Alabama, Oregon are Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Teams of the Week
DALLAS (FWAA) – The Alabama Crimson Tide's thrilling come-from-behind win at LSU electrified college football fans everywhere late Saturday night. So too did the Oregon Ducks' record-shattering showing at USC.
The two prime time efforts by a pair of the nation's undefeated teams earned a share of Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week honors for games of the weekend of Nov. 3. The announcement came exclusively on SiriusXM Radio's "College Sports Today," hosted by Mark Packer and Eddie George. This marks the first time in the 11 seasons of the team of the week award that the honor has been split.
It was already late in the evening when Oregon outlasted USC, 62-51, behind a school-record 321 rushing yards and five touchdowns by Kenjon Barner. The Ducks put on an offensive showcase, and their 730 yards and 62 points were the most ever allowed by USC in its storied 124-year football history.
Barner broke the USC opponents' rushing record by the end of the third quarter in what was Oregon's closest game of the season. It took that type of effort to trump Marcus Mariota, who added a 20-of-23 night for 304 yards and four touchdowns through the air.
"That's the kind of game you want to play in," Mariota said. "When I was growing up, I wanted to play in the Coliseum and go through these types of games."
Fans had barely caught their breath from Oregon's romp when Alabama began its triumphant march in Baton Rouge. Trailing 17-14 with 1:34 left, AJ McCarron began the Crimson Tide's 72-yard touchdown drive by hitting on passes on three successive plays to put Alabama at the LSU 28. Following an incompletion, the junior found T.J. Yeldon alone in the left flat and the freshman did the rest getting into the end zone to give the Tide a 21-17 win.
"We've never really had to use two-minute [offense], but we actually scored two touchdowns in two-minute offense – one before the half and one at the end of the game," Alabama coach Nick Saban said. "Both teams really played hard and competed. I kind of told our guys at the end of the game that I've never been prouder of a bunch of guys for the way they competed in the game."
Other Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Nov. 3 included:
• San Diego State (7-2): The Aztecs ran the opening kickoff back for a touchdown, and converted a blocked punt in the third quarter into another score on the way to an upset 21-19 win at No. 19 Boise State. Adam Muema ran for 127 yards on 25 carries and set up with winning touchdown with a 43-yard run. The win was the Aztecs' fifth straight, marking its longest single-season win streak since 1995.
The Football Writers Association of America has named a national team of the week since the 2002 season. This is the eighth season that the award has been sponsored by the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
Members of the FWAA All-America Committee decide the weekly honor. Each remaining Monday during the 2012 college football regular season, the FWAA will name the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week. The winner will be announced through Nov. 26 at 9:30 a.m. ET on the SiriusXM College Sports Nation channel.
Founded in 1971, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl has hosted seven games that have decided the college football national championship, including four Bowl Championship Series title games. This season, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl will be played on Jan. 3, 2013, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., and the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl will be played on Dec. 29, 2012, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.
The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,200 men and women who cover college football for a living. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include gameday operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 972-713-6198.
For more information on the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week, go to footballwriters.com or fiestabowl.org.