UCF is Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week
Monday, October 21, 2013
DALLAS (FWAA) – The UCF Knights (5-1) rallied from 21 points down in the third quarter to stun No. 8-ranked Louisville, 38-35, marking the highest-ranked opponent the Knights have ever defeated. The dramatic Friday night win earned UCF the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Oct. 19.
The announcement came exclusively on SiriusXM Radio's "College Sports Today," hosted by Mark Packer and Eddie George.
Trailing 28-7, UCF scored three touchdowns in a span of 4:20 to forge a 28-28 tie. A field goal gave the Knights a 31-28 lead, which was the first time the Cardinals had trailed all season. Following a Louisville touchdown, UCF quarterback Blake Bortles started the game-winning drive on the UCF 25. He threw for 66 of the 75 yards along the way, including two long third-down completions, then connected with Jeff Godfrey alone in the back corner of the end zone for the winning score with 23 seconds left. The comeback tied for the largest in school history and kept the Knights perfect on the road at 4-0.
"It's a great win in a tough environment," UCF head coach George O'Leary said after game. "Overcoming a packed house and the No. 8 team in the country is a great win for our program. I'm just happy for the kids. We went into the game with one motto, 'Great effort, great effort, great effort and compete,' and that's what I thought they did."
Other Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Oct. 19 included:
• Auburn (6-1): The Tigers rolled up 615 total yards, with 379 of it the ground, to keep pace with Texas A&M and steal a win on the road, 45-41. Tre Mason scored the game-winning touchdown on a five-yard run with 1:19 left. Auburn trailed 34-24 one minute into the fourth quarter.
• Florida State (6-0): Jameis Winston threw for 444 yards and three touchdowns as the Seminoles rocked No. 3 Clemson in Death Valley, 51-14. FSU took a 17-0 lead 12 minutes into the game and never let up, scoring more points than any opponent ever has at Memorial Stadium. FSU is 6-0 for the first time since 1999.
• Ole Miss (4-3): The Rebels snapped a three-game losing streak with a big win, 27-24 over No. 6 LSU, as Andrew Ritter kicked a 41-yard field goal with two seconds left. Ole Miss' defense logged three interceptions, while Bo Wallace went 30-for-39 for 346 yards through the air.
• Missouri (7-0): The Tigers rolled 36-17 over Florida behind reserve quarterback Maty Mauk, who threw for 295 yards in his first career start in place of injured starter James Frankiln. Mauk's first two completions were good for 61 yards and a touchdown just 22 seconds into the game. Mizzou outgained the Gators 500-151 and knocked off a second consecutive ranked opponent for the first time since 1973.
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.
For more information on the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week, go to footballwriters.com or fiestabowl.org.