Auburn Named Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week

Monday, December 2, 2013
 
DALLAS (FWAA) – The Auburn Tigers (11-1) stunned No. 1, unbeaten and two-time defending national champion Alabama, 34-28, in one of the most memorable finishes in college football history to earn the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Nov. 30.
 
The announcement came exclusively on SiriusXM Radio's "College Sports Today," hosted by Mark Packer and Eddie George.
 
On the Iron Bowl's final play, Chris Davis returned a missed Alabama field goal attempt from the back of the end zone – officially 100 yards – for a touchdown to give the Tigers a berth in Saturday's Southeastern Conference Championship Game against Missouri. Auburn had rallied to tie the game at 28 when Sammie Coates caught a 39-yard pass from Nick Marshall with 32 seconds left.
 
It was a second consecutive game in which Auburn won with a play for the ages. Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said he didn't see Ricardo Louis' 73-yard catch that beat Georgia 43-38 on Nov. 16, but he got a front-row view of Davis' return as he bolted down the Auburn sideline.
 
"The first thing I'm looking at is does it have enough distance. I saw it didn't have enough distance, and my eyes kind of got on Chris," Malzahn said. "They had their field goal team out there and it had some big guys on it. I thought he made a couple of guys who could tackle miss and made some good blocks and went down our sideline to score the touchdown."
 
Other Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Nov. 30 included:
 
• San Jose State (6-6): David Fales was 37-of-45 passing and threw for a school-record 547 yards and six touchdowns as the Spartans ended No. 16 Fresno State's undefeated season with a 62-52 win. It was SJSU's first win over a ranked opponent in 13 years, and the Spartans are eligible to go to a bowl game in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1986-87.
 
The Football Writers Association of America has named a national team of the week since the 2002 season. This is the ninth season that the award has been sponsored by the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
 
Members of the FWAA All-America Committee decide the weekly honor. Each Monday during the 2013 college football regular season, the FWAA has named the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week. This is the final selection of the 2013 season.
 
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. 1, 2014, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., and the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl will be played on Dec. 28, 2013, 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. 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 tiger@fwaa.com or 972-713-6198.
 
For more information on the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week, go to footballwriters.com or fiestabowl.org.