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Can Miami's Duke Johnson Burst Further Into Heisman Race with a Huge Performance vs FSU?

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UM's star back starting to garner national attention. A win over FSU is crucial to keep the momentum going.

Mike Ehrmann

No doubt about it, Duke Johnson is on a roll.

With huge performances in his last 5 contests, including a career high 249 yards on 10/23 Vs Virginia Tech, UM's all time leader in all purpose yards, has elevated his game this season.

He also needs only 252 yards to pass Ottis Anderson for the school's all time rushing mark.

But will his recent surge be enough to get Johnson on the short list of Heisman finalists?

The idea is gaining momentum:

Current Odds to win the Heisman (last updated 11/4)

ESPN Experts' Poll


Nov. 4, 2014


Name     Position     School     Year     1st    2nd  3rd  4th  5th  Total

Marcus Mariota     QB     Oregon     Jr.     7     3     0     0     0        47
Dak Prescott     QB     Miss. State   Jr.     3     5     0     1     1        38
Melvin Gordon     RB     Wisconsin  Jr.     0     2     4     1     2       24
Amari Cooper     WR     Alabama     Jr.     0     0     4     1     1       15
Trevone Boykin     QB     TCU            Jr.     0     0     0     3     2        8
Everett Golson     QB   Notre Dame Sr.     0     0     1     1     2       7
Duke Johnson     RB     Miami (FL)  Jr.     0     0     0     2     0       4
Jameis Winston     QB     FSU          So.     0     0     1     0     1      4
Nick Marshall     QB     Auburn          Sr.     0     0     0     1     1        3

With his powerful and aesthetically pleasing stiff arm, he would symbolize the statue classically.  But it will take more than that to get him to NYC.

The chatter around Coral Gables, however, is that with another big performance next weekend Vs FSU from "El Duque" and he could find his way further up the charts and on his way to Times Square come December 13th.

If you look at the history of College Football's most prized award, players often win the award by saving their best performances in their most important games.

Either that or producing that one special Heisman moment to cap a spectacular season.

Who amongst us (older folks) can forget the drama of Desmond Howard sealing the deal in 1991 Vs Ohio State?

It doesn't get any bigger for the 2014 Hurricanes than next weekend.

Can Johnson lead the 'Canes to victory and produce a signature moment?

Al Golden told reporters on this week's ACC Teleconference that while Johnson is playing at an extremely high level, he wasn't worried about personal awards for his star back,

"It’s hard to imagine anybody playing better right now…I’ll leave the rest of it up to you guys. I think he’s having a heck of a year. I know he’s got a lot to prove in his mind over the next month or so."

Duke himself has never been one to put personal accolades over team accomplishment, so don't expect the junior from to talk much about himself.

"As an offense, we're in one of those zones,"  Johnson noted after last week's win.  "Guys up front are doing a great job week in and week out providing holes and protection so Brad Kaaya and I can do what we do best."

Typical DJ, deferring to team over himself.

If he delivers another clutch performance next weekend and Miami wins, he may have to answer even more questions about himself.

Something tells us that won't be too much of a bother, especially if he has to answer the questions after a victory.