After taking college football by storm midway through last season, Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate looked like a strong pick to at least be in New York for the Heisman ceremony. Through two games, those hopes have been all but dashed.
Arizona had a very disappointing Week 1 loss to BYU, in Kevin Sumlin’s first game as head coach, falling to the Cougars 28-23.
Tate, who threw for just under 1,600 yards (and nearly nine per attempt), and ran for 1,411 (9.2 per carry) and 12 touchdowns after taking over as starter a few weeks into last season, just has not looked like himself.
Tate was mediocre through the air, throwing for 197 and a touchdown on 17-of-34 passing, but was completely shut down on the ground. He picked up just 14 yards and a score on eight carries.
Today, Arizona is playing against Sumlin’s former team Houston, and things are going so, so much worse.
The Wildcats trail these Cougars 38-0. Houston got a run from a bad Rice team last week, so it doesn’t appear that UH is a great team either, despite the presence of all-world defensive lineman Ed Oliver.
Tate is just 15-for-31 for 182 yards and two interceptions. Once again, he’s been a total non-factor on the ground, with three attempts for -5 yards.
Yahoo! Sports analyst Pete Thamel has already declared Tate’s Heisman candidacy dead.
We can declare on Sept. 8 at 11:33 a.m. that Khalil Tate's Heisman chances have officially ended. (I blame @RossDellenger for the jinx). Houston leads 21-0 and Arizona looks completely hopeless on defense. UH's D'Eriq King 8-12 with 2 TD touchdowns passing and 1 rushing.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) September 8, 2018
Tate was so magnificent last year because his dual-threat abilities. This season, there seems to be no focus on his running game, and overall the Wildcats’ offense has been ineffective all-around.
Sumlin has found success with dual-threat players before. Johnny Manziel won a Heisman Trophy wheeling and dealing in Sumlin’s offense at Texas A&M. They really need to unlock Tate’s abilities, before this season gets away from them.