Season Statistics: 311 carries, 1,736 yards (5.7 yards per carry), 26 touchdowns
Why he deserves to win: When it comes to consistency, Gerhart is the Cadillac of productive running backs. He broke the 100-yard mark in all but two games, and found the end zone in all but one.
His play was special all season, but he seemed to find another level when the stakes were highest. There was not a defense in the country that could bring him down at the point of attack.
Almost every team would stack the box on first down and any other short-yardage situation to stop him, but he would plow through them like a runaway bulldozer.
What Gerhart has done is turn back the clock about half a century. It has been a long time since a running back that makes a living hammering the ball between the tackles has even sniffed the Heisman.
In an era where a quarterback takes home this award every season, Gerhart has brought a refreshing new flavor to the group of finialists.
Why he wouldn’t win: The last time a player won the Heisman from a team not playing in a New Year’s Day bowl or later was 1990, when Ty Detmer won the award at BYU. It’s hard enough to be a running back in this day and age and win the award; even harder still to be a running back on a third-place Pac-10 team.
The award is as much a reflection on individual performance as it is on team. Fair or not, that’s the way it is (one dollar to Celine Dion).
Having said that, if there is a year for that trend to be bucked, it’s this year.
Best game of 2009: There are plenty of worthy candidates, but his 223-yard, three-touchdown performance against Oregon ranks as one of the best games by any player this year. The Ducks were fresh off a monumental win over USC the week before, when Gerhart and the Cardinal were literally unstoppable. After that game, people outside of the state of California took notice of the senior’s accomplishments.