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SportsPulse: USA TODAY's college football reporter Paul Myerberg breaks down the hottest headlines from week 8. USA TODAY Sports

Penn State running back Saquon Barkley carries during the first half against Iowa.(Photo: The Associated Press)

Penn State running back Saquon Barkley now holds a comfortable lead in the USA TODAY Network Heisman survey, thanks to his virtuoso performance in prime time Saturday as his Nittany Lions blew past Michigan.

The Wolverines entered the game leading the country in total defense, but Barkley torched them for 108 rushing yards with two TDs and added three receptions for 53 yards and another score. He continues to lead the nation in all-purpose yardage averaging 211.1 a game and is second in yards from scrimmage with a total of 1,205.

Barkley was named first by 17 of 21 official Heisman voters who work for Gannett properties, helped by the spotlight game and by the fact that his main competitor, Stanford running back Bryce Love, had a bye last weekend. Love still leads the nation in rushing and has a chance to compile some more big statistics Thursday night against Oregon State. But if Barkley turns in another strong game this week at Ohio State, the award might be his.

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield remains solidly entrenched in third place after his Sooners got by Kansas State.

There might, however, be one more name to watch. Notre Dame running back Josh Adams earned mentions in the survey for the first time this season, and the Fighting Irish have a number of high-profile games left on their schedule starting this week against North Carolina State.

Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson and Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts are the only other players getting votes this week.

IMAGES FROM WEEK 8 IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL

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