If there’s any player nationally with a chance to unseat Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa at the top of the Heisman race, Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray is extremely close to doing just that.
The Sooners dual-threat quarterback was terrific during Friday night’s 59-56 win at West Virginia, accounting for four total touchdowns in another offensive explosion.
Former Sooners great Baker Mayfield, last season’s Heisman winner, punched his vote for Murray’s Heisman cause on Twitter late Friday:
KYLER KNOWS. K1 FOR HEISMAN.
— Baker Mayfield (@bakermayfield) November 24, 2018
Murray’s incredible season is actually better than Mayfield’s magical 2017 campaign from an efficiency standpoint, one of the most potent individual seasons of all-time. Murray managed 478 yards of total offense and four touchdowns against the Mountaineers including a dazzling 55-yard scoring burst down the sideline in the first half that sent a shockwave nationally across social media.
Murray finished 20 of 27 for 364 yards and three touchdown passes and converted a late fourth down to seal another win over a nationally-ranked team for the Sooners.
“It was fun,” Murray said. “There’s no other way to describe it.”
Murray’s 37 total touchdown passes is tied for the national lead with West Virginia’s Will Grier and his completion percentage of 70.6 is second only to Notre Dame’s Ian Book amongst Power 5 quarterbacks. Murray has thrown for nearly 800 more yards — 3,674 — than Tagovailoa and he has picked up 853 yards and 11 scores on the ground. That would put him seventh on the Big 12’s rushing list.
One of Murray’s best plays was a decisive fourth-down conversion in the final moments when he found CeeDee Lamb near the sideline inside West Virginia territory.
“Just felt like it was the right thing to do,” OU coach Lincoln Riley said. “There was enough time, and with us having three timeouts, the way the game was going … I just didn’t want to give them the ball back. And I felt like we had a great chance to get it.”
Murray has picked up serious ground on Tagovailoa in the Heisman race according to latest odds, and those came before Friday night’s center-stage showdown in prime-time. Tagovailoa gets a chance to maintain his lead in Saturday’s game vs. Auburn, but it’s clear that Oklahoma’s signal caller is his primary adversary heading into conference championship weekend.