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5 up, 5 down: James Franklin rising, Tajh Boyd falling

Associated Press
As James Franklin led Missouri to the SEC title game, Tajh Boyd struggled as Clemson fell to South Carolina.

Each Monday during the college football season, NFL Media draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah identifies five things that are chugging along smoothly and five things that are off the rails.

Check out the top images from the 14th weekend of college football play.

5 up

1. Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State

Florida State kept its perfect season intact with a 37-7 pasting of Florida. Benjamin has been a consistent playmaker all season long, and he put on a show against the Gators. He hauled in nine passes for 212 yards and three scores. His combination of size and athleticism is rare, but I was most impressed with his ball skills on Saturday. He made several impressive adjustments to corral the deep ball.

2. Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

Barr had a dominant performance against USC on Saturday night. The Bruins' senior outside linebacker racked up five tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks and a forced fumble. He was strong at the point of attack when the Trojans ran the ball at him, and he showed an explosive burst when they ran away from him. As a pass rusher, he creates pressure with his outside speed rush as well as a few nifty inside counter moves. He's a lock to be a top-10 pick in the upcoming draft.

3. David Fales, QB, San Jose State

Fales put up video game numbers in the Spartans' upset win over Fresno State. He completed 37 of 45 passes for 547 yards and six touchdowns. He also rushed for one touchdown, and he didn't turn the ball over a single time. He showed excellent poise and touch throughout the game, and his pocket movement was also impressive. He doesn't have Derek Carr's strong arm, but he makes up for it by throwing with anticipation.

Check out special college football uniforms worn during the 2013 season.

4. James Franklin, QB, Missouri

Franklin made plays with his arm and legs while leading Missouri to a 28-21 win over Texas A&M. He completed 18 of his 28 passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran the ball 18 times for 80 yards. He made several beautiful throws down the field and his decision-making was nearly flawless. He is a very instinctive runner, and he showed the toughness to fight for extra yards.

5. AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama

Alabama didn't pull off the win against Auburn, but McCarron still impressed NFL evaluators with his performance. He completed 17 of his 29 passes for 277 yards and three touchdowns. He missed a couple of easy throws early in the game, but he recovered quickly and made several impressive throws deep down the field. He showed tremendous poise on two different possessions that began at the Alabama 1-yard line. He might not win the Heisman Trophy, but his play in this game should've earned him a trip to New York for the award presentation.

These are the top 10 college football rivalry games, as determined by the College Football 24/7 staff.

5 down

1. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson

Boyd struggled against South Carolina on Saturday night. The senior signal-caller failed to throw a touchdown pass, and he turned the ball over three times (two interceptions, one fumble). He was under pressure throughout the game, but he could've avoided a few sacks with better pocket movement/awareness. He finished his career with an 0-4 record against Clemson's biggest rival.

2. Marcus Hall, OT, Ohio State

Hall was ejected for punching a Michigan player in the second quarter of Saturday's rivalry game. While making his way to the locker room, he slammed his helmet, kicked the bench and flashed an obscene gesture (technically two gestures) to the Michigan fans in the stands. Hall showed a lack of composure and discipline, and you can be sure he'll be asked about this incident by all 32 teams during the lead up to the 2014 NFL Draft.

3. Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU (injury)

Mettenberger had a rough outing against Arkansas. Prior to leaving the game in the fourth quarter, he had only thrown for 156 yards and LSU was trailing the 3-8 Razorbacks. That's when a bad day got much worse for the LSU quarterback. Mettenberger's knee hyperextended after taking a hit, and he was forced to leave the contest. Fortunately for the Tigers, their backup quarterback engineered a late, game-winning drive to avoid the upset.

Week 14: Things we learned
From Jeremy Gallon helping to revive Michigan's offense vs. Ohio State to David Fales outdueling Derek Carr, here are the lessons we learned in Week 14 of college football. More ...

4. Andre Williams, RB, Boston College

Williams was beginning to enter the Heisman Trophy discussion heading into this past weekend, but that talk has now stopped. Williams only ran the ball nine times for 29 yards against Syracuse before he suffered a sprained right shoulder and was forced to leave the contest in the third quarter. Boston College ended up losing to the Orange, 34-31, and Williams lost all of his Heisman momentum.

5. Fresno State's defense

The Bulldogs saw their BCS bowl game hopes go up in smoke after losing to San Jose State on Friday night. The loss can pinned on the horrific performance by the defense. The Bulldogs allowed 62 points and 736 total yards, and the Spartans converted 13 of 18 third and fourth downs. After that loss, the Bulldogs are likely headed to Las Vegas for a bowl game against a Pac-12 opponent.

Follow Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter @MoveTheSticks.



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