With five games remaining in the regular season, the odds-makers are firmly giving the edge to LSU quarterback Joe Burrow in the Heisman Trophy race.
Burrow eclipses recently injured Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (ankle) atop the BetOnline and VegasInsider projections, according to The Advocate.
Tagovailoa injured his ankle on Saturday during No. 1 Alabama’s victory against Tennessee, then underwent surgery the next day. Tagovailoa is out ruled for Alabama’s contest this Saturday vs. Arkansas.
Burrow’s odds improve from 15 to 4 last week to 5 to 4 as of Monday morning on BetOnline. Tagovailoa drops from the top spot at 4 to 7 odds to being ranked third with 3 to 1 odds.
VegasInsider now gives Burrow 7 to 4 odds to claim the Heisman. Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts elevates to the runner-up spot for VegasInsider with 2 to 1 odds.
Plays like this are why Joe Burrow is a Heisman contender. pic.twitter.com/EJXUQi03bW
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) October 19, 2019
LSU has only had one Heisman Trophy winner in program history, dating all the way back to Billy Cannon’s 1959 campaign.
Burrow could be on his way to snapping that drought, as he’s passed for 29 touchdowns and 2,484 yards as the anchor of an LSU offense averaging a blistering 50.1 points per game. Burrow has notched at least 300 yards five times this season and is 410 yards shy of his total from last season.
Burrow passed for 327 yards and four touchdowns in No. 2 LSU’s 36-13 victory at Mississippi State. Burrow set the new LSU single-season record for touchdown passes during the road win.
Burrow is proud of the accomplishment but is more focused on the task of capturing the program’s first national title since 2007.
“I think it just shows how good we can be and how good we have been,” Burrow told CST. “All the work we’ve put in the offseason is starting to pay off for us.”
LSU coach Ed Orgeron praised Burrow for the individual achievement yet knows his quarterback has his sights set on the ultimate prize.
“It’s a testament to him, the receivers, the offensive line, the coaching. We are just getting started though,” Orgeron said. “We have a lot of football left. I know Joe is not worried about records. I will tell you, we are 7-0 and I think our team is a little upset about the way we played. I know our coaching staff is. I’m happy, but I know I won’t be as happy when I watch the film. There will be some things to get done this next week.”
29 Touchdown Passes and
Counting for @Joe_Burrow10
Here’s all of them in 2019.. pic.twitter.com/USOoRu8WLA
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) October 20, 2019
If Burrow can put together a strong performance against visiting No. 9 Auburn on Saturday in a critical top 10 matchup, he’ll further improve his Heisman chances and bolster LSU’s national title hopes.
Auburn’s stingy defense allows 17.1 points per game and hasn’t given up more than 23 points all season. Auburn presents an imposing rush with defensive linemen Derrick Brown (3 sacks) and Marlon Davidson (5.5 sacks).
Orgeron breaks down the offense approach LSU will employ to counter Auburn’s defense.
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) October 21, 2019
“Here is what is going to happen. We’re going to run our offense, we are going to have to five-man protect. That’s the offense, five-man protect. That means some one-on-ones Derrick Brown, going to have to win,” Orgeron said. “…We want to get five receivers out all the time, and that gives Joe obviously a better option, gives us a better option. When you spread guys out, they have to declare man or zone. It’s hard to disguise. It gives us a better look.”
The home team has emerged victorious in 16 of the last 19 games between LSU and Auburn. Orgeron expects Death Valley to be a rowdy and rocking advantage once again for LSU.
While LSU-Auburn is one of college football’s most passionate rivalries and the two teams are highly ranked for this edition, Orgeron is employing a business-like approach into the SEC showdown.
“I don’t prepare any different, to be honest with you. Top 10, no 10, whatever. It’s a football game at LSU you’ve got to win,” Orgeron said. “I go through the whole week just like our guys. We go through the process. Don’t change whether the record is great, whether the record is bad. We focus in on the task at hand and go after it.”