Football Writers Association of America Nov. 24, 2014
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ted Gangi
Golden Gophers finally nab win at Nebraska
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DALLAS (FWAA) – The Minnesota Golden Gophers kept their Big Ten West Division title hopes alive with a gutsy 28-24 win at Nebraska, winning in Lincoln for the first time and ending a 20-game road losing streak against Top 25 opponents that dated back to 2000. The first win at Nebraska in eight tries earned Minnesota the Big Game National Team of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Nov. 22.

The announcement came exclusively on SiriusXM Radio's "College Sports Today," hosted by Mark Packer.

The Gophers (8-3) rallied from 14 points down at the half and 10 in the third quarter to mark their biggest comeback in a win since 2003. Mitch Leidner led two long scoring drives to give Minnesota the lead. But Nebraska responded with its own long drive, until cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun preserved the lead when he stripped the ball at the goal line. Minnesota recovered with 1:19 left and ran out the clock.

"In little league, my coach taught me the play isn't over until the ref blows the whistle. That's been something that's been grinded in to me since I was younger," Boddy-Calhoun said. "I am always chasing the ball, I am always trying to go and fight for the ball until the ref blows his whistle."

Minnesota, 5-2 in Big Ten play, is assured of its best conference record since 2003 and can win the West Division with a victory at Wisconsin this week.

Other Big Game National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Nov. 22:

• Arkansas (6-5): The Razorbacks beat a ranked opponent in consecutive weeks for the first time, blasting Ole Miss, 30-0, one week after halting LSU, 17-0. Three interceptions highlighted Arkansas' pesky defense among six takeaways. According to Arkansas' post-game notes, it was the first time an unranked team has ever shut out two ranked opponents in back-to-back games, and marked the first time an unranked team has shut out multiple ranked opponents in the same season since North Carolina Pre-Flight in 1942.

• UCLA (9-2): Brett Hundley threw for 326 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another to guide the Bruins to a third consecutive win over cross-town rival USC, 38-20, at the Rose Bowl. Hundley became UCLA's first quarterback since Cade McNown (1995-98) to win three straight over USC on the same day he became UCLA's all-time total offense leader with 11,353 yards. The Bruins can advance to the Pac-12 Championship Game with a win at Stanford on Friday.

• Virginia (5-6): Darius Jennings and Khalek Shepherd ran for touchdowns and Ian Frye kicked three field goals as the Cavaliers ended a four-game losing streak with a dominating 30-13 win over Miami. The Cavaliers limited the Hurricanes to a season-low 64 rushing yards.

The Football Writers Association of America has named a national team of the week since the 2002 season. This is the first season The Big Game Football Factory has presented the award. Members of the FWAA All-America Committee decide the weekly honor. Each remaining Monday during the 2014 college football regular season, the FWAA will name a National Team of the Week.

Big Game USA is the largest American-owned football factory. Nearly half of all Football Bowl Subdivision programs play with a ball made by Big Game USA. This season, Big Game has introduced gametag™, the latest development in football technology. It allows fans an opportunity to own a piece of football memorabilia, but more than that, gametag™ offers complete authentication. Currently, four Division I schools (Mississippi State, Navy, Nebraska and Texas A&M) use balls equipped with gametag™. For more information about Big Game USA, visit or contact Josh Eells at 972-292-0700 or

The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 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 gameday operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at or 214-870-6516.

2014 Big Game National Teams of the Week
• Weekend of Aug. 30: Texas A&M Aggies
• Weekend of Sept. 6: Virginia Tech Hokies
• Weekend of Sept. 13: Boston College Eagles
• Weekend of Sept. 20: Mississippi State Bulldogs
• Weekend of Sept. 27: Yale Bulldogs
• Weekend of Oct. 4: Ole Miss Rebels
• Weekend of Oct. 11: Baylor Bears
• Weekend of Oct. 18: West Virginia Mountaineers
• Weekend of Oct. 25: LSU Tigers
• Weekend of Nov. 1: Florida Gators
• Weekend of Nov. 8: Ohio State Buckeyes
• Weekend of Nov. 15: Oregon State Beavers
• Weekend of Nov. 22: Minnesota Golden Gophers
• Weekend of Nov. 29: UAB Blazers

Mark Anderson Las Vegas Review-Journal Mountain West
Lee Barfknecht Omaha World-Herald National
Zach Barnett Football Scoop Conference USA
Kirk Bohls Austin American-Statesman Big 12
Aaron Brenner Charleston Post & Courier ACC
Lee Feinswog SEC
Tommy Hicks Mobile Press Register Sun Belt
Joey Johnston Tampa Tribune American
Marc Morehouse Cedar Rapids Gazette Big Ten
Phil Steele Phil Steele Publications National
John Wagner Toledo Blade Mid-American
Jon Wilner San Jose Mercury News Pac-12