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Heisman Watch: Bryce Young, Caleb Williams, Bijan Robinson rule Week 1

It’s never too early to monitor the chase for the Heisman Trophy, especially when last year’s winner, Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, is back in action and appearing bent on defending his crown.

If Young were to repeat, he would be only the second player to do so, joining Ohio State running back Archie Griffin (1974-75).

But Young isn’t even the favorite entering Week 1. That would be Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud, who finished fourth in voting last season.

Each of the preseason top 10 contenders were in action this week. Let’s take a look at how they did and how that could shake up the odds next week.

Note: Players are ranked by FOX Bet odds entering Week 1.

1. Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud +250 (bet $10 to win $35 total)

Competing against No. 5 Notre Dame in the biggest matchup of the week, Stroud didn’t put up the eye-popping numbers some of his competitors did. But then again, consider the difficulty of his opponent.

Against a tough Irish defense, Stroud completed 70.6% of his passes (24-for-34) for 223 yards and two touchdowns. He did not throw any interceptions as the No. 2 Buckeyes pulled out a 21-10 victory

And Stroud’s talent really came through on plays like this, where he avoided the rush and threw a dime under pressure.

Next: The Buckeyes host Arkansas State on Sept. 10.

2. Alabama QB Bryce Young +400 (bet $10 to win $50 total)

The reigning Heisman Trophy winner, Young had little trouble in the Tide’s opening 55-0 victory over Utah State. In limited action, Young completed 18 of his 29 pass attempts for 195 yards and five touchdowns. He also carried the ball five times for 100 yards and another score.

Young exited the game after Alabama’s first drive of the second half, which ended with his 4-yard touchdown run and a 48-0 lead.

Next: The Tide head to Austin to take on the Texas Longhorns on Sept. 10 (12 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app).

3. USC QB Caleb Williams +1000 (bet $10 to win $110 total)

What a debut in Los Angeles for Williams, who followed coach Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma in the offseason. Williams went 19-for-22 passing (86.4%) for 249 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a 66-14 victory over Rice.

Both of those touchdown tosses went to star receiver Jordan Addison, himself a transfer from Pittsburgh.

Next: The Trojans open Pac-12 play at Stanford on Sept 10.

4. Texas RB Bijan Robinson +2000 (bet $10 to win $210 total)

As a sophomore last season, Robinson was nearly unstoppable, churning out 1,127 yards on just 195 carries (5.8 yards per carry). His junior year promises to deliver more of the same.

In limited action during a 52-10 victory over Louisiana-Monroe, Robinson gained 71 yards and scored a touchdown on only 10 carries. He also caught three passes for 40 yards and another score.

Next: Robinson will have a chance to really make a statement next week, because the No. 1-ranked Crimson Tide are coming to town for a Sept. 10 showdown.

T5. Alabama LB Will Anderson Jr. +3000 (bet $10 to win $310 total)

Much like his teammate Young, Anderson didn’t play extended minutes in the rout of the Aggies. 

But when he was in the game, Young made an impact, racking up five tackles, including this monster tackle for loss.

Next: At Texas on Sept. 10.

T5. Miami QB Tyler Van Dyke +3000 (bet $10 to win $310 total)

Playing against Bethune-Cookman, Van Dyke had a soft landing to start the season. The redshirt sophomore completed an impressive 81.2% of his passes (13-for-16) for 193 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. 

Van Dyke left the game in the third quarter, as the Canes cruised to a 70-13 victory.

Next: The Hurricanes host Southern Miss on Sept. 10.

T5. Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba +3000 (bet $10 to win $310 total)

Smith-Njiba entered the season as a candidate to be the nation’s best receiver, which is understandable after his record-setting performance in the Rose Bowl.

But the junior, who caught 95 passes for 1,606 yards last season, was a non-factor against Notre Dame, catching just two passes for three yards before leaving the contest with a “lower-body issue.

Next: The Buckeyes host Arkansas State on Sept. 10.

T8. Oklahoma QB Dillon Gabriel +3500 (bet $10 to win $360 total)

Gabriel, a redshirt junior who transferred from Central Florida, was dominant in his first start for the Sooners. The 5-foot-11, 203-pound QB completed 15 of his 23 pass attempts (65.2%) for 233 yards and a pair of touchdowns with no interceptions. 

The lefty also rushed the ball six times for 20 yards and another score, leading Oklahoma to a 45-13 victory over UTEP.

Dillon Gabriel tosses 28-yard TD pass

Dillon Gabriel found Brayden Willis on a 28-yard TD to give the Oklahoma Sooners a 28-10 lead over the UTEP Miners on Saturday.

Next: The Sooner play host to Kent State on Sept. 10.

T8. Clemson QB D.J. Uiagalelei +3500 (bet $10 to win $360 total)

No. 4 Clemson opens its season on Monday night at Georgia Tech.

10. South Carolina QB Spencer Rattler +4000 (bet $10 to win $410 total)

In his debut with the Gamecocks, Rattler had some struggles in Saturday’s 35-14 victory over Georgia State.

The former Oklahoma Sooner passed for 226 yards and a touchdown, but also threw a pair of interceptions. There were some signs of good things to come, however, including this long-range toss on the run.

Next: The Gamecocks are at Arkansas on Sept. 10.

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