Miami Hurricanes QB D’Eriq King is top 5 Heisman Trophy candidate

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - SEPTEMBER 19: (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - SEPTEMBER 19: (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The performance of the Miami Hurricanes offense through the first two games of 2020 has made quarterback D’Eriq King a top five Heisman Trophy candidate.

The Miami Hurricanes offense led by quarterback D’Eriq King put on a show in a 47-35 victory over Louisville on Saturday night. King threw for 325 yards and three touchdowns, two of which were for 47 and 75 yards to put King among the Heisman Trophy leaders after two weeks for the ACC and Big XII.

The SEC begins playing this weekend with the Big 10 still over a month away. The Pac 12 is still re-determining their decision last month not to play this fall. While most national writers have Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence as the Heisman Trophy front runner, CBS Sports Dennis Dodd ranks King second behind UCF QB Dillon Gabriel.

The chances for Gabriel winning the Heisman Trophy are almost zero. A player from a Group of Five school or non-power conference program has not won the Heisman Trophy since Ty Detmer in 1990. Ironically, Detmer won the 1990 Heisman Trophy partially because of a huge game in a week two win against Miami.

King is building his case as a Heisman Trophy candidate similar to his breakout 2018 season at Houston. As a threat running and passing, teams have to game plan around the diverse skill set King brings to the field. Through two games in 2020, King has completed 62.3 percent of his passes for 466 yards and four TDs.

King has added 92 yards and a TD rushing without any turnovers this season. King is 14th nationally in total offense averaging 280.5 yards per game. Pro Football Focus listed King fifth in the Heisman Trophy race behind Lawrence, Ohio State’s Justin Fields, Spencer Rattler of Oklahoma and Sam Ehrlinger of Texas.

"5. QB D’ERIQ KING, MIAMI (FL.)“This past weekend, King played a big role in the Hurricanes having their best passing offense in a single game in the PFF era by expected points added per pass…King has produced an 83.4 PFF grade thus far, ranking fourth among Power Five quarterbacks.He leads the group in scramble runs resulting in a 10-plus yard gain (10).As a passer, he has recorded four big-time throws and no turnover-worthy plays. Whether he has to use his mobility to extend the play or take a play-action shot, King has consistently done great things for Miami thus far.He might just be getting back to his 2018 form when he was college football’s second-highest graded quarterback.”"

King has taken what the defense has given him through the first two games. Against a good UAB defense, King ran for 83 yards on 12 carries with one TD. The Miami Hurricanes did not have to throw much after rushing for 337 yards as a team. Miami held its game plan close to the vest, seemingly saving strategy for Louisville.

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Against the Cardinals, the Hurricanes opened up the offense leading to the big day for King passing. Louisville limited King to nine rushing yards on eight carries by keeping him in the pocket. King took advantage of the Cardinals’ defense by picking them apart for multiple big plays. King the Miami offense are just getting started.