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Oklahoma Sooners Football: Kyler Murray has won the Heisman Trophy

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Murray has claimed Oklahoma’s seventh Heisman, tying OU with Ohio State and Notre Dame.

Kansas State v Oklahoma Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images

Kyler Murray has put together one of the best seasons — hell, arguably the best season — in the history of the OU football program, and it has earned him football immortality. The man who has led the Oklahoma Sooners to yet another College Football Playoff appearance is now the program’s seventh Heisman Trophy winner, topping Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins to take home the hardware.

Oklahoma now has seven total Heisman Trophies, which puts the program in a tie with Ohio State and Notre Dame (and USC if you choose to count Reggie Bush) for the most all-time. Additionally, Murray is also the fourth OU QB to win the award in the 21st Century. This school really can lay claim to the title of “Heisman U”.

Murray joins Billy Vessels (1952), Steve Owens (1969), Billy Sims (1978), Jason White (2003), Sam Bradford (2008) and Baker Mayfield (2017) in OU’s Heisman fraternity.

People from down south will probably whine about this for decades to come, but this decision really wasn’t that difficult.

  • Murray leads the nation in QBR (96.0), passing efficiency (205.7), total offense (4,945 yards), yards per passing attempt (11.9), and total touchdowns (51).
  • Murray ranks second behind Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins in passing TD’s with 40.
  • Murray’s 70.9% completion percentage ranks second in the nation and first in the P5.
  • Murray’s 4,053 passing yards is third-most in the nation behind Dwayne Haskins’ 4,580 and Gardner Minshew’s 4,477. It’s also worth mentioning that Minshew has 273 more pass attempts than Murray. Haskins has 156 more pass attempts.
  • Murray’s 892 rushing yards ranks second in the nation for a QB with at least 300 passing attempts.
  • Murray has thrown seven interceptions on the year compared to eight from Haskins and four from Tagovailoa. It should be noted that Murray was the only finalist to not turn the ball over in his respective conference championship game. Tagovailoa threw two picks against Georgia and Haskins threw one against Northwestern.
  • Even without his 4th quarter stats, Kyler Murray has recorded 42 total touchdowns compared to Tua Tagovalioa’s 41.
  • Murray has 4,247 total yards in quarters 1-3, while Tagovailoa has 3,284.
  • A commonly-used counter against Murray in the case for Tagovailoa is the perception that Alabama has played a tougher schedule than Oklahoma. Strength of schedule metrics suggest otherwise, as the Sooners have played the 27th best schedule compared to the Tide’s 50th ranked slate.
  • Taking it a step further, the average defensive efficiency rank of the defenses Tagovailoa has faced is 56th (not including The Citadel from the FCS). For Murray, the opposing defenses he’s faced come in at an average rank of 61st. Clearly, the difference in defenses faced is negligible at best.

On top of all the stats, Murray has the Heisman moments.

As impressive as Mayfield was in 2017 (and 2016, and 2015), Murray’s 2018 season is incredible in its own right. Along with the stats and the big moments, his story adds to his legend. This past summer, the No. 9 overall pick in the 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft inked a deal with the Oakland Athletics, who allowed him to play one final season of college football. The fact that he’s been this spectacular in his lone season as the leader of an offense just puts him on another level. The world gets a small taste of his greatness in one sport before he (presumably) takes his talents to another. Frankly, it’s surreal.

He’ll have a chance to add to his football legacy when he faces Tagovailoa’s Crimson Tide in the College Football Playoff, but no matter what happens in the Orange Bowl, this guy’s mark on the OU football program — and college football in general — is about as unique as any in history.