With a late push of his own and a late pratfall by his prime competitor, quarterback Kyler Murray gave Oklahoma back-to-back Heisman trophies on Saturday night.
Throughout the season, the most prestigious individual award in college football appeared destined to belong to Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa. But his poor performance and ankle injury in the Southeastern Conference championship game Dec. 1 opened the door for Murray, who had strafed Texas earlier in the day to further establish his glowing credentials. While Tagovailoa was watching backup Jalen Hurts rescue Alabama, Murray was reaping the benefits with voters.
Those two factors created a close Heisman voting, but Murray prevailed. The Oklahoma quarterback received 517 first-place votes and 2,167 points. Tagovailoa finished with 299 first-place votes and 1,871 total points. Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins finished third with 46 first-place votes and 783 total points.
The award voting is final, but the two will have a rare chance to settle it on the field Dec. 29 in the College Football Playoff. Murray’s fourth-seeded Sooners (12-1) face Tagovailoa’s top-seeded and undefeated Crimson Tide in the Orange Bowl. It’s the first bowl showdown of 1-2 Heisman finishers since winner Reggie Bush of USC and runner-up Vince Young of Texas met in an epic Rose Bowl to finish the 2005 season. (Bush subsequently was stripped of the award for NCAA rules violations.)
Murray follows fellow Sooner quarterback — and fellow transfer — Baker Mayfield in winning the Heisman. It marked just the fourth time that a school had back-to-back winners: Yale had Larry Kelley and Clinton Frank in 1936 and ’37; Army had Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis in 1945 and ’46; and Ohio State had Archie Griffin in both 1974 and ’75.
SOURCE: Pat Forde