Heisman Hopes Vanish for Florida State’s Francois After Injury
The promise of a breakout year for Florida State University quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Deondre Francois was crushed when he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the fourth quarter of the Seminoles 24-7 loss to Alabama on Saturday.
The signal caller tore his patellar tendon in his left knee and will require surgery.
With 5:47 remaining in the game he took a snap and went to his right on a pass play. As he threw the ball safety Ronnie Harrison made a tackle and Francois fell awkwardly.
He was helped off the field and later appeared in a knee brace. Head Coach Jimbo Fisher confirmed the news and said the recovery time would be anywhere from 4 to 7 months.
After a freshman season that saw him sacked 36 times, bolstering the offensive line was a priority but they were no match for No. 1 Alabama.
Francois entered this season as a 12-1 pick to win the award for college football’s top athlete and many thought he was a dark horse choice. Oddsmakers selected four other quarterbacks ahead of him.
USC’s Sam Darnold started the season at 7-2, Ohio State’s JT Barrett at 6-1, and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield and Louisville’s Lamar Jackson at 8-1.
Quarterbacks have won the award six of the past seven years and those position players had mixed results this weekend.
The biggest disappointment was Darnold, who entered as the favorite but struggled early against Western Michigan, a team the Trojans were chosen by 28 points to defeat. The sophomore failed to throw a touchdown and had two interceptions.
Jackson had a productive day against Purdue, going 30 of 46 with two touchdowns, but his team didn’t look sharp and that will hurt his chances.
The other two QBs looked stellar albeit against vastly inferior teams. Barrett led the No. 2 Buckeyes to a 49-21 victory over Indiana and the senior was 20-35 for 304 yards and three touchdowns.
Likewise Mayfield looked good in the Sooners 56-7 thrashing of University Texas at El Paso, completing 19 of 20 attempts with three touchdowns.
Long Shots Shine
Three players who have odds of 12-1 or worse put themselves in the conversation after the first week of the season.
Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts led the No. 1 Crimson Tide over FSU in a prime time game that gave the voters a glimpse into his abilities. The sophomore is listed at 15-1 to win and against the No. 3 ranked Seminoles went 10 for 18 with a touchdown and no interceptions.
Penn State’s Saquon Barkley is the top-listed running back at 12-1 only helped his chances with a two-touchdown, 172-yard performance. Granted it was against lowly Akron, but the junior only had 14 carries and also had 54 yards of receiving.
The most stellar performance of the day came from UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen. He engineered a 34-point comeback, going 35 of 59 for 491 yards and four touchdowns. The only downside was the game was late on the west coast and many people in the east didn’t see it.
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