FALLING: What’s happened to Tulsa? The defending Conference USA champion that produced three straight bowl seasons and seven in eight years, dropped to 2-5 with an uninspired 14-7 loss at Tulane. The Golden Hurricane had won its eight previous meetings against the Green Wave by an average 43-12 score. Hats off to Tulane, which became bowl eligible for the first time since 2002.
RISING: A three-touchdown fourth quarter allowed Kansas State to sprint away from West Virginia 35-12 and pick up the Wildcats’ first Big 12 victory of the season. The two-headed quarterback of Jake Waters and Daniel Sams went 18 for 21 for 291 yards and four touchdowns.
FALLING: The 6 p.m. Texas-TCU game ended around 12:30 a.m. because of a three-hour rain delay, and the night was especially long for the home-standing Horned Frogs, who fell 30-7 despite the return of quarterback Casey Pachall, who had been out since breaking his arm on Sept. 7. No matter, as TCU lost for the third time in four games.
RISING: In his first bowl game as South Carolina’s coach, Steve Spurrier coughed up a 21-point lead and lost to Missouri. This time, the worm turned on the Tigers, who blew a 17-point lead in regulation and fell to the Gamecocks 27-24 in double overtime. Quarterback Connor Shaw was heroic for South Carolina, missing practice last week but coming off the bench to spark the comeback triumph. The dagger was a fourth-and-15 touchdown pass in the first overtime to stay alive.
FALLING: Vanderbilt had taken a four-touchdown punch at Texas A&M but battled back and trailed 28-17 at halftime. But Howard Matthews intercepted Patton Robinette’s first pass of the second half and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown, and the Commodores never recovered in a 56-24 loss.
RISING: Trap game, phooey. Florida State swamped nemesis North Carolina State 49-17 behind freshman quarterback Jameis Winston’s three touchdown passes. The Seminoles, who played the Wolfpack in between Clemson and Miami, honored legendary coach Bobby Bowden before the game. He planted the spear at midfield and was recognized by about 400 returning lettermen.
FALLING: Virginia Tech got Duked. The Blue Devils gained only 198 total yards, committed four turnovers, went zero for 11 on third-down conversions and held the ball for half of the time as Tech. But Duke managed one of the biggest victories in the program’s recent history by beating the Hokies 13-10 in Blacksburg. Duke is bowl eligible, while Tech is trying to figure out what went wrong as its six-game winning streak ended.
RISING: Ohio State played its best game of the season, trouncing Penn State 63-14. Quarterback Braxton Miller passed for three touchdowns and ran for two more as the Nittany Lions surrendered the most points in school history on a day while suffering its worst loss since an 1899 setback to the Duquesne Athletic Club 64-5.
FALLING: Illinois and its 35-point-a-game offense ran into Michigan State and the Big Ten’s best defense, and down went the Fighting Illini 42-3 in front of a home crowd. Illinois gained 53 of its 128 total yards on its first possession, which ended with a field goal. And that was it for the scoring.
RISING: It took three quarters, but Oregon finally put away UCLA 42-14. The game was tied 14-14 at halftime, but the Ducks scored 28 straight points, led by running back Byron Marshall, who rushed for 133 yards and three touchdowns. De’Anthony Thomas played for Oregon after missing the previous three games because of an ankle injury and finished with 31 rushing yards and a touchdown.
FALLING: Oregon State hung tough against Stanford, and Beavers quarterback Sean Mannion had another big day with 271 passing yards. But Stanford broke up his last-gasp, fourth-down pass from the 7 and preserved a 20-12 Cardinal victory.
RISING: Houston freshman quarterback John O’Korn flung five touchdown passes, including an 83-yarder to Deontay Greenberry as the Cougars thumped Rutgers 49-14 in New Jersey. If Houston gets by South Florida next week, the next two are at Central Florida and Louisville.
FALLING: Bad day for the Temple defense in a 59-49 loss at SMU. Mustangs quarterback Garrett Gilbert accounted for six touchdowns and threw for a school-record 538 yards as SMU rolled up 728 total yards.
RISING: Western Connecticut defeated Worcester State 55-35 in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference game. But the big news was the 455 rushing yards by the Colonials’ Octavias McKoy, which set an NCAA game record for all classifications. The previous rushing record was held by Dante Brown of Marietta College, who rushed for 441 yards against Baldwin-Wallace on Oct. 5, 1996. The FBS record of 406 yards was set by TCU’s LaDanian Tomlinson.