TEXAS IS AUTONATION NATIONAL TEAM OF THE WEEK

Longhorns power past Oklahoma

DALLAS (FWAA) – The Texas Longhorns turned to their historic staples of a power running game and dominating defense to record an upset that will forever be logged in the AT&T Red River Showdown annals, shocking previously-undefeated Oklahoma 24-17 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Season-high rushing and sacks totals created the win, and earned the Longhorns the AutoNation National Team of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Oct. 10.

Texas (2-4), which never trailed, rushed for a season-best 313 yards and had two players over the century mark with running back D’Onta Foreman (117 yards, including a career-long 81-yarder) and quarterback Jerrod Heard (115 yards). It was the first time Texas had rushing for more than 300 yards since the 2013 season opener.

Meanwhile, the Longhorns’ defense held the Oklahoma passing attack at bay with a season-high six sacks and eight tackles for loss. Texas was stout from the start up front, holding Oklahoma to just 15 total yards on 12 plays in the first quarter. The Longhorns tallied four sacks and held Oklahoma to 85 total yards in the first half. The Sooners averaged only 1.8 yards per carry in the game after coming in averaging 4.4 yards per carry on the season.

“I think what (our fans) were waiting on was just a breakout win because we hadn’t had one in so long, and to go get this one was really big,” Texas coach Charlie Strong said. “It was a big-time rival game, and our players were just so up for it. It told the players . . . the way we’re going to work today, it’s going to speak for itself. We’re going to run the football and we’re going to run it right at ’em and we’re gonna knock ’em off the ball and nothing else is going to need to be said because we’re going to control the line of scrimmage.”

Other AutoNation National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Oct. 10 included:

Michigan (5-1): The Wolverines recorded their third consecutive shutout in a 38-0 crushing of previously-undefeated Northwestern. It was the first time since 1980 that Michigan has shut out three straight opponents. Michigan’s defense held Northwestern to 168 total yards, including only 38 rushing, and had eight tackles for loss and four sacks.

Washington State (3-2): The Cougars’ defense came up with the game-deciding play, picking off an Oregon pass on the second overtime possession, stunning the Ducks at Autzen Stadium, 45-38. Washington State snapped an eight-game losing streak to Oregon, with Luke Falk throwing for a season-high 505 yards and five touchdowns, including the game-winner in overtime.

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 Texas’ 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.

About 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 tiger@fwaa.com.

2015 AutoNation National Teams of the Week
• Weekend of Sept. 5: Temple Owls
• Weekend of Sept. 12: Toledo Rockets
• Weekend of Sept. 19: Ole Miss Rebels
• Weekend of Sept. 26: Utah Utes
• Weekend of Oct. 3: Florida Gators
• Weekend of Oct. 10: Texas Longhorns

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