SMU Named Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Team of the Week
Monday, October 3, 2011
DALLAS (FWAA) – Earning a dramatic 40-33 overtime win over their arch rival to improve to 4-1 for the first time in a generation enabled the SMU Mustangs (4-1) to earn the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week for games of the weekend of Oct. 1.
The win is SMU's first over a ranked opponent in six seasons as the Mustangs are off to their best start since going 5-1 to open the 1986 season. In the process, SMU ended TCU's 22-game home winning streak that dated back to the 2007 season. SMU also notched its first non-conference road win since 1998.
J.J. McDermott threw for 349 yards and four touchdowns and Darius Johnson caught 12 passes for 152 yards and two scores, but the Mustangs still had to withstand a 16-point TCU rally in the game's final 13 minutes. In overtime, McDermott hit Jeremy Johnson on SMU's opening possession for the go-ahead score. The Mustangs then held TCU on downs on the ensuing possession to seal the win.
"I'm really excited for the kids, the seniors in particular who have battled through so many things," head coach June Jones said after the game. "For the kids, this is a really big win because it's TCU. Every time one of these things happens, it's one of the barriers that we try to get through."
Other Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Oct. 1 included:
• Alabama (5-0): The Crimson Tide shut down Florida on the road at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, 38-10, holding the Gators to 15 rushing yards. Trent Richardson ran for 181 yards on 29 carries, both career highs, and scored the first rushing touchdown Florida had allowed this season.
• Wisconsin (5-0): The Badgers stormed to a 41-14 lead through three quarters and spoiled Nebraska's Big Ten debut with a 48-17 win. Montee Bell ran for 151 yards and four touchdowns for the Badgers, who amassed 486 total yards. The Badgers also intercepted Nebraska's Taylor Martinez three times.
The Football Writers Association of America has named a national team of the week since the 2002 season. This is the seventh 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 2011 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. 2, 2012, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., and the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl will be played on Dec. 30, 2011, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.
For more information on the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week, go to footballwriters.com or fiestabowl.org.