Tennessee Vols quarterback Hendon Hooker saw his Heisman Trophy hopes take a hit last week against the Georgia Bulldogs.

Hooker passed for 195 yards and an interception (along with just 17 rushing yards) against the Bulldogs’ dominant defense.

The Greensboro, NC native, however, got back on track this week in the Vols’ 66-24 win against Missouri.

Hooker passed for 355 yards and three touchdowns against the Tigers. He also rushed for 50 yards and a touchdown.

Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud, another Heisman Trophy candidate, enjoyed a blowout win as well on Saturday. The Buckeyes beat Indiana 56-14 and Stroud put up some big numbers as he passed for 297 yards and five touchdowns (he had eight rushing yards).

Vols Hendon Hooker
Nov 12, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) throws a pass during the first half of the NCAA football game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch
Ncaa Football Indiana Hoosiers At Ohio State Buckeyes

Impressive stats by both players, right?

Now, here’s where the separator comes in:

Hooker put up his number against the No. 14 ranked defense in college football.

Stroud, meanwhile, put his numbers up against the No. 104 defense in college football (H/T to Twitter/@gmannVOLS for the stat).

Something else to consider — Hooker’s last 4 SEC games were against the No. 12, No. 11, No. 5, and No. 13 total defenses. He went 3-1 in those games and accounted for 1,326 yards of total offense and 13 touchdowns.

The Heisman Trophy race is essentially wide-open at this point. But Hooker’s accomplishments have come against one of the toughest schedules in the nation. That’s something that Heisman voters will need to consider when casting their votes before next month’s ceremony.

Featured image via Caitie McMekin/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

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