Blair Kerkhoff’s Conference Call

Updated: 2013-09-30T04:38:36Z

Big 12

• RISING: Bob Stoops downplayed the historical significance of Oklahoma’s victory at Notre Dame in interviews, but he posed for a postgame photograph on the field with his wife and mother, and he requested the photographer to include the scoreboard that read Oklahoma 35, Notre Dame 21.

•  FALLING: Three turnovers, a missed 23-yard field goal and other poor special-teams play doomed what had been the highest-ranked Big 12 team, Oklahoma State. West Virginia, battered by Maryland the previous weekend, got off the mat for a 30-21 victory.


•  RISING: Georgia leads with offense. The Bulldogs piled up 494 total yards, and quarterback Aaron Murray continued his stellar play in leading Georgia to a 44-41 survival of LSU. Murray threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Justin Scott-Wesley with 1:47 remaining for the game-winner. Georgia finishes the rugged month, which included games against Clemson and South Carolina, with a 3-1 record. The only remaining ranked team on the regular-season schedule is Florida.

•  FALLING: Mississippi caught Alabama at a bad time. The Crimson Tide had been criticized for its lackluster victory over Colorado State and took it out on the Rebels in a convincing 25-0 victory. Mississippi was looking for its first 4-0 start in 43 years.

Atlantic Coast

•  RISING: Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston started slowly but warmed up and led the Seminoles past Boston College 48-34. Winston threw for four touchdowns, including a 55-yard Hail Mary to Kenny Shaw with no time left on the first-half clock.

•  FALLING: Georgia Tech entered last Thursday’s home game against Virginia Tech averaging 45 points a game, but the Yellow Jackets couldn’t overcome three turnovers in a 17-10 loss.

Big Ten

•  RISING: Illinois improved to 3-1 and surpassed last year’s victory total with a 50-14 victory over Miami, Ohio. Senior quarterback Nathan Sheelhaase of Rockhurst High threw four of his five touchdown passes in the second quarter. The Illini have a huge test this week at Nebraska.

• FALLING: Purdue was awful in its 55-24 home loss to Northern Illinois. The Boilermakers took the redshirt off quarterback Danny Etling, who showed promise with two touchdown passes. But it wasn’t enough to prevent Northern Illinois from tying the Mid-American Conference record for victory margin over a Big Ten opponent.


•  RISING: On a rainy night in Seattle, Washington stayed on the ground against Arizona and had the edge in running back Bishop Sankey, who carried a school-record 40 times for 161 yards in a 31-13 victory. Corey Dillon had the record with 38 attempts against Washington State in 1996. The Huskies are 4-0 for the first time since 2001.

•  FALLING: The embarrassing losses piled up and more empty seats at the LA Coliseum revealed themselves. Southern California athletic director Pat Haden decided Sunday, hours after the Trojans’ 62-41 loss at Arizona State, was the time to fire Lane Kiffin and appoint assistant Ed Orgeron as the interim. He’ll be without star wide receiver Marquise Lee, who suffered a knee injury in the fourth quarter against the Sun Devils.

American Athletic

•  RISING: Houston’s B.J. Singleton blocked a Texas-San Antonio field-goal attempt — with his face mask. Teammate Brandon Wilson scooped it up and returned the block 78 yards for a touchdown as the Cougars rolled 59-28 and improved to 4-0.

•  FALLING: South Florida, Temple or Connecticut, take your pick. All dropped to 0-4. The Bulls were blown out by Miami 49-21. The Huskies, who almost beat Michigan a week ago, were drubbed by Buffalo 41-12. In a battle of winless teams, Temple remained so with a 26-24 loss to Idaho.


•  RISING: Victories don’t get much sweeter for East Carolina, which walloped North Carolina 55-31 in Chapel Hill. Running back Vintavious Cooper ran for a career-high 186 yards as the Pirates jumped to a 21-3 lead and were never threatened.

•  FALLING: Hawaii fell behind Fresno State 42-3. But the Rainbow Warriors staged a furious comeback with 34 straight points and had the ball at the game’s end, but a Hail Mary pass fell short of the end zone, assuring Hawaii’s 42-37 loss.

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