USC Quarterback Matt Leinart Wins Heisman
by Matt James
The final Heisman Trophy tallies turned out to be quite surprising with USC quarterback Matt Leinart taking home the hardware while teammate Reggie Bush finished fifth. Leinart became the second Trojan quarterback to win the award in the last three years after Carson Palmer grabbed the honor in 2002. This is the fifth straight season that the award has been won by a quarterback.
Leinart has thrown for 6,546 yards, 66 touchdowns and just 15 interceptions over the past two seasons. He was sixth in last year's voting. This year, Leinart threw for 2,990 yards with 28 touchdowns and 6 INTs and became USC's sixth Heisman Trophy winner.
Oklahoma freshman running back Adrian Peterson was second, the highest finish ever for a freshman. Peterson ran for 1,843 yards and 15 TDs. The two previous top finishes by a freshman were by RB Herschel Walker of Georgia in 1980 and RB Clint Castleberry of Georgia Tech in 1942. Each finished third in their respective campaigns. Michael Vick was third as a redshirt freshman in 1999, the year he led Virginia Tech to the national championship game against Florida State.
Oklahoma quarterback Jason White, bidding to become only the second player in history to win it twice, finished third in the balloting. White passed for 2,961 yards and 33 touchdowns with 6 interceptions. When he won the award last year, he threw for 3,748 yards, 40 TDs and 8 INTs. Ohio State halfback Archie Griffin did it in 1974 and 1975.
Utah quarterback Alex Smith was fourth. Smith led Utah to the first BCS bowl berth ever received by a school from a non-BCS conference. He passed for 2,624 yards, 28 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions. He also ran for 563 yards and 10 TDs.
Reggie Bush ran for 833 yards and 6 scores. He also caught 41 passes for 478 yards and 7 more TDs. He added 870 yards returning kick-offs and punts with two punt return touchdowns. That's an all-purpose total of 2,181 yards and 15 scores. Oh yeah, he also threw a 52-yard touchdown pass on his only toss of the season.
Two sets of teammates finished in the top five for the first time ever. Three sets of teammates placed in the top 10.
Each voter gets to submit a ballot that ranks their top three players. Points are tallied by awarding 3 points for each first-place vote, two points for second, and one point for third.
Here is the breakdown of that voting:
Also See: All-Time Heisman List
OTHER 2004 AWARD WINNERS
Home Depot Coach Of the Year: Urban Meyer, Utah
AP Player Of the Year: Matt Leinart, USC
Chuck Bednarik Award (defensive player): David Pollack, Georgia
Fred Biletnikoff Award (wide receiver): Braylon Edwards, Michigan
Dick Butkus Award (linebacker): Derrick Johnson, Texas
Walter Camp Award (top player): Matt Leinart, USC
Lou Groza Award (placekicker): Mike Nugent, Ohio State
Ray Guy Award (punter): Daniel Sepulveda, Baylor
Vince Lombardi Award (lineman or linebacker): David Pollack, Georgia
John Mackey Award (tight end): Heath Miller, Virginia
Robert W. (Tiny) Maxwell Award (top player): Jason White, Oklahoma
Bronko Nagurski Trophy (defensive player): Derrick Johnson, Texas, LB
Davey O'Brien Award (quarterback): Jason White, Oklahoma
Outland Trophy (interior lineman): Jammal Brown, Oklahoma
Dave Rimington Trophy (center): David Baas, Michigan
Jim Thorpe Award (defensive back): Carlos Rogers, Auburn
Johnny Unitas Award (senior quarterback): Jason White, Oklahoma
Doak Walker Award (running back): Cedric Benson, Texas