Louisville’s Lamar Jackson won the Heisman Trophy on Saturday, making official what many thought was a foregone conclusion halfway through the college football season.
Jackson’s statistics made a strong case for the Heisman. He completed 58 percent of his passes (220 of 382) for 3,390 yards and 30 touchdowns with nine interceptions. He ran the ball 234 times for 1,538 yards and 21 touchdowns.
He is the third player in FBS history with 30 passing touchdowns and 20 rushing touchdowns in the same season. The other two players (Cam Newton and Tim Tebow) also won the Heisman.
Jackson is the first Louisville player to win the Heisman Trophy, and he is the first Heisman winner from the ACC who wasn’t a Florida State quarterback.
Jackson was 19 years, 337 days old Saturday, five days younger than Florida State's Jameis Winston was at the time of his win in 2013.
Valuable passing and running
Jackson brought the concept of a “dual-threat quarterback” to almost unprecedented levels. He had an FBS-high six games with at least 200 passing yards and 100 rushing yards this season. That is tied for the second-most such games in a season in the past 10 years, behind Jordan Lynch (eight in 2012). Johnny Manziel had six such games in 2012.
The Louisville sophomore led Power 5 players in yards per game (103) and touchdowns (18) on rushes outside of the tackles.
He also was tops in the Power 5 in yards per game (81) and touchdowns (16) on zone-read rushes this season.
Jackson’s Cardinals rose as high as No. 3 in The Associated Press poll, the best ranking in the program’s history. But Louisville (9-3) lost its last two games of the regular season (at Houston and against Kentucky).
Jackson became the seventh of 82 Heisman Trophy winners whose team lost its final two games before the trophy was awarded. The most recent before Jackson was Notre Dame’s Tim Brown in 1987.
Anyone who made a bet on Jackson before the season to win the Heisman would have won $100 for every dollar bet (according to Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook). By Oct. 2, after Jackson’s first five games, a bettor would have had to wager $275 to win $100. The final odds closed at 1-50, meaning it would have taken a $5,000 bet to win $100.
Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson finished third last season and was second this year. He is the 11th player with multiple top-three finishes without winning the Heisman, the first since Andrew Luck in 2010 and 2011.
Finishing third was Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, who was fourth in last year’s Heisman voting and entered the ceremony as the FBS leader in Total QBR (91.6), completion percentage (71.2 percent) and yards per attempt (11.1). The last player to finish a season in the top three in the FBS in each of those categories was Russell Wilson with Wisconsin in 2011.
Oklahoma receiver Dede Westbrook (fourth place) would have been the fourth receiver to win the Heisman (the first since Michigan’s Desmond Howard in 1991). Westbrook’s season totals for receiving yards (1,465) and 100-yard receiving games (eight) would have been the most of any Heisman winner at the time of the ceremony.
In fifth, Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers was the first defensive player invited to the Heisman ceremony since Manti Te’o of Notre Dame in 2012. The Wolverines sophomore took snaps at nine positions, contributing also on offense and special teams.