Jalen Hurts passed for a very respectable 395 yards and rushed for another 96. Those are Heisman worthy numbers, but when you lose to a team that’s just 4-2 coming into the game and tied for next to last in your conference at kickoff, those numbers may not matter.
It will cause Hurts more damage because of who he lost to much more than just losing period.
A Heisman worthy quarterback finds a way to win and Jalen didn’t do that. With Tua out of commission this week and with a bye week next week, the spotlight was glaring on Joe Burrow this week as they faced Auburn as the front runner.
Burrow didn’t exactly help himself, scoring only half the points he usually does, but he didn’t hurt himself too badly if at all, because his numbers will look good and he did win against a nationally ranked team. Burrow didn’t distance himself from the pack as much as the pack distanced themselves from him.
Should Burrow stumble against Alabama in two weeks, then the Heisman race could be wide open again and Hurts may get another opening to become a front runner.
Should Tua come off the bench recovering from surgery and light up the scoreboard and win, then the Heisman voters may forgive the week and half that Tua missed.
So far of the three front runners as of two weeks ago, two of those front runners have two things they want the voters to forgive them for, Jalen for losing to an unworthy team and Tua for getting hurt. Burrow didn’t play his best game against Auburn, but did well enough not to hurt his chances and he won.
While it seems ludicrous to say that Jalen Hurts had a day that his campaign, especially with those numbers he posted, it is true. Winners are called winners because they win. No doubt the loss will drop him in many minds, but he’ll gave other opportunities to change some minds.
Should Tua go out and simply slay LSU, then he puts himself back into top consideration. But it’s still anyone’s race.
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Larry Burton has been published in almost every media outlet for college sports and now primarily writes here for Touchdown Alabama. Follow Larry on Twitter for inside thoughts and game time comments at https://twitter.com/LBSportswriter