On Saturday night, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray took home college football’s most prestigious award as he was announced as the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner. Murray surged past Tua Tagovailoa late in the season to snag the top honors by 296 points. Murray’s win marks the second straight year that the starting QB for the Oklahoma Sooners won the Heisman. Last year, Baker Mayfield won the trophy and went on to be the 1st overall draft pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Mayfield took to social media and praised Murray:
“AND THATS WHAT WE CALL BACK TO BACK. YOU DESERVE IT K1, So proud of you man. Enjoy every second of it. Absolutely nobody can put a ceiling on you…. Football or baseball, follow your dreams brotha.”
Murray’s win marks the second time in college football history that two different players from the same team have won the Heisman Trophy in consecutive years. The first time was in 1945-46 when Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis of Army won the award. Technically, USC was the second school to accomplish this is in 2005 and 2006, but Reggie Bush ended up having the trophy taken from him due to his violations.
Oklahoma put their season and CFP aspirations squarely on the shoulders of Murray as their defense was shaky at best for the second half of the season. Murray responded with some of his best games including a stellar performance in the Big 12 title game when he finished with 379 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. It was this game that won the award for Murray as Tua ended up having his worst performance of the year on the same weekend in the SEC title game against Georgia.
For the year, Murray finished with 4,053 passing yards, 40 TD passes, 7 INTs, 892 rushing yards and 11 rushing TDs. In comparison, Tua Tagovailoa finished with 3,353 passing yards, 37 passing TDs, 4 INTs, 190 rushing yards and 5 rushing TDs. Murray’s 51 total TDs tied him with Dwayne Haskins for the most TDs in the FBS.
The following list is the official 2018 Heisman Trophy voting results:
The top 6 players are all quarterbacks, which marks the 3rd time that the top 6 play the same position. In 1975, the top 6 were running backs and in 2001, the top 6 were quarterbacks.
Tua was the favorite to win the award for most of the year, but within the last few weeks Murray surged ahead. Leading up to the award ceremony, online betting sites had Murray as the favorite with -125 odds. Tua was second at +105 odds and Haskins was third with +1600 odds.
The first running back on this year’s Heisman Trophy voting list was Travis Etienne of Clemson who finished 5th in the nation with 1,463 yards and 21 rush TDs. The nation’s top rusher was Jonathan Taylor from Wisconsin who ended up with 1,989 yards and 15 TDs. Taylor finished 9th in Heisman votes. Running back Darrell Henderson of Memphis rounded out the Top 10 for Heisman votes. He was second in the nation with 1,909 rushing yards. However, Henderson led the FBS with 22 rushing TDs.
For Murray, who could possibly finish the season as a national champion and the Heisman winner, he has a tough choice to make. Kyler was drafted 9th overall by the Oakland Athletics in this year’s MLB Draft and has said all year long that he planned on playing baseball after this year. He could become just the third player to ever win the Heisman and go play in the MLB, joining Bo Jackson and Vic Janowicz.
Over the last week, as the season has winded down, Kyler starting talking about how he would like to play both sports professionally like Bo Jackson did. If Murray decides to pursue a professional football career, many draft gurus have him pegged as a 1st round draft pick.
For now, the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner can put all of his future career plans on hold because he still has plenty of work to do in order to upset the Crimson Tide in about three weeks. Tua will have a chance to get revenge on Murray as the Crimson Tide and the Sooners will play against each other for the right to participate in the national championship. The Crimson Tide are a two touchdown favorite over Oklahoma.
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