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Heisman Trophy watch and local leaders: Joe Williams, Sae Tautu help carry Utes and Cougars

It was a good weekend both locally and nationally in college football as some of the game's best players put up some impressive numbers on the way to important wins. There were big passing days, huge rushing performances and dominating defensive efforts.

Here is a look at the top Heisman Trophy candidates and the local leaders after the seventh weekend of college football.

Heisman watch

5. Deshaun Watson, quarterback, Clemson

Watson had a big passing day as the Tigers narrowly avoided an upset at the hands of North Carolina State. In the 24-17 overtime win, he completed 75 percent of his throws for 378 yards and two touchdowns.

On the season, he has passed for 1,950 yards and 20 touchdowns while completing 63.6 percent of his throws. He also has 274 yards and a score in the running game.

4. Donnel Pumphrey, running back, San Diego State

Pumphrey is on track to run away with the rushing title after another big weekend. In a 17-3 win over Fresno State, he managed 38 carries for 220 yards and two touchdowns.

On the season, he has carried the ball 167 times for 1,111 yards and 11 touchdowns to go along with 18 receptions for 131 yards.

3. Jake Browning, quarterback, Washington

Browning has been the catalyst of a very potent Washington offense for the 6-0 Huskies. His latest outing saw him pass for 304 yards and six touchdowns in a 70-21 win over Oregon.

On the season, he has completed 72.2 percent of his passes for 1,418 yards and 23 touchdowns with just two interceptions.

2. J.T. Barrett, quarterback, Ohio State

Barrett had another solid outing as the Buckeyes stayed undefeated with a 30-23 win over Wisconsin. He threw for 226 yards and a touchdown while totaling 92 rushing yards and two more scores.

On the season, he has completed 63.2 percent of his passes for 1,207 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also has 434 yards on the ground and six scores.

1. Lamar Jackson, quarterback, Louisville

Jackson didn't have his best week, but is clearly still ahead of the pack at this point in the season. In a 24-14 win over Duke, he completed 50 percent of his throws for 181 yards and a touchdown while accounting for 144 rushing yards and another score.

On the season, he has passed for 1,806 yards and 15 touchdowns to go along with 832 yards and 15 scores in the running game.

Local leaders

5. Kai Nacua, safety, BYU

Nacua continued to make big plays this week, coming away with a key interception late in the game against Mississippi State. He also totaled nine tackles as the Cougars moved to 4-3 on the season.

4. Francis Bernard, linebacker, BYU

Bernard had his best day for BYU since the switch from running back to linebacker. He totaled a game and career-high 16 tackles, including 13 solo tackles and a tackle for loss in the win over the Bulldogs.

3. Chase Hansen, safety, Utah

Hansen had a monster afternoon as the Utes held on to knock off Oregon State. He finished with a team-leading eight tackles, including two tackles for loss, a sack and an interception.

2. Sae Tautu, defensive line, BYU

Tautu has become an elite performer for the Cougar defensive line. He had another terrific outing in the double-overtime win over Mississippi State with eight tackles, including two and a half tackles for loss, one and a half sacks and a pass breakup.

1. Joe Williams, running back, Utah

The return of Williams was exactly what the Utah offense needed to get into the win column. He carried the workload with 34 carries for a season-high 179 yards and a touchdown.

Jay Yeomans is a sports writer for Contact him at