Week 2 is complete and the Heisman race is already heating up. Anyone who watched Liberty vs Troy over the weekend knows that Malik Willis had an excellent game. The Flames’ quarterback threw for 154 yards and 2 touchdowns. Willis also rushed for 93 yards and another touchdown. In a game where the Flames were down on depth and the offensive line struggled to keep a clean pocket, Willis made plays happened and helped will the Flames to victory.
On the season, Willis has 371 passing yards, 148 rushing yards, and 5 total touchdowns. While his stats are not flashy and will not increase his Heisman odds, Willis still has no turnovers which is huge. If Willis can have a couple of big weeks (similar to his Southern Miss game last season), then Willis could get back into legitimate contention.
Vegas Insider updated their 2021 Heisman Odds after Week 2, here’s their top five:
- Bryce Young, QB-Alabama +350
- Matt Corral, QB-Mississippi +500
- Spencer Rattler, QB-Oklahoma +800
- CJ Stroud, QB-Ohio State +1000
- DJ Uiagalelei, QB-Clemson +1800
- Malik Willis, QB-Liberty +6000
Bryce Young holds his spot at number one from last week. Against FCS opponent Mercer, Young threw for 227 yards and 3 touchdowns with no turnovers. Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral has had a meteoric rise in the Heisman ranks after the first two weeks and for good reason. In two games against Louisville and Austin Peay, Corral has thrown for 662 yards, 6 touchdowns, and no turnovers. He also has 90 yards rushing and another touchdown.
Rattler bounced back nicely last weekend, throwing for 243 yards and 5 touchdowns with no turnovers against FCS opponent Western Carolina. Even though the Buckeyes lost to Oregon last Saturday, CJ Stroud had an excellent performance. The Ohio State quarterback threw for 484 yards and 3 touchdowns. He did have one interception.
The fact Uiagalelei is still in the top five of Heisman odds is shocking. Against South Carolina State, Uiagalelei only managed to throw for 171 yards and one touchdown. While he did rush for 2 touchdowns (only 23 yards), he also threw an interception. On the season, Uiagalelei has 349 yards passing, 3 total touchdowns (2 rushing), and 2 interceptions.
While Malik’s odds improved from last week, he is still on the outside looking in. As a non power-five level quarterback, Willis’ margin for error is slim. If Willis can continue to stay turnover-free and have a four-to-five touchdown day this weekend against ODU, then the Flames quarterback could see himself rise significantly in the Heisman rankings.