UCLA is Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week

Monday, September 16, 2013

DALLAS (FWAA) – The UCLA Bruins (2-0) rallied from an 18-point deficit at Nebraska to stun the Huskers, 41-21, and earn Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week honors for games of the weekend of Sept. 14.

The announcement came exclusively on SiriusXM Radio's "College Sports Today," hosted by Mark Packer and Eddie George.

Brett Hundley passed for 294 yards and threw three touchdown passes as part of the Bruins' 35-point, 16-minute onslaught that spanned the second and third quarters. UCLA trailed 21-3 midway through the second quarter. The 18-point comback is the largest deficit overcome by a Nebraska opponent since at least 1996, according to STATS.

The win ended an emotional week for the Bruins after Nick Pasquale was killed after being struck by a vehicle. The team had attended his memorial service on Sunday. Saturday, the Bruins wore No. 36 patches on their jerseys in memory of Pasquale. The Huskers wore No. 36 decals on their helmets, and there was a moment of silence for Pasquale before the game.

"The first half there was so much emotion, I'm not going to lie," Hundley said after the game. "I just had so much emotion going into the game. There were a lot of things that added up to it. After the first half, everything slowed down and we got back to playing football and came out with the win."

Other Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Sept. 14 included:

• Alabama (2-0): The top-ranked Crimson Tide outlasted No. 6 Texas A&M, 49-42, behind a career-high 334 passing yards and four touchdowns from AJ McCarron. Alabama overcame an early 14-0 deficit with 28 consecutive points. It was Alabama's ninth straight road win in SEC play, and 16th consecutive road win overall.

• Colorado (2-0): The Buffaloes stayed busy despite the postponement of Saturday’s game against Fresno State. At Folsom Field, the team fed residents displaced by the devastating local floods, which also affected the homes of at least six players.

• UCF (3-0): The Knights bolted out to a 21-7 lead, then held on to topple Penn State on the road, 34-31, and record the program's first-ever win over a Big Ten team. UCF is 3-0 for the first time since 1988 after racking up 507 total yards in the game.

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.