DALLAS (FWAA) – What started as a game-saving
play from its special teams turned into a game-winning play for
the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets as Lance Austin
returned a blocked field goal 78 yards for a touchdown on the final
play of a 22-16 win over No. 9 Florida State. The win snapped FSU's
28-game win streak in Atlantic Coast Conference games, and earned
the Yellow Jackets the AutoNation National Team of the Week
honor for games of the weekend of Oct. 24.
at 16-16, FSU lined up for a 56-yard field goal attempt with eight
seconds left. But Georgia Tech lineman Patrick Gamble got a hand
on the ball and blocked the kick, sending the loose ball into the
Georgia Tech secondary. After an initial hesitation, Austin picked
it up before it rolled dead and raced 78 yards down the left sideline
for a touchdown as time expired. Gamble's block was Georgia Tech's
third this season and 14th blocked kick since 2013. The Yellow Jackets
have blocked the most kicks in the nation since the 2013 season.
The win was Georgia Tech's (3-5) first in ACC play this season
and also snapped a five-game losing streak following a 2-0 start.
"I was just hoping he was going to kick it low because it
was so long a kick," Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson said. "It
was crazy because we blocked it and I see it run across the line.
I go from yelling 'Get away from it' to 'Run, run, run.' What a
great play by Lance (Austin) to pick it up. He got some key blocks
and he made a couple guys miss. I don't care if it was the kicker,
he still made them miss. We were due. It was our turn. We've seen
so many of these close ones like this go the other way, it's good
to finally be on the right end of one for a change."
The Yellow Jackets' defense also had one its best games, stealing
a key interception in the fourth quarter – FSU's first offensive
turnover of the season – when Tech safety Jamal Golden picked off
a tipped pass in the Georgia Tech end zone.
Other AutoNation National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend
of Oct. 24 included:
• Clemson (7-0): The Tigers tied the school
record for victory margin in an ACC game with a 58-0 drubbing
of Miami at Sun Life Stadium, also handing the Hurricanes their
most lopsided loss ever. Clemson racked up a season-high 567
total yards, 416 of it on the ground that marked its best rushing
effort since 2000. Quarterback Deshaun Watson accounted for
241 total yards before leaving in the third quarter with a 45-0
• USC (4-3): The Trojans gave interim
coach Clay Helton a win in his debut game at the Los Angeles
Coliseum, and knocked No. 3 Utah from the unbeaten ranks,
42-24. Cameron Smith, a freshman linebacker, had three
interceptions and returned one for a touchdown. Receiver
JuJu Smith-Schuster paced the offense with eight catches for
143 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown.
As part of AutoNation's history of charitable involvement, AutoNation
will donate $1,000 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF)
in the Georgia Tech's name. 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 Football Writers Association of America has named a national
team of the week since the 2002 season. This is the first season
AutoNation has presented the award. Members of the FWAA All-America
Committee decide the weekly honor. Each remaining Monday during
the 2015 college football regular season, the FWAA will name a National
Team of the Week. Members of the FWAA All-America Committee decide
the weekly honor.
AutoNation is also the presenting sponsor of the FWAA's national
offensive and defensive players of the week announced each
Tuesday, the 2015 FWAA All-America Team and the 75th Anniversary
FWAA All-America Team. The 2015 AutoNation FWAA All-America Team
will be announced at the AutoNation Cure Bowl on Dec. 19.
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.