During the 2012 college football season, Kent State running back Dri Archer accumulated some great stats. Archer led college football in yards per carry with an average of 9.0, while running for 1,429 yards and 16 TDs. Archer also caught 39 passes for 561 yards and four more TDs.
So for the 2012 season, Dri Archer accounted for 1,990 yards and 20 TDs from the line of scrimmage. Archer also returned 16 kickoffs for another 591 yards, leading college football with a 36.9 yard average. Dri Archer also returned three kickoffs 99, 98, and 98 yards for touchdowns.
After wracking up 2,581 total yards, along with 22 total touchdowns, and averaging 12.1 yards gained for every time he touched the ball, Dri Archer gained a lot of recognition in 2012. Despite his great stats, though, Dri Archer did not finish in the top 10 in the 2012 Heisman Trophy voting.
Kent State has recently launched a Heisman Trophy campaign for Dri Archer for the 2013 season featuring Archer in a comic strip drawn by Kent State alumnus Chuck Ayers (originator of Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft comic strips). Can Dri Archer win the Heisman Trophy in 2013?
Can Dri Archer win the Heisman Trophy in 2013?
To the surprise of many, I think the answer is yes for two simple reasons - LSU and Penn State. During the 2012 season, Kent State, which plays in the MAC, played Towson, Kentucky, Army and Rutgers in out of conference games.
Archer played fairly well in those four games, rushing for 433 yards on just 46 carries for a 9.4 yards per carry average. He scored five TDs in the four games, including touchdown runs of 47 and 87 yards, plus a 98 yard kickoff return. But none of the four opponents, except for maybe Rutgers, created much buzz for Dri Archer.
Dri Archer needs great game vs LSU and Penn State
During the 2013 season, though, Kent State plays both LSU (at LSU on September 14) and Penn State (at Penn State on September 21). Both LSU and Penn State are huge college football programs, much bigger than any team Kent State faced in 2012.
If Dri Archer plays great and puts up big stats against both LSU and Penn State, I think he has a legitimate shot at winning the Heisman Trophy in 2013. That includes him also putting up great stats vs his MAC opponents and the other two non-conference teams he faces, South Alabama and Liberty.
If Dri Archer puts up big stats against either LSU or Penn State, I think it would probably get him enough recognition to finish in the top 10 in the Heisman voting. But to win the Heisman Trophy in 2013, I think Dri Archer has to put up big stats against both LSU and Penn State.
Playing against LSU and Penn State gives Dri Archer a chance to win Heisman
I don't know if he can do it, but at least he has two games on the schedule this season during which he can impress Heisman Trophy voters. That's why Dri Archer actually has a legitimate chance to win the Heisman Trophy in 2013 if he is good enough.