Heisman Watch: Manziel separates with monster game

Ben Fisher,

11/5/2013 8:52:15 PM

Already with the lead in's Heisman Watch, Johnny Football took advantage of Marcus Mariota's bye week out west to separate himself from the pack a little with a monster performance in Week 10, albeit against a weak opponent.

Manziel accounted for six touchdowns (four throwing, two rushing) and 340 yards (273 through the air, 67 on the ground) in Texas A&M's rout of the one-win UTEP Miners.

Yes, the Aggies have two losses this year and so far have only won the games they were supposed to, but Manziel's stat line – even with missing some time earlier this season – is too sterling to ignore at this time.

Manziel's Heisman defence will ultimately come down to the two week stretch when A&M faces LSU and Missouri back-to-back to close out November, but until then he should retain pole position for the coveted trophy.

At Florida State, Jameis Winston remains in the contenders' fray with a big ACC win over The U, but he blew his chance to hop Mariota and join Manziel in the Top 2 with a pedestrian game in the Seminoles' blowout of the Hurricanes.

Winston accounted for more than 350 yards but had just one of the team's five touchdowns while also throwing two interceptions against Miami's defence.

Winston's next three weeks are against substandard opponents, giving him a chance to pad his stats and catch up to Manziel before a rivalry game against the Florida Gators to cap the Seminoles' regular season which could have big implications on the redshirt freshman's chances.

With a number of fringe candidates enjoying byes in Week 10, the Heisman Watch is as much of a three horse race as it has ever been. There's still plenty of time for things to change but for now it would be surprising to hear a name other than Manziel, Mariota, or Winston called for the Heisman at the end of the season.