Posted on August 30, 2019, by Travis Pulver
Ever since Kyler Murray was announced as the winner of the Heisman Trophy last year, the world has expected one of two guys to win it this season—Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence or Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (odds for both are set at +260 at Bovada).
But there may already be a candidate that can overtake them and become the new favorite—Clemson running back Travis Etienne.
Heading into Week One his odds were +3000 at Bovada. However, after having the game he did against Georgia Tech Thursday night, his odds are bound to get shorter– especially if he keeps it up. The junior running back carried the ball just 12 times during the game but racked up 205yards and three touchdowns with those carries.
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After the game, Etienne was asked what he thought such a game as he just had would do for Heisman voters. His response was exactly what it should have been, via ESPN:
“I really don’t try to worry about who’s out there watching. I try to play the best for my team and just try to get to 1-0 every week and be there for my brothers.”
With Trevor Lawrence not having a great night, Etienne’s game was what the team needed to lead them to a 52-14 win over Georgia Tech. Lawrence had some great moments, but he ended the night having gone 13-23 for 168 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. He also had another 24 yards and a touchdown on the ground (three carries).
However, if a Heisman candidate is going to have an off night, doing it in the first game of the season is preferable. That way, you have the remainder of the season to make up for it and for the voters to forget about it.
There may not be much if any movement on Etienne’s or Lawrence’s odds just yet. Since it was the first game of the season and a soft opponent, voters may not give how either played a whole lot of weight. However, both players will have a chance to make a Heisman statement next week when the Texas A&M Aggies come to town.
The Aggies got a clean performance out of Kellen Mond (19-27 for 194 yards, three touchdowns, one interception) and 246 yards on the ground. Their defense held Texas State to eight yards on the ground and 211 through the air. A good chunk of the yards the Bobcats gained came late in the fourth quarter on their touchdown drive.
However, like the Tigers, the Aggies played a soft opponent, so it is hard to tell just how good they really are.
But a game against another ranked opponent is just what the voters like to see. They want to see candidates have big performances in the games that matter the most. Should Etienne have another strong performance in this game, his odds will almost certainly get a bit shorter.
So, if the sound of a payday at +3000 odds sounds appealing, you may want to put your money down soon.