DALLAS (FWAA) The Temple Owls gave their school-record home crowd of 69,176 at Lincoln Financial Field a win for the history books in a 27-10 upset over in-state rival Penn State. The Owls beat the Nittany Lions for the first time since 1941, snapping a series winless streak that spanned 39 games. The momentous start earned the Owls (1-0) the AutoNation National Team of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Sept. 5.
Quarterback P.J. Walker scored the go-ahead touchdown late in the third quarter for a 17-10 lead, and a Temple defense that registered 10 sacks held Penn State scoreless for the final three quarters after yielding 10 points on PSU's first two possessions. An interception by Temple linebacker Tyler Matakevich set up Walker's touchdown. Matakevich also had a career-high three sacks and a team-high seven tackles. Jahad Thomas rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns.
"I am very proud of Temple, our fans, our students, our trustees, our president. Everybody that stuck with us and hopefully this wont be the only highlight of the season," Temple coach Matt Rhule said. "The reason I believe we won is because we focused on ourselves and the players bought into that and only worrying about the next play. After the game I said, 'We won.' It·s not about Penn State; it is about us. For our guys to do that and focus on themselves shows great maturity."
Other AutoNation National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Sept. 5 included:
BYU (1-0): The play doesn·t have a name yet, but stay tuned. What for now will be called a Hail Mary pass may soon be the dubbed Mangum-to-Mathews Miracle after the Cougars scored on a 42-yard heave on the final play of a stunning 33-28 win at Nebraska. Tanner Mangum came in at quarterback in the first quarter after starter Taysom Hill went down with a season-ending injury. On BYU·s final drive following a Nebraska missed field goal, Mangum led BYU just past midfield with no timeouts left to set up the winning play. Mitch Mathews caught the ball just over the goal line, and the play stood up to video review. The loss ended Nebraska's a 29-year streak of home-opening wins.
Illinois (1-0): The Illini scored 45 points on their first 42 plays and routed Kent State 52-3 after a one-day weather delay and only days after their head coach was fired. Illinois just missed its first shutout since September 2012. Short fields in the first quarter and Illinois quarterback Wes Lunt·s four touchdowns on 11-of-19 passing helped open up a 38-0 halftime lead for Bill Cubit's team.
Northwestern (1-0): The Wildcats out-rushed Stanford 225-85 and got their first victory in the series since 1958 with a 16-6 home win. Justin Jackson ran for 134 yards for Northwestern, which opened its season at home for only the second time since 2009. Head coach Pat Fitzgerald is now 9-1 in season openers at Northwestern, and the Wildcats are 16-5 in their last 21 opening games.
As part of AutoNations history of charitable involvement, AutoNation will donate $1,000 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) in Temple'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 were 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 Americas 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.
About 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 email@example.com.