Sept. 4: Rutgers Sept. 11: Fresno State Sept. 18: Auburn Sept. 25: Navy Oct. 2: Northwestern Oct. 9: Army Oct. 16: Wisconsin Oct. 23: Mississippi State Oct. 30: North Carolina Nov. 6: Notre Dame Nov. 13: Michigan State Nov. 20: Utah Nov. 27: Syracuse
Football Writers Association of America Sept. 7, 2004
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ted Gangi
Scarlet Knights open promising season with big home win
Brian Leonard of Rutgers
DALLAS (FWAA) With their 19-14 win over Michigan State this past Saturday, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights are the 2004 season's first FWAA National Team of the Week, as selected by the pollsters of the FWAA's Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll for games of the weekend of Sept. 4.

Rutgers (1-0) used four field goals from true freshman Jeremy Ito to record the upset of the Spartans in front of a record home crowd of 42,612.

Defensive end Ryan Neill scored the Scarlet Knights' only touchdown of the game on a 31-yard interception return in the third quarter and Rutgers recovered a fumble at its own 25-yard line late in the game to preserve the win. Running back Brian Leonard gained 150 yards on 25 carries and also caught six passes for 40 yards in the win for the Scarlet Knights.

Other National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Sept. 4 included:

California: Scored 35 unanswered second-half points to rout Air Force, 56-14, in Colorado Springs

Florida Atlantic: Scored in the final minute and then went on to defeat Hawaii, 35-28, in overtime

Fresno State: Scored three defensive touchdowns en route to defeating Washington, 35-16, in Seattle

Mississippi State: Pulled away to defeat Tulane, 28-7, in Sylvester Croom's head-coaching debut

Oregon State: Battled defending BCS national champion LSU, before losing in overtime, 22-21, in Baton Rouge

Utah: Opened up a 27-0 lead before finishing with a 41-21 win over Texas A&M

The FWAA has named a national team of the week since the 2002 season. The 16 pollsters of the Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll decide the weekly honor. Each Monday during the 2004 college football season, the FWAA will name a national team of the week through Nov. 29.

The Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll will resume this season on Oct. 11. The top-ranked team in the final poll will be awarded the Grantland Rice Trophy as the FWAA's national champion. The FWAA has awarded the trophy each season since 1954. USC is the defending FWAA national champion and is ranked No. 1 in the initial 2004 poll.

For more information on the Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll and the Grantland Rice Trophy, go to or

2004 FedEx Orange Bowl National Teams of the Week
Weekend of Sept. 4: Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Weekend of Sept. 11: Fresno State Bulldogs
Weekend of Sept. 18: Auburn Tigers
Weekend of Sept. 25: Navy Midshipmen
Weekend of Oct. 2: Northwestern Wildcats
Weekend of Oct. 9: Army Black Knights
Weekend of Oct. 16: Wisconsin Badgers
Weekend of Oct. 23: Mississippi State Bulldogs
Weekend of Oct. 30: North Carolina Tar Heels
Weekend of Nov. 6: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Weekend of Nov. 13: Michigan State Spartans
Weekend of Nov. 20: Utah Utes
Weekend of Nov. 27: Syracuse Orange
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