DALLAS – No. 5/5 Stanford has been named the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week for games of the weekend of Sept. 21 following its 42-28 victory over No. 23/23 Arizona State, as announced by the Football Writers Association of America.
Stanford (3-0, 1-0 Pac-12) built a 29-0 halftime lead on Arizona State (2-1, 0-1 Pac-12) and finished the game with two blocked punts, three sacks, 10 tackles for loss (by 11 different players) and two takeaways. The Cardinal outrushed the Sun Devils 240-50, and led 39-7 before yielding 21 unanswered points.
"We took it to them in the first half; they took it back to us in the second half, and that's what we're going to have in our conference," Stanford head coach David Shaw said. "If you have a team down, you better keep going because the team's going to come back. We knew they were going to come back. We just had to make sure we scored more and stopped them at some point in the fourth quarter."
Other Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Sept. 21 included:
• Fresno State (3-0): The Bulldogs ended a seven-game losing streak to Boise State with a come-from-behind 41-40 win behind Derek Carr's 460 yards and four touchdowns through the air. In front of their first sellout crowd since 2008, Fresno State rolled up 522 total yards and scored 40 or more points for the eighth time in its last nine games. The Bulldogs are 3-0 for the first time since 2004.
• Rutgers (3-1): A 58-yard punt return for a touchdown near the end of the third quarter sparked the Scarlet Knights to a 21-point rally and a 28-24 win over previously-unbeaten Arkansas. Gary Nova hit Leonte Carroo with two fourth-quarter touchdowns, the second becoming the game-winner with 5:18 to play. The Rutgers defense held Arkansas potent ground game that had been averaging 294 yards per game to 101 on the day.
• UTSA (2-2): The Roadrunners won their inaugural Conference USA game, 32-13, at UTEP by rushing for a season-high 181 yards as part of a 385-total-yard output. UTSA held the Miners without an offensive touchdown, and contained UTEP's 286-yard-per-game rushing attack coming in to 99 yards.
The Football Writers Association of America has named a national team of the week since the 2002 season. This is the ninth season that the award has been sponsored by the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
Members of the FWAA All-America Committee decide the weekly honor. Each remaining Monday during the 2013 college football regular season, the FWAA will name the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week.
Founded in 1971, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl has hosted seven games that have decided the college football national championship, including four Bowl Championship Series title games. This season, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl will be played on Jan. 1, 2014, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., and the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl will be played on Dec. 28, 2013, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.
The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,200 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 gameday 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 or 972-713-6198.
For more information on the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week, go to footballwriters.com or fiestabowl.org.