DALLAS (FWAA) The Michigan State Spartans
jolted the College Football Playoff rankings and put themselves
back into the discussion when they beat Ohio State, 17-14, on Michael
Geiger's 41-yard field goal as time expired. Ending the Buckeyes'
24-game win streak in front of an Ohio Stadium-record crowd of 108,975
earned the Spartans the AutoNation National Team of the
Week honor for games of the weekend of Nov. 21.
Spartans' defense controlled the game as Ohio State gained only
five first downs and 132 yards of total offense, the lowest offensive
output ever by an Urban Meyer-coached team. Michigan State contained
the Buckeyes' vaunted ground attack to only 86 rushing yards, and
held Ezekiel Elliott to 33 yards on 12 carries, ending his string
of 15 consecutive games with at least 100 yards rushing.
Ohio State had six three-and-out possessions with an offense
that came into the game leading the Big Ten in scoring (36.4 points
per game), rushing (244.8 yards per game) and second in total offense
(453.3 per game). Montae Nicholson led the Spartans in tackles for
the second game in a row with eight, one week after registering
nine against Maryland.
It was Michigan State's second consecutive win at Ohio State
following its 10-7 win there in 2011, and gave Ohio State its first
Big Ten loss under Meyer after winning 30 straight. The Spartans
have now won at least 10 games five times in the last six seasons,
and they are now 6-1 in their last seven games against teams ranked
in the Associated Press Top 10.
"I think this was the first game this season we could take
on the role of underdog," Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio
said. "We came in with something to prove. Usually when you
have that you have a chip on your shoulder and play better. Last
February when we started winter conditioning we talked about reaching
higher, and one of the ways we needed to reach higher was to come
in here and win. We focused on this moment and we played hard."
Other AutoNation National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend
of Nov. 21 included:
Baylor (9-1): The Bears stayed alive in
the Big 12 title chase with a gritty performance, taking out
undefeated Oklahoma State, 45-35, on the road. Sophomore quarterback
Chris Johnson, a third-teamer who had not played a snap at quarterback
all season, came off the bench in the second half to throw for
two touchdowns and run for another.
Connecticut (6-5): The Huskies ended Houston's
undefeated season with a 20-17 home win that also likely placed
them into a bowl game for the first time since 2010. Noel Thomas
had a pair of touchdowns, the second of which gave UConn a 20-10
lead with 9:48 to go off a halfback-pass.
The Citadel (8-3): The Bulldogs shocked
in-state foe South Carolina, 23-22, beating a Football Bowl
Subdivision team for the first time since 1992. The win snapped
South Carolina's 22-game home win streak over non-conference
opponents, and made the Bulldogs the first FCS team to beat
an SEC team since 2013. Next up for the Southern Conference
co-champions are the FCS Playoffs, a postseason The Citadel
has not been a part of since 1992.
As part of AutoNations history of charitable involvement, AutoNation
will donate $1,000 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF)
in the Michigan State University's 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 email@example.com.