DALLAS (FWAA) – During a season-opening
holiday weekend with what many considered a best-ever opening slate
of games, the Houston Cougars scored perhaps the
biggest statement win with a 33-23 defeat of No. 3 Oklahoma. Quarterback
Greg Ward Jr. rallied his team three times in the first half, and
the defending American Athletic Conference champions took over in
the second half to earn the Football Writers Association
of America National Team of the Week honor for games of
the weekend of Sept. 3.
The announcement was made on "Playbook," hosted by Chris Carlin
and Gino Torretta on SiriusXM Radio's "College Sports Nation." Each
Monday during the season, the FWAA National Team of the Week will
be unveiled during the program, which airs from 1-4 p.m. ET.
Ward threw for 321 yards and two touchdowns for the Cougars (1-0).
But the game's key play came midway through the third quarter on
Brandon Wilson's 100-yard field goal return for a touchdown. Austin
Seibert's 54-yard field goal attempt fell just short, Wilson caught
the ball with his heels just inside the end line before sprinting
to the right side of the field and virtually untouched to the end
Instead of giving up a go-ahead field goal, Houston turned the
play into a 26-17 advantage. The UH defense did the rest, sacking
Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield five times and forcing a fumble as the
Cougars won their fifth straight game against a ranked opponent.
"We were prepared to win. We expected to win. We train to win,"
Houston coach Tom Herman said. "It wasn't about making a statement,
it was about going 1-0 the first week of the season."
This is the fourth time for Houston to earn National Team of
the Week honors and the first time since 2011.
Other National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Sept.
• South Alabama (1-0): Quarterback Dallas
Davis found Gerald Everett in the back of the end zone for a
touchdown with 57 seconds left, and USA survived a last-second
field goal miss to upset Mississippi State on the road, 21-20.
• Texas (1-0): The Longhorns topped No.
10 Notre Dame, 50-47, on Tyrone Swoopes' six-yard touchdown
run on Texas' second overtime possession in front of a record-setting
home crowd of 102,315. True freshman quarterback Shane Buechele
started the game and alternated with Swoopes down the stretch.
Both helped Texas a win over a top-10 opponent at home since
• Wisconsin (1-0): The Badgers' defense
held LSU scoreless into the third quarter, and after the Tigers
did score twice, Wisconsin kicker Rafael Gaglianone hit a 47-yard
field goal with 3:47 left to give the Badgers a 16-14 win at
Lambeau Field in Green Bay. Safety D'Cota Dixon clinched the
game with a final-minute interception.
The Football Writers Association of America has named a national
team of the week since the 2002 season. Members of the 12-person
FWAA All-America Committee – plus one fan vote from Twitter –
decide the weekly honor.
Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America 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
|2016 FWAA ALL-AMERICA
||San Antonio Express-News
||Phil Steele Publications