Football Writers Association of America Sept. 18, 2017
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ted Gangi
Huskies use defense to shock Huskers in Lincoln
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DALLAS (FWAA) The NIU Huskies went into Lincoln and upset Nebraska, 21-17, rallying late with the winning touchdown coming in between two defensive stops in the final six minutes. For a fourth win in its last five games against Big Ten teams, NIU has earned the Football Writers Association of America National Team of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Sept. 16.

The announcement came on "Off Campus with Mark Packer" on ESPNU Radio on SiriusXM. Each Monday during the season, the FWAA National Team of the Week will be unveiled during the program, which airs weekdays from 4-7 p.m. ET.

The NIU defense spotted the Huskies a 14-0 lead, as Shawun Lurry (87 yards) and Jawuan Johnson (25 yards) returned first-quarter interceptions for touchdowns. The Huskies also came up with a fourth-down stop to set up the winning drive, and another interception late in the fourth quarter sealed the win.

"We were able to make enough plays offensively to win the game in the end, and the defense set the tone for the entire team the entire day," head coach Rod Carey said. "[Defense] got us out to a 14-0 lead, and we really fed off that energy."

Jordan Huff led the Huskies (2-1) with 105 rushing yards on 16 carries and a touchdown.

This was the Huskies' sixth win in their last 10 games against Big Ten opponents since 2009, and NIU's first time to earn National Team of the Week honors.

The other National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Sept. 16 were:

Memphis (2-0): The Tigers pulled off an upset of a ranked team for a third straight season as Riley Ferguson threw for 398 yards and a career-high-tying six touchdowns in a 48-45 win over UCLA. The game featured six lead changes and 861 combined passing yards.

Mississippi State (3-0): The Bulldogs beat LSU in Starkville for the first time since 1999, scoring 30 straight points in a 37-7 win. It was MSU's largest margin of victory over LSU in the 111-game series and its largest margin of victory over a ranked opponent since 1942. The Bulldogs are 3-0 for the first time since 2014.

San Diego State (3-0): Christian Chapman hit David Wells on an eight-yard touchdown pass with 54 seconds left as SDSU beat Stanford, 20-17. It was the Aztecs' first win over a ranked opponent at home since 2010, and gives them three straight wins against Pac-12 teams.

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

2017 National Teams of the Week
Weekend of Sept. 2: UCLA Bruins
Weekend of Sept. 9: Oklahoma Sooners
Weekend of Sept. 16: NIU Huskies
Weekend of Sept. 23: TCU Horned Frogs
Weekend of Sept. 30: Troy Trojans
Weekend of Oct. 7: Iowa State Cyclones
Weekend of Oct. 14: Syracuse Orange
Weekend of Oct. 21: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Weekend of Oct. 28: Arizona Wildcats
Weekend of Nov. 4: Iowa Hawkeyes
Weekend of Nov. 11: Auburn Tigers
Weekend of Nov. 18: Kansas State Wildcats
Weekend of Nov. 25: Pitt Panthers

Kirk Bohls Austin American-Statesman National
Ken Capps C-USA
Tim Griffin Cox Communications Big12
Clay Henry Hawgs Illustrated SEC
Joey Johnston FanRag Sports American Athletic
Bobby La Gesse Land of 10 Big Ten
Stefanie Loh Seattle Times Pac-12
Nate Mink Syracuse Post-Standard ACC
Matt Roberson Jonesboro Sun Sun Belt
Phil Steele Phil Steele Publications Independents/Mountain West
John Wagner Toledo Blade Mid-American