way he likes it.

Jackson spent this season adjusting to newfound fame, growing into the role of face of the team and trying to stay out of the spotlight. He said he cut down on trips to the mall to avoid the inevitable crowds he drew.

He is about to become even more popular. Especially back in Louisville, where he has another year before he can even consider his next big jump -- to the NFL.

College Football Wrap: Lamar Jackson shines again, Louisville crushes Florida State

College Football Wrap: Lamar Jackson shines again, Louisville crushes Florida State

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson shrugged off chants of "Heisman! Heisman!" from Cardinals' fans and seemed satisfied knowing he had played a role in one of the program's biggest wins.

A very big role worthy of all the adulation.

Jackson ran for four touchdowns and threw for another as No. 10 Louisville poured it on for a 63-20 victory on Saturday, the most points ever allowed by Florida State.

His performance helped Cardinals establish themselves as a title contender in the Atlantic Coast Conference - and the national crown - by dismantling the second-ranked Seminoles in one of the worst defeats in FSU history.

What was billed as an ACC showdown quickly turned into a rout. And after blowing second-half leads against Florida State the past two years, Louisville kept the pressure on (see full recap).

North Dakota St tops No. 13 Iowa on final play
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- With the biggest win in school history less than 3 yards away, North Dakota State went for two and failed.

The Bison earned the ball back though - and they finished off the program's signature victory by running the ball right at Iowa.

Cam Pedersen kicked a 37-yard field as time expired and North Dakota State, of the FCS, rallied to beat No. 13 Iowa 23-21 on Saturday for its sixth straight win over an FBS opponent.

The Bison went for a 2-point conversion down 21-20 with 3:41 left, but couldn't punch it in. North Dakota State's defense then held, and quarterback Easton Stick's 29-yard run put the Bison in position for the biggest win in school history.

"If we didn't make it I thought we could stop them," North Dakota State coach Chris Klieman said. "I thought our offense was kind of wearing them down."

The loss was just the fourth by a ranked FBS team to an FCS school. North Dakota State isn't just another Football Championship Subdivision team, though. The Bison have won the last five FCS national titles (see full recap).

Top-ranked Alabama rallies, beats No. 19 Ole Miss 48-43
OXFORD, Miss. -- Alabama coach Nick Saban doesn't know how many of these roller coaster rides he can take.

He watched his top-ranked squad fall behind by three touchdowns and then come roaring back. And when his Tide looked to be in control and leading No. 19 Mississippi by 18 points in the fourth quarter, `Bama nearly blew it.

By the end of Alabama's 48-43 victory over Ole Miss in a Southeastern Conference showdown on Saturday, a weary, bleary-eyed Saban looked exhausted when the clock finally hit all zeroes.

"It was an unbelievable game for fans to watch," the 64-year-old Saban said with a wry smile. "It was really a difficult game for an old coach to have to suffer through. But we made it. We made it and I'm really proud of our players."

Alabama freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts threw for 158 yards and ran for 146 more, but it was unlikely defensive touchdowns from Jonathan Allen and Da'Ron Payne - along with a special teams score from Eddie Jackson - that proved to be the biggest plays of the game (see full recap).

No. 12 Spartans hold on for 36-28 win over No. 18 Irish
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Tyler O'Connor threw for two touchdowns, Gerald Holmes ran for two more, including a 73-yard score, and No. 12 Michigan State took advantage of mistakes by No. 18 Notre Dame and held on for a 36-28 victory Saturday night.

The Spartans (2-0) turned what had been a close game at halftime into a 29-point lead with three third-quarter touchdowns. But Notre Dame made it close as DeShone Kizer threw for two touchdowns and ran for another and the Irish (1-2) cut the lead to 36-28 with 6:02 left on a 12-yard touchdown pass to tight end Durham Smythe.

On Notre Dame's next possession, Kizer was sacked for a 5-yard loss by Raequan Williams on third-and-2 and Notre Dame punted with 3:37 left in the game and the Spartans ran out the clock.

Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said he couldn't recall the last time the Spartans dominated as they had late in the second quarter and early in the third.

"It got tougher and tougher in the fourth quarter running the football. ... They kept playing and fought their way back into the football game right there at the end."

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said the mistakes were too much (see full recap).