DALLAS (FWAA) – The Memphis Tigers
put an exclamation point on their first 6-0 start since 1961 with
an offensive show against No. 12 Ole Miss, rallying from a 14-0
deficit to score the next 31 points in a 37-24 win in front of 60,241
at the Liberty Bowl. By extending their current win streak to 13
– the third-longest in the nation – the Tigers earned the
AutoNation National Team of the Week honor for
games of the weekend of Oct. 17.
Paxton Lynch was the catalyst, completing 39-of-53 passes for 386
yards and three touchdowns. Memphis came up big on key plays, converting
12-of-20 third-downs as receiver Anthony Miller set a career-high
with 10 receptions for 132 yards and a touchdown, and Mose Frazier
caught eight passes for 83 yards and a touchdown.
Ole Miss scored on its first two possessions before the Memphis
defense clamped down, holding the Rebels scoreless for 32:45, allowing
the offense to register the 31-point run.
Memphis' 13-game winning streak extends its all-time best for
the program, whose previous record for consecutive wins was 10 during
its undefeated 1938 season and also stretching through the 1960
and '61 seasons.
"I think there was a time in the first quarter when they thought,
'Maybe coach hasn't been lying to us forever and we can do this,'"
Memphis head coach Justin Fuente said. "I think there was a moment
of realization today, but I'm not sure when it was. My message to
the team was you don't have to be better than you are. You don't
have to be someone you aren't. The best 'you' is what we need.”
Other AutoNation National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend
of Oct. 17 included:
• Idaho (2-4): The Vandals earned a tip
of the cap for overcoming a rugged travel schedule to win at
Troy, 19-16, and snap a 24-game road losing streak. Due to mechanical
issues, the team's charter flight didn't leave until 3:30 a.m.
local time and arrived in Alabama at 9 a.m., just five hours
before kickoff. Following breakfast and team meetings, the Vandals
still had a one-hour bus ride to the stadium. Austin Rehkow
booted four field goals, including the game-winning
19-yarder with 3:01 left.
• Michigan State (7-0): The Spartans remained
unbeaten in the most improbable fashion, scoring on a play that
will be forever remembered and replayed in college football
history as Jalen Watts-Jackson, a backup redshirt freshman used
primarily on special teams, picked up a punter's fumble and
returned it 38 yards for a touchdown on the final play for a
27-23 win at arch-rival Michigan. Michigan State won a game
it didn't led until the final gun.
• Utah State (4-2): The Aggies stayed undefeated
in the Mountain West Conference, rolling to a 52-26 win over
No. 21 Boise State by forcing with eight turnovers – seven in
the first half – as USU controlled the game from the start to
gain a 45-10 halftime lead. Utah State has now won 12 in a row
As part of AutoNation's history of charitable involvement, AutoNation
will donate $1,000 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF)
in the University of Memphis' name. This charitable college football
initiative culminates with the AutoNation Cure Bowl, a new post-season
NCAA football game that kicks off bowl season at the Citrus Bowl
Stadium in Orlando, Fla., and will be aired by CBS Sports Network.
The aptly named AutoNation Cure Bowl also serves as a fund raiser
for the BCRF, CharityWatch's only A+ rated breast cancer organization
in the country.
"We want to celebrate the very best of college football, while
also helping to raise awareness for the importance of finding a
cure for cancer," says AutoNation CMO Marc Cannon. "This season-long
partnership with the FWAA, leading up to the AutoNation Cure Bowl,
puts a spotlight on a cause that we're determined to tackle."
"In our 75th season of existence, this a marvelous platform to
get our players and the team of the week series excellent exposure
as well as helping AutoNation in its effort to fight cancer and
contribute to the educational funds of deserving student-athletes,"
said FWAA 2015 President Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald.
"It is very exciting to be able to help our organization as well
as others in this splendid effort."
The Football Writers Association of America has named a national
team of the week since the 2002 season. This is the first season
AutoNation has presented the award. Members of the FWAA All-America
Committee decide the weekly honor. Each remaining Monday during
the 2015 college football regular season, the FWAA will name a National
Team of the Week. Members of the FWAA All-America Committee decide
the weekly honor.
AutoNation is also the presenting sponsor of the FWAA's national
offensive and defensive players of the week announced each
Tuesday, the 2015 FWAA All-America Team and the 75th Anniversary
FWAA All-America Team. The 2015 AutoNation FWAA All-America Team
will be announced at the AutoNation Cure Bowl on Dec. 19.
About AutoNation, Inc.:
AutoNation is transforming
the automotive retail industry through bold leadership. We deliver
a peerless automotive retail experience through our customer-focused
sales and service processes. Owning and operating 293 new vehicle
franchises, which sell 35 new vehicle brands across 15 states, AutoNation
is America's largest automotive retailer, with state-of-the-art
operations and the ability to leverage economies of scale that benefit
the customer. As an indication of our leadership position in our
industry, AutoNation is a component of the S&P 500 Index.
the AutoNation Cure Bowl:
The AutoNation Cure Bowl a
new post-season NCAA football game whose net proceeds benefit the
Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The AutoNation Cure Bowl takes
place December 19 at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, and will be broadcast
by CBS Sports Network. The bowl is scheduled to involve teams from
the American Athletic and Sun Belt conferences.
About the Football Writers Association of America:
Founded in 1941, the FWAA consists of 1,400 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 game-day
operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more
information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve
Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org.