The Heisman Trophy ceremony only hosted three players this season with Johnny Manziel taking home the coveted trophy.
Collin Klein and Manti Te’o were the finalists that sat beside him, and all three find themselves with bowl games left to play. This is a look at each player and what their expected stat line will be in their final contests of the 2012 season.
Manti Te’o will need to have a major impact for the Irish if they expect to defeat Alabama in Miami, and without a big game from Klein the Wildcats won’t stand a chance against the high-scoring Oregon offense.
Manziel is set to have the best day of all the finalists as he faces off against a struggling Oklahoma defensive unit.
Here is what to expect from each of the three 2012 Heisman finalists.
Johnny Manziel: Texas A&M Aggies
Johnny Manziel stormed onto the national scene this year for the Aggies becoming the most recognized name in college football by the end of the season. Johnny Football became the talk of every major sports show and college football conversation.
Manziel guided the Aggies to a 10-win season under first-year coach Kevin Sumlin, which included a big win over Alabama in November. It is the only loss the Crimson Tide have suffered this season.
Oklahoma is going to have a lot of trouble slowing down Johnny Manziel in the Cotton Bowl. The Sooners are No. 80 against the run and No. 26 against the pass on defense this season.
The Aggies are the No. 3 total and scoring offense in the country. Manziel is guiding the No. 13 rushing and No. 14 passing offense in the country as well.
The Sooners are not lacking talent on defense, but the abilities that Manziel brings to the table coupled with the surrounding talent will equal disaster for the Oklahoma defense in this game.
Look for Manziel to solidify his Heisman selection in this game.
Projected Stats: 21-of-29 for 285 yards, 2 TDs, 14 carries for 141 yards, 2 TDs
Collin Klein: Kansas State Wildcats
The Kansas State/Oregon contest is one of the most intriguing in the BCS lineup. Both teams had a shot at the national title, and both watched their title dreams slip away in the same night.
This is a chance for both teams to finish the season strong, but for Heisman finalist Collin Klein it is a statement game. Klein will face an Oregon defense that is the No. 47 total defense in the country this season.
They have had some success and statement plays this year, but overall the Oregon defense is a mediocre Pac-12 unit. Collin Klein should be able to have a big day, keeping Kansas State in the contest until the final quarter.
Klein will need to control the clock with his feet. Short, easy completions will be a focus in the passing game and the option run will be a big part of the offensive effort.
If Klein fails to control the clock with his feet it will be a long game for the Wildcats. I think the senior leaves on a high note and performs well in his final game with the Wildcats.
Projected Stats: 15-of-21 for 213 yards, 1 TD, 21 carries for 124 yards, 3 TDs
Manti Te’o: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Manti Te’o will play the most important role of the three Heisman finalists when he takes the field in January.
Te’o will lead the Notre Dame defense against Alabama in the national title game looking for a 12th national title for the Fighting Irish.
The Crimson Tide are going to run right at Te’o and the Notre Dame defense as they will attempt to set up the play-action pass with the run game. Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon will be one of the most dynamic threats the Te’o-led defense has seen all year.
'Bama will put a talented offensive line on the field that has experience against 3-4 schemes and linebackers with the talent of Te’o.
While his performance won’t be a flop, it won’t be anything that changes the outcome of the game. If the Irish win, it will be more than a one-man show from the linebacker position.
Projected Stats: 9 total tackles, 6 solo, 2.5 tackles for loss
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