DALLAS (FWAA) – Alabama's defense rewrote part
of the school's record book, returning three interceptions for touchdowns
and outscoring its offense in a 41-23 win at Texas A&M.
Minkah Fitzpatrick and Eddie Jackson,
teammates in the secondary, combined for four interceptions and
all three scoring returns to earn the AutoNation
Players of the Week honor for games the weekend of Oct.
17, as selected by the Football Writers Association on America.
a 6-1, 195-pound freshman cornerback from Old Bridge, N.J., became
the only player in Alabama history (in records they have back to
1948) to return two interceptions for touchdowns in the same game.
His first pick and return of 33 yards to the end zone gave Alabama
a 7-0 lead. His 55-yard interception and touchdown return provided
the Crimson Tide's final score that put the game out of reach with
Jackson, a 6-0, 194-pound junior safety from Lauderdale Lakes,
Fla., also had two interceptions in the game, and returned one of
them 93 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter to give Alabama
with a 28-6 lead. The 93-yard return is the third-longest in school
history. Jackson also had a 26-yard return on his other interception
to the Texas A&M 28-yard line that set up another score. Jackson's
119 return yards are the most return yards in a game by an Alabama
The Crimson Tide's 207 interception return yards is an Alabama
single-game record, and the third-most in SEC history, and the most
since Tennessee had 214 against South Carolina in 1971.
"The four interceptions were huge in the game," Alabama head
coach Nick Saban said. "Three scores on defense is unprecedented
and probably some kind of record. Minkah (Fitzpatrick) having two
is fantastic for a freshman. The thing I'm probably most proud of
with our players is when we lost the momentum of the game in the
second quarter, when we dominated the game in the first quarter,
the players really responded well in the second half to go out there
As part of AutoNation's history of charitable involvement, AutoNation
will donate $1,000 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF)
in Fitzpatrick's and Jackson's names. This charitable college football
initiative culminates with the AutoNation Cure Bowl, a new post-season
NCAA football game that kicks off bowl season at the Citrus Bowl
Stadium in Orlando, Fla., and will be aired by CBS Sports Network.
The aptly named AutoNation Cure Bowl also serves as a fund raiser
for the BCRF, CharityWatch's only A+ rated breast cancer organization
in the country.
"We want to celebrate the very best of college football, while
also helping to raise awareness for the importance of finding a
cure for cancer," says AutoNation CMO Marc Cannon. "This season-long
partnership with the FWAA, leading up to the AutoNation Cure Bowl,
puts a spotlight on a cause that we're determined to tackle."
"In our 75th season of existence, this a marvelous platform to
get our players and the team of the week series excellent exposure
as well as helping AutoNation in its effort to fight cancer and
contribute to the educational funds of deserving student-athletes,"
said FWAA 2015 President Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald.
"It is very exciting to be able to help our organization as well
as others in this splendid effort."
The FWAA National Defensive Player of the Week and National Team
of the Week, both sponsored by AutoNation for the first time this
year, have been determined collectively by a group of FWAA officers
and the FWAA All-America Committee for several years. The AutoNation
FWAA Offensive Player of the Week has been added this season. Nominations
are taken from game performance all over the country each week and
then those nominations are reviewed by the FWAA, which determines
the actual recipients.
AutoNation is also the new sponsor of the 2015 FWAA All-America
Team, which will be comprised of 26 first-team and 26 second-team
selections as nominated by the membership and chosen by the FWAA
All-America Committee. The 2015 AutoNation FWAA All-America Team
will be announced at the AutoNation Cure Bowl on Dec. 19.
Coincidentally, the 2002 and '03 FWAA All-America teams were
honored on the floor of the very same Citrus Bowl Stadium. Over
the years, the FWAA's All-America teams have been honored in different
locations and on various media platforms during the second-longest
continuous annual selection of an All-America team in major college
Additionally, the AutoNation 75th Anniversary FWAA All-America
Team, which was announced in August, will be celebrated during the
2015 season. That team includes players selected from past FWAA
All-America teams dating to 1944, three years after the organization
was formed in 1941. The AutoNation 75th Anniversary FWAA All-America
Team is composed of three teams of 25 players each, with all eight
decades, starting in the 1940s, represented among the playing eras
of members on the team. It includes 56 National Football Foundation
College Football Hall of Famers. Forty-one schools are represented
on the team that was selected by an FWAA Blue Ribbon Committee after
taking into consideration nominations from the membership.
About AutoNation, Inc.:
AutoNation is transforming
the automotive retail industry through bold leadership. We deliver
a peerless automotive retail experience through our customer-focused
sales and service processes. Owning and operating 293 new vehicle
franchises, which sell 35 new vehicle brands across 15 states, AutoNation
is America's largest automotive retailer, with state-of-the-art
operations and the ability to leverage economies of scale that benefit
the customer. As an indication of our leadership position in our
industry, AutoNation is a component of the S&P 500 Index.
the AutoNation Cure Bowl:
The AutoNation Cure Bowl a
new post-season NCAA football game whose net proceeds benefit the
Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The AutoNation Cure Bowl takes
place December 19 at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, and will be broadcast
by CBS Sports Network. The bowl is scheduled to involve teams from
the American Athletic and Sun Belt conferences.
About the Football Writers Association of America:
Founded in 1941, the FWAA consists of 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 game-day
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.
2015 AutoNation National Defensive Players of the Week
Week of Sept. 5: Karl Joseph, West Virginia
• Week of Sept. 12: Kai Nacua, BYU
Week of Sept. 19: RJ Williamson, Michigan State
• Week of Sept. 26: Jeremy Cash, Duke
Week of Oct. 3: Eric Striker, Oklahoma
Week of Oct. 10: Emmanuel Ogbah, Oklahoma State
• Week of Oct. 17: Minkah Fitzpatrick and Eddie Jackson, Alabama
• Week of Oct. 24: Cameron Smith, USC
• Week of Oct. 31: Quenton Meeks, Stanford
• Week of Nov. 7: Chad Whitener, Oklahoma State
• Week of Nov. 14: Elandon Roberts, Houston
• Week of Nov. 21: Ejuan Price, Pittsburgh
• Week of Nov. 28: Tyler Matakevich, Temple
• Week of Dec. 5: Tarris Batiste, Georgia State