LSU’s Jayden Daniels jumps into Heisman driver’s seat


Another monster day on the stat sheet has propelled LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels into the current driver’s seat for the Heisman Trophy.

Daniels went over 1,000 rushing yards for the season and tied Joe Burrow’s single-game school record with eight touchdowns in the Tigers’ 56-14 beat-down of Georgia State on Saturday night.

The senior is now the -130 favorite at BetMGM and the -125 favorite at DraftKings. Daniels’ performance on Saturday night helped him leapfrog Oregon’s Bo Nix and Washington’s Michael Penix Jr., who had been ahead of him last week when Daniels was being offered at +400 and +380 by the two books.

Daniels has thrown for 3,577 yards with 36 touchdowns and four interceptions this season. He has added another 1,014 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground.

Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU (-130/-125)
Bo Nix, QB, Oregon (+140/+150)
Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington (+600/+600)
Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State (+3000/+4000)
Carson Beck, QB, Georgia (+3300/+6000)

Daniels, Nix, Penix, Southern California’s Caleb Williams and Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy have all spent time as the Heisman Trophy favorite over the course of the season.

The question remains whether Heisman voters will bestow the honor upon a player on a three-loss team. All three of LSU’s losses have come against ranked teams — Florida State, Ole Miss and Alabama — but the Tigers will close out their regular season with Saturday’s game against unranked Texas A&M.

Meanwhile, Nix and Penix are on a collision course for a potential rematch in the Pac-12 championship game. Penix threw a game-winning touchdown against Oregon at home on Oct. 14. A rematch would provide them with a final opportunity to create a “Heisman moment” before final ballots are cast.

LSU coach Brian Kelly is stumping for Daniels, whom he said is the best player he has ever coached.

“I think, right now, the way he is playing and the decisiveness in the way he is taking over games he is the best player,” Kelly said Saturday night. “I would say that because the numbers are reaching levels that nobody thought he would touch. He tied Joe Burrow’s record tonight.

“I would say he’s the best.”

The Georgia State game came after an historic performance the week before against Florida. Daniels racked up an SEC-record 606 yards of total offense while becoming the first player in FBS history to pass for 350 yards and rush for 200 yards in the same game.

“I’m chasing being great each and every week,” Daniels said Saturday. “I know I still have a long way to go. But, you can’t take games off because if you do, you can get beat.”

He has one final chance to distance himself before conference championship week, and he will get to do so at home in a noon kickoff against the Aggies.

Daniels has clearly left an impression with the public. He leads all players with 58 percent of the money wagered at DraftKings backing him to win the Heisman. He also leads the way with 13.3 percent at BetMGM.

“People are starting to see how assertive and decisive of a football player he is,” Kelly said.

–Field Level Media

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