Football Writers Association of America Oct. 31, 2011
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ted Gangi
Cardinal outlasts USC in overtime thriller
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DALLAS (FWAA) Coming back with a game-tying 76-yard touchdown drive in the final three minutes of regulation, then outlasting USC, 56-48 in overtime, earned the Stanford Cardinal (8-0) the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week for games of the weekend of Oct. 29.

Andrew Luck drove Stanford 76 yards in ten plays, setting up Stepfan Taylor's two-yard scoring run with 38 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 34. Taylor scored again on a five-yard run on Stanford's third overtime possession. The Cardinal recovered a USC fumble in the own end zone to clinch the game on the ensuing USC possession. On the night, Luck completed 29 of 40 passes for 330 yards and three touchdowns.

It was the second consecutive year that Stanford beat USC in the final minute. The win keeps Stanford tied with Oregon for the Pac-12 North lead. The two teams play Nov. 12 at Stanford.

"We always talk about adversity being an opportunity for greatness," Stanford defensive end Ben Gardner said after the game. "This was our first chance to show our mettle. We got behind, but we never lost faith."

Other Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Oct. 29 included:

Georgia Tech (7-2): Tevin Washington rushed for 176 yards and broke the two longest runs of his career, leading Georgia Tech to a 31-17 upset over ACC rival Clemson. The Yellow Jackets broke a two-game losing streak, racing to a 24-3 halftime lead.

Ohio State (5-3): Freshman quarterback Braxton Miller found Devin Smith wide open for a game-winning 40-yard touchdown pass with 20 seconds left to give Ohio State a 33-29 win over Wisconsin. Miller finished with 188 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns.

Oklahoma (7-1): The Sooners fell behind 17-14 in the second quarter, then ran off six touchdowns while holding Kansas State scoreless the rest of the way in a blowout 58-17 win. Landry Jones threw for a school-record 505 yards and five touchdowns, and Ryan Broyles caught 14 passes for 171 yards and a touchdown.

The Football Writers Association of America has named a national team of the week since the 2002 season. This is the seventh 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 2011 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. 2, 2012, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., and the Insight Bowl will be played on Dec. 30, 2011, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.

For more information on the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week, go to or

2011 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Teams of the Week
Weekend of Sept. 3: Baylor Bears
Weekend of Sept. 10: Michigan Wolverines
Weekend of Sept. 17: Oklahoma Sooners
Weekend of Sept. 24: Clemson Tigers
Weekend of Oct. 1: SMU Mustangs
Weekend of Oct. 8: Nebraska Cornhuskers
Weekend of Oct. 15: Michigan State Spartans
Weekend of Oct. 22: Texas Tech Red Raiders
Weekend of Oct. 29: Stanford Cardinal
Weekend of Nov. 5: LSU Tigers
Weekend of Nov. 12: TCU Horned Frogs
Weekend of Nov. 19: Iowa State Cyclones
Weekend of Nov. 26: Houston Cougars

Kirk Bohls Austin American-Statesman Big 12
Tommy Hicks Mobile Press-Register Sun Belt
Mike Huguenin ACC
Tony Jones Salt Lake Tribune WAC
Tom Kensler Denver Post Pac-12
Iliana Limon Orlando Sentinel C-USA
Kelly Lyell Fort Collins Coloradoan Mountain West
Brett McMurphy Big East
Randy Peterson Des Moines Register Big Ten
Zach Silva Toledo Blade MAC
Andy Staples SEC
Phil Steele Phil Steele Publications National