Michigan State is Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week

Monday, November 4, 2013

DALLAS (FWAA) – The Michigan State Spartans (8-1) stayed perfect in the Big Ten with a more-than-dominating win over arch-rival Michigan, 29-6, holding the Wolverines to an eye-catching minus-48 yards rushing. The defensive gem from the nation's top defense earned the Spartans the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Nov. 2.
 
The announcement came exclusively on SiriusXM Radio's "College Sports Today," hosted by Mark Packer and Eddie George.
 
The Spartans are 5-0 in Big Ten play for the first time since 1966, and have now won five of their last six games against Michigan. The 23-point win was the most lopsided in the series since 1967. MSU, which led the nation coming into the game allowing only 54.9 rushing yards per game, held Michigan to its school-record-low rushing output. The Spartans have not given up a touchdown in their last three games, and recorded season highs in tackles for loss (11 for minus-65 yards) and sacks (7 for minus-49) on Saturday.
 
Fifth-year senior linebacker Denicos Allen had nine tackles to lead MSU, and sophomore defensive end Shilique Calhoun recorded career highs in tackles (six), tackles for loss (3 for 19 yards) and sacks (2.5 for 17).
 
"We talked all week about keeping the lion in the cage, just peaking at game time," Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio said after the game. "Don't worry about all the things that are being said, just keep your mouth shut, get ready to play, start the game and finish stronger than when you started. We were going to let the lion out of the cage at 3:30 and that's what happened. We got stronger as the game continued."
 
Other Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Nov. 2 included:
 
• Florida Atlantic (3-6): The Owls scored 27 unanswered points in a 34-17 win over Tulane, handing the Green Wave their first Conferene USA loss to cap off an emotional week. FAU intercepted four consecutive Tulane passes in the second half and yielded only 167 total yards on the day, handing interim head coach Brian Wright his first victory. Wright took over the program last Wednesday after the resignation of Carl Pelini.
 
• Florida State (8-0): The Seminoles rolled in another matchup of undefeated ACC rivals, this one a 41-14 runaway over Miami. FSU outscored Miami 20-0 in the second half to secure the win, adding a third blowout victory over a top-25 team in its last four games, including wins over Maryland (63-0) and Clemson (51-14).
 
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 remaining Monday during the 2013 college football regular season, the FWAA will name the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week.
 
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.
 
-30-