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 Nov. 8, 2004
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ted Gangi
Irish defense makes the key play in upset of Vols

DALLAS (FWAA) With their 17-13 win over Tennessee, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are the FedEx Orange Bowl 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 Nov. 6.

FedEx Orange Bowl

Mike Goolsby returned an interception 26 yards for a touchdown to give the Irish a 14-10 lead midway through the third quarter.

Despite just 216 yards of total offense, the Irish came up with the upset on the road. Notre Dame held Tennessee to just 58 yards on the ground and knocked Tennessee quarterback Erik Ainge out of the game on the final play of the first half. Goolsby then victimized backup quarterback Rick Clausen with his momentum-changing play.

Other FedEx Orange Bowl National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Nov. 6 included:

Clemson (5-4): Reggie Merriweather ran for three touchdowns, including the game-winner in overtime, as the Tigers handed Miami its second straight loss, 24-17.

Cincinnati (5-4): Gino Guidugli threw five touchdown passes as the Bearcats ended Southern Miss' 13-game Conference USA winning streak with a 52-24 win in Hattiesburg.

Texas (8-1): After trailing, 35-7, Texas scored 49 unanswered points to roll past Oklahoma State, 56-35. Cedric Benson ran for five touchdowns for the Longhorns.

Utah (9-0): The Utes moved to 9-0 for the first time in school history as Alex Smith threw four touchdown passes in a 63-31 win over Colorado State.

Wisconsin (9-0): John Stocco threw for a career-high 297 yards and a touchdown and ran for two more scores as the Badgers routed Minnesota, 38-14, to win the Paul Bunyon Axe.

The FWAA has named a national team of the week since the 2002 season. This is the first season that the award has been sponsored by the FedEx Orange Bowl.

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 the FedEx Orange Bowl National Team of the Week through Nov. 29. This season, FedEx Orange Bowl will match the two top-ranked teams in the final BCS standings. It will be played at Miami's Pro Player Stadium on Jan. 4, 2005.

The Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll has resumed this season and will be released each Monday. 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.

For more information on the FedEx Orange Bowl National Team of the Week, 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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