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Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa: TDA’s Heisman update after week five

John David Mercer - USA TODAY Sports

Both LSU and Texas were idle on last week, but week five of the college football season delivered some entertaining matchups. Clemson was nearly upset by North Carolina and although it gave up 31 points to Mississippi, Alabama’s offense remains on fire.  

As we turn the page to the month of October, the Heisman race is about to heat up. 

RELATED: Alabama 2020 NFL Draft projections

While the likes of quarterbacks Joe Burrow and Justin Fields did not fall out of Touchdown Alabama Magazine’s top five candidates, three players and two others in the hunt continue to push the pace. One frontrunner, in particular, re-wrote a school record for most touchdown passes in a single game and most scores accounted for in a career.

Listed below is an updated version of the top five hopefuls for the coveted bronze award. 

1. Tua Tagovailoa, QB – Alabama 

The magic that Tua Tagovailoa and this group of wide receivers have may never happen again not just for Alabama, but probably in all of college football. 

Tagovailoa has not only toppled former Tide signal caller, AJ McCarron (80) for most total scores in a career with 86, but he has also tied him for most career touchdown passes (77).  

A junior from Hawaii, he vibes with all his receivers on different levels and DeVonta Smith carried the vibe to himself on last week versus Ole Miss. Smith set an Alabama single-game school record for receiving yards (274) and touchdowns (five) on 11 catches in a 59-31 win. 

As for Tagovailoa, he set a single-game record for scoring tosses (six) and accounted for seven touchdowns. He completed 26 of 36 pass attempts for 418 passing yards, tallying his third performance this year with 300-plus yards passing. As the potential No. 1pick for the 2020 NFL Draft, Tagovailoa has 1,718 yards passing with 25 scores (two rushing) to no interceptions. 

He boasts the second-highest QBR in football with a 96.2 rating. 

2. Jalen Hurts, QB – Oklahoma 

He will be in New York City and Lincoln Riley has Jalen Hurts distributing the football at a high level.

The senior and native Texan returned from the bye week with another masterful outing, totaling 415 passing yards, 70 rushing yards and four total scores in Oklahoma’s 55-16 victory over Texas Tech. Despite tossing his first interception of the season, no one has been able to solve Hurts and the Sooners’ offense while its defense has improved under Alex Grinch. 

Hurts is averaging 300-plus yards passing and 100-plus yards rushing with 17 total scores. 

He wants more than just a Heisman; he wants a national championship. 

3. Justin Fields, QB – Ohio State 

He has come into his own in the Big Ten. 

Justin Fields looks great and Ryan Day could possibly be Coach of the Year in the conference at the rate Ohio State is going at. The sophomore has an offense that is scoring 52.4 points per game and the Buckeyes dropped 48 on Nebraska in a win on last week.  

Fields completed 15 of 21 passes for 212 yards with three turnovers to no turnovers. He also made plays with his feet, chiming in with 72 yards rushing on 12 carries and another score. 

The five-star has 23 touchdowns on the year – including 16 threw the air. 

4. Joe Burrow, QB – LSU 

LSU will not have big competition this week as Utah State is on the schedule; however, it has still been a remarkable season for Joe Burrow. The senior quarterback paces an offense that averages 57.8 points a game and he’s completing 80.6 percent (100-for-124) of his passes. 

Burrow accounts for 1,520 passing yards with 17 touchdowns to two picks. He totals 380 yards passing per matchup and the Tigers have scored at least 40 points in all four of its contests. 

5. Sam Ehlinger, QB – Texas  

Texas will dive into Big 12 action this week versus West Virginia. 

Sam Ehlinger, like Burrow, has put together quality games. He has the Longhorns at 3-1 and scoring 41.8 points a game. The junior has completed 72.9% of his throws (102-for-140) while tossing for 1,237 yards with 15 touchdowns to one interception.  

Ehlinger averages 309.3 yards passing per game. 

Players still in Heisman race 

Jonathan Taylor, RB – Wisconsin 

J.K. Dobbins, RB – Ohio State 

Jake Fromm, QB – Georgia  

Justin Herbert, QB – Oregon 

Travis Etienne, RB – Clemson  

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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