DALLAS (FWAA) On a day filled with blockbuster
matchups and a season's worth of highlights across the country,
Seth Small saved the best for last, cooly nailing a 28-yard field
as time expired to give the Texas A&M Aggies
a dramatic 41-38 win over No. 1 Alabama at Kyle Field in a primetime
nightcap. For being the first unranked team to beat a No. 1 team
since 2008 and snapping the Crimson Tide's 19-game win streak, Texas
A&M has earned the Cheez-It Bowl National Team of the
Week honor for games of the weekend of Oct. 9, as selected
by the Football Writers Association of America.
This is the seventh time for Texas A&M (4-2) to earn this honor from
the FWAA. A near identical kick a 26-yard last-second field goal
by Small in this same weekend (Oct. 10) last season earned the
Aggies the FWAA's weekly honor after they toppled No. 4 Florida
at Kyle Field, ironically by the same 41-38 score. The Aggies' last
honor prior to that came in 2014. All Division I FBS and FCS schools
are eligible to be selected.
The win also snapped Alabama's 12-game Southeastern Conference
win streak. It was the third time that Texas A&M has beaten
an AP No. 1 opponent; the last time came in 2012 at Alabama. Texas
A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher became the first former Nick Saban
assistant coach to defeat his boss (they were a collective 0-24
prior to Saturday, Fisher being 0-4).
Junior quarterback Zach Calzada completed his first 10 passes
and led A&M to a tying touchdown and then the game-winning field
goal in the fourth quarter, finishing 21-for-31 for 285 yards and
three touchdowns. The Aggies got their first kickoff-return touchdown
in four seasons, and the defense limited Alabama to just 10 points
in the first half, its lowest first-half total since being held
scoreless by Georgia to start the 2017 College Football Playoff
National Championship Game. The four sacks by A&M are the most
Alabama has given up in four seasons.
"All three phases affected the game: Offense, defense, special
teams. We had the points," Fisher said. "There were ups
and downs and swings in that game. You knew they were going to come
back in the second half after our first half after the things we
did. I thought our defense was outstanding. Even though they gave
up yards, they had some outstanding (stops) four straight trips
right there that either they missed got a field goal, got an interception
in the red zone.
The win came before a packed Kyle Field
crowd of 106,815, the second-largest crowd in stadium history and
its highest since its redevelopment in 2015. The Aggies play at Missouri
at 11 a.m. CT Saturday on the SEC Network.
This is the 20th
season the FWAA will select a national team of the week. Each honored
team will receive a custom Cheez-It "care package" along
with a hand-crafted game ball made in America by Dallas-based Big
Game USA, the nation's leading manufacturer of custom footballs.
The other National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend
of Oct. 9 are:
Boise State (3-3): Hank Bachmeier threw
for 172 yards and the Broncos defense forced four turnovers
in a 26-17 upset at No. 10 BYU. Boise State rallied from a 10-0
deficit to take a 17-10 halftime lead, marking the first time
BYU has trailed this season. It was the Broncos first win over
a top-10 team on the road since 2001 (35-30 at No. 8 Fresno
Iowa (6-0): The No. 3 Hawkeyes took over
one of the day's most-anticipated games in the second half,
outscoring No. 4 Penn State 13-3 for a 23-20 win at Kinnick
Stadium. Nico Ragaini's 44-yard touchdown reception with 6:26
left decided it, completing Iowa's comeback from an early 17-3
deficit. Iowa's defense intercepted four passes and held Penn
State, which lost starting quarterback Sean Clifford to injury
during the game, to 287 total yards.
Oklahoma (6-0): In front of 92,100 fans
at the Cotton Bowl, the No. 6 Sooners got the wild day started
when Kennedy Brooks rambled 33 yards for a touchdown with three
seconds left, beating No. 23 Texas 55-48 on a play meant to
set up a game-ending field goal. The score was the last of Brooks'
217 yards as Oklahoma overcame a 28-7 deficit after the first
quarter, matching the second-largest comeback in program history
behind quarterback Caleb Williams, who replaced Spencer Rattler
in the second quarter.
Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America
consists of journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers and key executives
in all areas of college football. The FWAA works to govern media access and gameday
operations while presenting awards and honors, including an annual All-America team.
For more information about the FWAA and its programs and initiatives, contact Executive
Director Steve Richardson at 214-870-6516 or email@example.com.
About the Cheez-It Bowl
The Cheez-It Bowl takes place on
Wednesday, Dec. 29 at 5:15 p.m. ET in Orlando, Fla. The postseason contest is hosted
by Florida Citrus Sports, a Central Florida-based nonprofit, and annually features
top teams from the Atlantic Coast and Big 12 Conferences. Cheez-Itฎ, the best-selling
cracker brand in the United States, signed on as the game's title sponsor in 2020
as part of its season-long support of college football. Last bowl season, No. 21
Oklahoma State beat No. 18 Miami 37-34 in front of an audience of Cheez-It "Wheel
Live Fans." This year's Cheez-It Bowl will be the 32nd edition of the game and its
21st in Orlando.
All-time FWAA National
Teams of the Week
Download Cheez-It Bowl National Team
of the Week logo:
|2021 FWAA ALL-AMERICA
||Memphis Commercial Appeal
||American Athletic Conference
||Bryan-College Station Eagle
||Pick Six Previews
||Big Ten Conference
||Big Ten Conference
||Big 12 Conference
||Sun Belt Conference
||Big 12 Conference
||Last Word on College Football
||Phil Steele Publications
||Mountain West Conference
||Toledo Blade retired