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Chuba Hubbard’s West Virginia Game Just Strengthened His Heisman Case

Chuba made some history against West Virginia.



[Twitter: @CowboyFB]

If you came into Saturday’s OSU-West Virginia game looking for an emphatic Heisman statement from the Chuba Hubbard camp, you were probably disappointed — at least early.

Chuba didn’t score a touchdown for the first time this year, he turned in his second-worst per carry average of the season (4.1), and he didn’t look like the nation’s leading rush for most of the first three quarters.

But he was the single most important player to OSU’s success, just like he’s been all year.

The mission of the Heisman trust is to recognize “the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity.” That’s an exorbitantly long definition for “the best player in college football” for which the award is generally accepted to be intended.

He won’t win it. But there’s little more that Chuba Hubbard could have done to earn that designation through 11 games and his most recent, though atypical offering, may have proven his worth even more than the others.

“Chuba really set the standard with running the football,” said Mike Gundy after the game. “We threw to him a lot today. That’s why he is who he is. He’s a guy who deserves to be in New York City.

“We rode Chuba’s back. That’s why he is who he is. We told him, ‘Chuba, you’re going to have to do it,’ and that’s why he’s special.”

With the loss of dynamic dual-threat QB Spencer Sanders (the Cowboys’ second-leading rusher) and Biletnikoff finalist Tylan Wallace a few weeks earlier, West Virginia loaded up to stop Chuba and the OSU run game. Gundy & Co. adjusted which included tons of drop-off passes to Hubbard, a way to get its best player the ball in space.

What resulted was Chuba turning a career-high seven targets into seven catches and a career-high 88 yards. His season total through 10 games coming in was 82. It’s not that he couldn’t catch it. It’s just that OSU had a Biletnikoff finalist for eight of those games.

Those 106 rushing yards and 88 receiving are somewhat historic. Only three times during the Mike Gundy era has a Cowboy recorded at least 100 yards rushing and 80 receiving.

• Dantrell Savage: 103 rushing, 84 receiving (Texas in 2007)
• Joseph Randle: 121 rushing, 99 receiving (Arizona in 2011)
• Chuba Hubbard: 106 rushing, 88 receiving (West Virginia in 2019)

The one thing he didn’t do on Saturday was score. The West Virginia win marked the first time Chuba didn’t find paydirt since Nov. 3 — of last year.

With two games remaining, Chuba’s 20 TDs scored sits just one behind Dez Bryant’s (2008) and Thurman Thomas’ (1987) best college seasons. His scoring total of 122 is also just 6 points (TDs count as 6) from boxing both of those all-time Cowboys out of top 10 seasons at OSU.


Sans its QB1 and WR1, Oklahoma State’s RB1 shined even brighter. The offense may truly be a one-trick pony. But that pony is a thoroughbred and his name is Chuba, AKA Secretariat.

With just one game remaining in his regular sophomore season and, quite possibly his college career, Chuba has a chance to climb up among the greatest college running backs of all time. At 1,832 rushing yards, if he recorded his average over the next two games, Chuba would finish in the top 10 in rushing in FBS history. And I think he just might show out for Bedlam.

I don’t expect Chuba to earn the second Heisman trophy in Oklahoma State history this season, but he’s earned it. And he did nothing but strengthen that case on Saturday.






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