College football’s award season is drawing near. The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award is in the spirit of the season with the announcement of 10 finalists for their award this season, honoring the top fourth-year quarterback in college football using a number of conditions including character, scholastic achievement and leadership qualities in addition to on-field success. And because the award is designed for seniors and fourth-year juniors scheduled to graduate with their class, you won’t find Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa on this list.
West Virginia quarterback Will Grier and Michigan’s Shea Patterson are among the list of candidates up for the award as finalists this season, it was announced on Thursday. Both players have certainly played a key role in guiding their respective teams into position to play for and win their respective conference titles with the final weeks of the season underway. UCF’s McKenzie Milton is in a similar position and was named a finalist for the award as well.
Joining those three are a pair of ACC quarterbacks with Syracuse’s Eric Dungey and NC State’s Ryan Finley. Oregon’s Justin Herbert and Washington State’s Gardner Minshew are representing the Pac-12 and Penn State’s Trace McSorley joins Patterson as the Big Ten representatives on the list of finalists for the award. Missouri quarterback Drew Lock is the lone SEC player named as a finalist and Boise State’s Brett Rypien is standing tall for the Mountain West Conference.
Past Golden Arm Award winners include Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, Stanford’s Andrew Luck, Boston College’s Matt Ryan and Notre Dame’s Brady Quinn. Rudolph was last year’s recipient of the award.
Remember yesterday when we shared the initial 2018 Heisman Trophy odds from Bovada? Well, scrap that already because the people have come in with enough bets to warrant some quick changes to the Heisman odds. Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins soared up four spots to climb into the top spot on Bovada’s board after just 24 hours.
Dobbins was initially given 12/1 odds to win the Heisman Trophy, and the bettors went scrambling for those odds. Bovada’s updated odds see Dobbins as the way-too-early favorite with 6/1 odds. Tied for the best odds with Dobbins is another Big Ten running back, Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor. Taylor didn’t move up quite as dramatically to 6/1 after having 8/1 odds a day ago. The short-lived preseason favorite from Bovada and 2017 Heisman Trophy runner-up, Stanford running back Bryce Love, has slipped into third on the board with 7/1 odds. Alabama’s national championship hero, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, tied Love with 7/1 odds.
Some other notable dramatic changes include the addition of Missouri quarterback Drew Lock (25/1). Lock, the SEC’s top passer returning in 2018, was initially left completely off the board. He is the only newcomer to the updated odds from Bovada at this moment. The most notable drop in the odds was from Houston defensive lineman Ed Oliver, who fell from 55/1 odds to 66/1. Most other drops were just by a few spots, including Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate falling from 9/1 to 14/1, West Virginia quarterback Will Grier falling from 12/1 to 16/1 and Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley dropping from 18/1 to 20/1.
Here are the updated Heisman odds as relayed by Bovada:
J.K. Dobbins (RB Ohio State) 6/1
Jonathan Taylor (RB Wisconsin) 6/1
Bryce Love (RB Stanford) 7/1
Tua Tagovailoa (QB Alabama) 7/1
Jake Fromm (QB Georgia) 12/1
Khalil Tate (QB Arizona) 14/1
Will Grier (QB West Virginia) 16/1
Jarrett Stidham (QB Auburn) 16/1
Kelly Bryant (QB Clemson) 18/1
Justin Herbert (QB Oregon) 18/1
Trace McSorley (QB Penn State) 20/1
Cam Akers (RB Florida State) 25/1
Rodney Anderson (RB Oklahoma) 25/1
Jake Browning (QB Washington) 25/1
Ryan Finley (QB NC State) 25/1
Drew Lock (QB Missouri) 25/1
McKenzie Milton (QB UCF) 25/1
Travis Etienne (RB Clemson) 35/1
Nick Fitzgerald (QB Mississippi State) 35/1
D'Andre Swift (RB Georgia) 35/1
Brandon Winbush (QB Notre Dame) 35/1
David Sills (WR West Virginia) 45/1
Ed Oliver (DL Houston) 66/1
Nick Bosa (DL Ohio State) 75/1
With so many players choosing to head off to the NFL this spring, Missouri is happy to announce they will be getting one more year out of quarterback Drew Lock. Missouri announced Lock has decided to return for the 2018 season after carefully weighing his decisions regarding a future in the NFL.
“I’m very excited to be coming back for my senior year, and I’m really optimistic about what we can do as a team next season,” Lock said in a statement released by Missouri. “There were a lot of factors that went into this decision, but the main ones include: a feeling of responsibility and loyalty to my coaches and teammates at Mizzou – we have goals to achieve together; having the chance to play for a new coach in [new offensive coordinator Derek Dooley], and his system that will continue to add to my development; and of course, getting my degree.”
“I’m proud of Drew and his family for how they approached this decision and how they handled themselves during the process,” Missouri head coach Barry Odom said in a released statement. “We were very thorough in gathering all the information possible to assist. Drew obviously has a great skill set that will continue to be developed at Mizzou. His leadership skills and being a great teammate are two qualities that I admire. I look forward to building our team this spring and am excited that Drew will be part of that.
Lock’s return is a significant one for the Tigers going into the 2018 season. Lock led the SEC with 304.9 passing yards per game with 44 touchdowns to just 13 interceptions. Even in a conference that will have some emerging star power at the quarterback position, Lock should continue to be an asset to the Missouri offense as the Tigers continue to try keeping the ball moving with more confidence next fall.
Missouri’s offense will return nine starters from one of the more dynamic offensive units the SEC had to offer. With seven more starters coming back on defense, Missouri hopes to get off to a better start to the season and have a more competitive chance to make some noise in the SEC. Missouri will get to host Georgia and Memphis (non-conference) but the road slate could be difficult. The Tigers travel to Alabama and will have to play division games on the road against Florida and Tennessee, each with new head coaches in 2018.
It was a tale of two quarters between Missouri and Arkansas, with Arkansas rushing out of the gates for a 21-7 lead only to see Missouri battle back to take a 31-28 lead into halftime. Missouri kicker Tucker McCann kicked a 37-yard field goal in the final minute of the half to give Missouri the lead.
Arkansas cashed in on an interception by Missouri quarterback Drew Lock on the game’s opening possession by traveling 70 yards on five plays to take a 7-0 lead with a Devwah Whaley goal line run. Mizzou’s Ish Witter capped a 92-yard drive later in the first quarter to tie the game at 7-7, but the Razorbacks stormed right back with a quick four-play, 75-yard touchdown drive highlighted by Austin Allen‘s 57-yard pass to Jordan Jones for the score. Moments later, a good punt return by Henre’ Toliver gave the Razorbacks the ball at the Missouri 29-yard line and two plays later David Williams ran in from 16 yards out for a score to push the lead to 21-7.
Lock led a second-quarter charge for the Tigers with three touchdown passes, including one from 55 yards and another from 56 yards as the big plays doomed Arkansas.
The Missouri Tigers have scored 12 points in their last three games, all losses to Florida, Georgia and Vanderbilt. Help is now on the way, with quarterback Maty Mauk being reinstated by the program.
Mauk was suspended by Missouri in early October prior to the game against Florida. The reasons for the indefinite suspension have never been confirmed by head coach Gary Pinkel. The only explanation to date has been Mauk violated team rules. The St. Louis Dispatch reports Mauk has already rejoined his teammates during Missouri’s bye week, although it has not been confirmed if he will play against Mississippi State on Thursday, November 5.
Freshman Drew Lock filled in for Mauk the past three games, with no touchdowns to show for it and a completion percentage below 42 percent. Mauk has not had a good year either, completing just 51.8 percent of his pass attempts with six touchdowns to four interceptions. Still, having the experienced junior may help reverse the offensive trends in time to save the season on some degree.
Missouri is currently 4-4, two wins shy of becoming bowl-eligible. Missouri still has games to play against BYU (in Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium), Tennessee and at Arkansas after facing Mississippi State next week. With little margin for error to get two more wins, having Mauk back in charge of the offense as quickly as possible will give the Tigers a chance to get back to the postseason for the 11th time under Pinkel. The two-time defending SEC East champs are not heading back to Atlanta this season for the SEC Championship Game, but the postseason is still in sight for Missouri.