ARKANSAS IS FWAA NATIONAL TEAM OF THE WEEK
Hogs survive thriller in Fort Worth
DALLAS (FWAA) – Quarterback Austin Allen’s five-yard run in the second overtime period was the last of a series of big plays during an electric fourth quarter and overtime that led the Arkansas Razorbacks to a 41-38 upset win at TCU on Saturday. For winning on the road against a ranked opponent for the third straight time, and for ending TCU’s 14-game home winning streak that was the third-longest in the nation, Arkansas earned the Football Writers Association of America National Team of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Sept. 10.
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.
Arkansas (2-0) fell behind 28-20 late in the fourth quarter after TCU rallied to score 21 unanswered points. But with 1:49 left, Allen was a perfect 4-for-4 passing on the ensuing drive, including a 16-yard score to wide receiver Keon Hatcher. On the two-point conversion to tie, Hatcher completed a nifty reverse-pass to Allen in the end zone with just over a minute to play.
The Razorbacks then weathered a TCU drive when Dan Skipper blocked what would have been a 28-yard game-winning field goal to send the game into overtime. After trading touchdowns, TCU kicked a field goal on its second overtime possession, setting up Allen’s game-winning run.
“We want to keep you in your seats for four quarters and some,” Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema said. “For college football, I think this is everything you could ask for when you talk about the environment we had here tonight, and the competition that was on the field. We wanted to play our type of football. I think the part I stressed to our guys all week was code red. Being able to play at a heightened awareness on the road. They bought into it all week and persevered.”
Arkansas has now won four straight and eight of its last nine games dating back to last season, including road wins at No. 18 Ole Miss, No. 9 LSU and No. 15 TCU. Over the program’s last 19 games under Bielema, the Razorbacks have won five games against ranked teams while unranked.
This is the third time for Arkansas to earn National Team of the Week honors and the first time since 2006.
Other National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Sept. 10 included:
• Central Michigan (2-0): The Chippewas took advantage of one last chance, scoring on a 49-yard catch-and-lateral Hail Mary on an untimed down to beat No. 22 Oklahoma State, 30-27, in Stillwater. Jesse Kroll leaped between two defenders to catch Cooper Rush’s volley at the eight-yard line, then lateraled while still in the air to Corey Willis, who outran a defender across the field for the score. It was the Chippewas’ first win over a ranked team since beating No. 18 Michigan State, 20-3, in 1991. Game officials later determined the final untimed play should not have been allowed after enforcing a fourth-down intentional grounding penalty against Oklahoma State on the previous play that created a turnover. The game should have ended there, they determined.
• Pittsburgh (2-0): Running back James Conner scored two touchdowns and ran for 117 yards, and cornerback Ryan Lewis intercepted Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley in the end zone with just over a minute to play as Pittsburgh held on for a 42-39 win. The first meeting in the once-again-rivalry in 16 years came in front of 69,983 fans at Heinz Field, breaking a 78-year-old Pittsburgh sports all-time attendance record. Pitt’s 42 points were its highest-ever outpot in the 97-game series.
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 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2016 National Teams of the Week
• Weekend of Sept. 3: Houston Cougars
• Weekend of Sept. 10: Arkansas Razorbacks