Michigan is Cheez-It Bowl National Team of the Week

DALLAS (FWAA) – The Michigan Wolverines beat arch-rival Ohio State on the road for the first time since 2000 in decisive fashion, 45-23. In outscoring the Buckeyes 28-3 in the second half and taking the Big Ten East Division title for a second consecutive season, Michigan (12-0) earned the Cheez-It Bowl National Team of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Nov. 26, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America.

Sophomore quarterback J.J. McCarthy threw for three touchdowns and rushed for another to lead No. 3 Michigan to the win and keep their College Football Playoff and national title hopes alive. Big plays became Michigan’s primary weapon – it scored five touchdowns of 45 yards or more – as the Wolverines cranked out 530 total yards, 278 passing and 252 rushing. 

With running back Blake Corum hampered by injury, the Wolverines’ ground game stalled in the first half with only 10 rushing yards. After halftime, though, they outrushed the Buckeyes 242-19 to control the game, led by Donovan Edwards' 216 yards and two touchdowns. McCarthy finished the day 12-of-24 passing for 263 yards and tied his career best with three passing touchdowns and carried the ball six times for 27 rushing yards and a touchdown. The win ended Michigan’s nine-game road losing streak in the series.

This is the fifth time for Michigan to earn this honor from the FWAA and its first since Nov 27, 2021, following last year’s home win over the Buckeyes. The other weekly honors came in 2011, ‘06 and ’03. All Division I FBS and FCS schools are eligible to be selected.

Michigan faces Purdue in the Big Ten Championship Game at 8 p.m. ET Saturday on FOX. It’s the teams’ first meeting since 2017 and Michigan has a four-game win streak in the series dating back to 2010. The Wolverines seek their league-leading 44th Big Ten title. 

This is the 21st season the FWAA has selected 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 Nov. 26 were:

  • Nebraska (4-8): The Cornhuskers snapped a seven-game losing streak against Iowa, bolting out to a 24-0 lead and holding on for a 24-17 road win. Casey Thompson completed 20-of-30 passes for 278 and three touchdowns, including nine connections for 165 yards and two scores to wide receiver Trey Palmer, who finished the year with a Nebraska single-season record 1,043 receiving yards. 
  • Oregon State (9-3): The Beavers scored 21 points in the fourth quarter and topped No. 9 Oregon, 38-34, to win the Rivalry Series. Oregon State faced a 31-10 deficit late in the third quarter. Damien Martinez’s 103 yards on the ground led the Beavers rushing attack. 
  • Tulane (10-2): The Green Wave snapped Cincinnati’s 32-game home win streak with a 27-24 road win that also secured Tulane’s first American Athletic Conference regular-season championship. The win also marked the first time that Tulane has beaten a ranked team since 1984 and the first time it won a ranked-against-ranked match up since 1956. Tyjae Spears led the charge with his 181 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 35 carries.

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 tiger@fwaa.com.

About the Cheez-It Bowl
The 2022 Cheez-It Bowl takes place Thursday, Dec. 29 at 5:30 p.m. ET at Camping World Stadium 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-It®, 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. 19 Clemson beat Iowa State 20-13 in front of an announced crowd of 39,051, with cornerback Mario Goodrich taking home the Cheez-It Bowl MVP belt.