BLAIR KERKHOFF’S WEEKLY COLLEGE FOOTBALL ROUNDUP

Conference call

Updated: 2013-10-21T04:46:03Z

Big 12

•  RISING: Last year, Oklahoma State shuffled quarterbacks because of injury. This year, it’s performance. Clint Chelf replaced J.W. Walsh, who helped the offense get moving in a 24-10 victory over TCU. The Cowboys also switched running backs, going with freshman Rennie Childs, whose fourth-quarter touchdown run sealed the outcome.

•  FALLING: By one point, Iowa State suffered its most lopsided loss in school history, 71-7 at Baylor. The previous record was 77-14 at Nebraska in 1997. The Cyclones couldn’t generate enough offense to keep the Bears off the field, and coach Paul Rhoads replaced quarterback Sam Richardson with Grant Rohach.

Southeastern

•  RISING: Tennessee came close to a breakthrough victory two weeks ago over Georgia. The Vols finished the job this time, knocking off South Carolina 23-21 on Michael Palardy’s 19-yard field goal at the gun. The Vols got into field-goal range on a terrific 39-yard reception by freshman Marquez North.

•  FALLING: Georgia all but took itself out of the SEC title race with a 31-27 loss at Vanderbilt, a game in which the Bulldogs surrendered a 27-14 lead entering the fourth quarter. Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray because the SEC’s career total-offense leader, passing Tim Tebow, but he couldn’t keep the Bulldogs from falling to 4-3.

Atlantic Coast

•  RISING: Don’t look now, but Duke is 5-2, and it happened in a bizarre way. The Blue Devils fell behind Virginia 22-0 at Charlottesville. But Duke’s defense dominated the second half, holding the Cavaliers to five straight three-and-outs, and the Devils now are one victory away from bowl eligibility.

•  FALLING: Thanks for playing, Clemson. Here are some consolation prizes. The Tigers fumbled on their first play of the game, and it never got better in a brutal 51-14 home loss to Florida State. The freshman quarterback outplayed the senior as the Seminoles’ Jameis Winston displayed poise, and the Tigers’ Tajh Boyd was a disaster.

Big Ten

•  RISING: Michigan State played another defensive beauty, blanking Purdue 14-0. But the Spartans, who top the Legends Division with a 3-0 record, have to find some offense as the teeth of their schedule approaches. Michigan State came up with 294 yards of total offense, and one of its touchdowns came on Denicos Allen’s 45-yard fumble return.

•  FALLING: The wheels have come off for Northwestern. Two weeks ago, the Wildcats had a fourth-quarter lead on Ohio State. But that loss started a three-game skid, including Saturday’s 20-17 home loss to Minnesota. Northwestern was without quarterback Kain Kolter and running back Venric Mark, who were injured in last week’s loss to Wisconsin.

Pac-12

•  RISING: How, exactly, did Oregon State lose its opener to Eastern Washington? Beavers quarterback Sean Mannion had another big game with 481 yards and four touchdowns as Oregon State won at California 49-17 for the Beavers’ sixth straight triumph. Look for Mannion, who leads the nation with 427 passing yards per game, to start climbing on Heisman watch lists.

•  FALLING: Oregon made pregame news with its pink helmets to raise breast-cancer awareness, and Ducks defensive coordinator Mike Aliotti made news afterwards, hammering Washington State coach Mike Leach. The Cougars kept throwing late in a 62-38 defeat. “That’s total (B.S.) that he threw the ball at the end of the game like he did. … I think it’s low class.” Cougars quarterback Connor Halliday set an FBS record with 89 pass attempts. He completed 58 for 557 yards.

American Athletic

•  RISING: A funny thing happened on the way to Louisville’s rout of Central Florida. The Cardinals led 28-7 midway through the third quarter on Friday. But Central Florida scored three touchdowns in fewer than 7 1/2 minutes to tie it before the end of the quarter, and Blake Bortles tossed a 2-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Godfrey with 23 seconds remaining, giving the Knights a 38-35 victory.

•  FALLING: Heck of an effort by Houston, but not enough to pull the upset against Brigham Young. Houston lost the shootout 47-46 for its first loss. BYU quarterback Taysom Hill passed for 417 yards and rushed for 128.

Others

•  RISING: Notre Dame had lost five straight at home to Southern California. But the streak is over after a 14-10 slugfest in a matchup of unranked teams. Quarterback Tommy Rees passed for two touchdowns, and the Irish pitched a second-half shutout.

•  FALLING: Grambling’s proud program is in disarray. The team chose not to play its game at Jackson State and forfeited. The players’ list of grievances was long —busing for long trips, hazardous conditions like mildew, mold and leaks in the athletic complex, dirty uniforms that led to staph infections, paying for their own Gatorade and the firing of popular coach Doug Williams. This is the program of legendary coach Eddie Robinson, and a sad chapter in the school’s history.

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