USC is Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week

Monday, November 18, 2013

DALLAS (FWAA) – The USC Trojans (8-3) continued their late-season surge with a 20-17 upset over No. 5 Stanford. The win – in front of a sold-out Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and a national television audience and sealed with Andre Heidari's 47-yard field goal with 19 seconds left – earned the Trojans the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Nov. 16.
 
The announcement came exclusively on SiriusXM Radio's "College Sports Today," hosted by Mark Packer and Eddie George.
 
The revitalized Trojans have won five of six games under interim coach Ed Orgeron, who replaced Lane Kiffin in late September. Cody Kessler led USC to scores on its first three drives and an early 17-7 lead, but the Trojans didn't score again until the game-winning kick. That left the game in hands of USC's defense, which came up with two fourth-quarter interceptions and held Stanford to a season-low 17 points. Su'a Cravens' interception on a tipped pass at the USC 44 with three minutes left provided the field position for USC's winning drive.
 
USC's win snapped a four-game losing streak to Stanford, the longest skid for the Trojans in the 92-game series. Stanford had also won the last three games at the Coliseum.
 
"In our tight-knit family, there was a belief that we were going to find a way to win the game," Orgeron said after the game. "I'm proud of our young men. This is something that they've wanted for a long time now."
 
Other Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Nov. 16 included:
 
• Auburn (10-1): The Tigers used a miracle pass in the final minute to top Georgia, 43-38, and rescue their title chances in the SEC's West Division. Ricardo Louis' scored on a 73-yard reception on a tipped ball on fourth-and-18 with 25 seconds left. Auburn can win the SEC West with a win over No. 1 Alabama in the Iron Bowl in two weeks.
 
• Duke (8-2): The Blue Devils took sole possession of first place in the ACC's Coastal Division with a decisive 48-30 win over Miami. Brandon Connette had touchdown runs of 1, 2, 3 and 4 yards and threw a 22-yard score to lead Duke to its sixth straight win and another step toward its first appearance in the ACC Championship Game.
 
• Kansas (3-7): The Jayhawks snapped a 27-game Big 12 losing streak with a 31-19 home win over West Virginia. James Sims broke free on touchdown runs of 62 and 68 yards as Kansas ended the streak that lasted more than three seasons, winning for the first time since Nov. 6, 2010 over former Big 12 member Colorado.
 
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.