Football Writers Association of America Oct. 24, 2016
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ted Gangi
Nittany Lions charge back to stun Ohio State
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DALLAS (FWAA) – The Penn State Nittany Lions erased a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter and scored the winning touchdown on a blocked field goal return to upset unbeaten Ohio State, 24-21. The first win over a ranked opponent since 2013 earned the Nittany Lions the Football Writers Association of America National Team of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Oct. 22.

The announcement was made on "Playbook," hosted by Chris Carlin and Gino Torretta on SiriusXM Radio's "College Sports Nation." Each Monday during the season, the FWAA National Team of the Week will be unveiled during the program, which airs from 1-4 p.m. ET.

Penn State (5-2) snapped Ohio State’s streak of 20 consecutive road wins, handing Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer his first road loss at OSU, by keying on its special teams to spark the comeback. In addition to Grant Haley’s 60-yard return following Marcus Allen’s field goal block, freshman linebacker Cam Brown blocked a punt earlier in the fourth quarter that led to a Penn State field goal to cut the OSU’s lead to 21-17.

"I've been to some pretty good parties before, but there’s no party like that locker room right now," Penn State coach James Franklin said. "When the number two team in the country comes in and it’s the whiteout, we’ve got an opportunity. Opportunity was knocking for us and we needed to open that door and answer."

Penn State won when trailing going into the fourth quarter by at least 14 points for the first time since 1982. The last time the Nittany Lions beat team ranked as high as No. 2 was at No. 1 Notre Dame, 24-21, in 1990. Prior to Saturday’s comeback win, Ohio State had won 78 straight games when leading by 14 or more points in the fourth quarter, spanning back to 2004

The other National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Oct. 22 included:

SMU (3-4): The Mustangs beat a ranked opponent for the first time in five seasons, and beat a top-15 team for the first time since 1986, in a 38-16 dismantling of No. 11 Houston. SMU’s defense came up with seven sacks and held Houston quarterback Greg Ward Jr. to 241 passing yards, 100 below his season average. SMU quarterback Ben Hicks threw for three touchdowns and ran for another. SMU had a 28-7 lead at halftime and outgained the Cougars, 406-303.

West Virginia (6-0): The Mountaineers handed TCU its worst loss since joining the Big 12 in 2012, and kept their hopes of their first Big 12 title intact with a 34-10 drubbing of the Horned Frogs in front of a home sellout crowd. West Virginia set the tone early, recovering TCU’s fumble on the opening kickoff and scoring three plays later for a 7-0 lead. TCU got within 14-10 in the second quarter, but WVU scored the last 20 points while its defense posted a shutout against a TCU offense that came into the game averaging 40.2 points per game.

The Football Writers Association of America has named a national team of the week since the 2002 season. Members of the 12-person FWAA All-America Committee – plus one fan vote from Twitter – decide the weekly honor.

Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America 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

2016 National Teams of the Week
Weekend of Sept. 3: Houston Cougars
Weekend of Sept. 10: Arkansas Razorbacks
Weekend of Sept. 17: Louisville Cardinals
Weekend of Sept. 24: Tennessee Volunteers
Weekend of Oct. 1: Washington Huskies
Weekend of Oct. 8: Navy Midshipmen
Weekend of Oct. 15: Alabama Crimson Tide
Weekend of Oct. 22: Penn State Nittany Lions
Weekend of Oct. 29: Wyoming Cowboys
Weekend of Nov. 5: Mississippi State Bulldogs
Weekend of Nov. 12: Pitt Panthers
Weekend of Nov. 19: Kansas Jayhawks

Nick Baumgardner Big Ten
Kirk Bohls Austin American-Statesman Chairman
Tim Griffin San Antonio Express-News C-USA
Clay Henry Hawgs Illustrated SEC
Joey Johnston American Athletic
Steve Jones Louisville Courier-Journal ACC
Matt Roberson Jonesboro Sun Sun Belt
John Shinn Norman Transcript Big 12
Dave Southorn Idaho Statesman Mountain West
Phil Steele Phil Steele Publications Independents/National
Ryan Thorburn Eugene Register-Guard Pac-12
John Wagner Toledo Blade Mid-American