Heisman Top 10 Week 3: SEC Bias Abound

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10. USC QB Cody Kessler

Despite USC’s home loss to rival Stanford, Cody Kessler did nothing to play himself out of the Heisman Top 10. The Trojans senior quarterback arguably had, in many ways, his best individual performance of the season.

He went 25-of-32 for 272 yards and three touchdowns against the stout Stanford defense, and made plays with his feet — something he said would work on after failing to do so in routs of Arkansas State and Idaho.

His season altogether is impressive, and so long as a young USC team figures it out in Pac-12 play, Kessler will remain in the hunt for the Heisman.

9. UCLA RB Paul Perkins

Paul Perkins was the Pac-12’s leading rusher in 2014, and he’s making a strong push early to repeat. Perkins buoyed the Bruins Saturday through three dismal offensive quarters early against BYU, finishing the night with 219 yards — a UCLA high since 2004 — and a touchdown carry.

Saturday was Perkins’ first game without a reception this season, but he remains a crucial part of the UCLA passing attack this season, as he had been in 2013 and 2014.

He caught seven passes for 82 yards through the first two weeks. “That’s a really good football player,” UCLA head coach Jim Mora said of Perkins in his postgame press conference, via UCLABruins.com. “He’s tough, hard-nosed, determined, all of those things.”