DALLAS (FWAA) – The Texas Longhorns made an early mark on the 2023 season, notching a landmark 34-24 primetime win over No. 3 Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Quarterback Quinn Ewers put on a show with three touchdown tosses as part of a 349-yard effort. The Longhorns’ (2-0) first non-conference road win over an AP-ranked top-three team has earned them the Cheez-It National Team of the Week, as selected by the All-America Committee of the Football Writers Association of America.
Ewers was 24-of-38 passing and punctuated a 21-point fourth quarter with two touchdown passes to Adonai Mitchell as the Longhorns snapped Alabama’s 21-game home win streak and became the first team to defeat the Crimson Tide by double digits at home under head coach Nick Saban. Jonathan Brooks ran for 57 yards and a touchdown and was key on the ground on Texas’ final fourth-quarter march to clinch the game. Texas won its first road game over any top-three-ranked team since 1969’s “Game of the Century” 15-14 win at Arkansas.
It was the third 300-yard passing performance for Ewers and his second consecutive game with three touchdowns. He also extended his streak of consecutive passes without an interception to 184, the second-longest stretch in program history (Sam Ehlinger, 308). In 12 career games, Ewers has passed for 2,786 and 21 touchdowns. The Texas defense held Alabama at bay to 362 total yards and gave up only three field goals through the first two-and-a-half quarters.
“This game’s not going to define our season,” head coach Steve Sarkisian said. “We’ve got 10 more regular-season games to play. I think it does serve as a good benchmark to us of what we’re capable of and who we can be as a team moving forward.”
Since 2002, the FWAA has named a National Team of the Week. Coming into the 2023 season, 284 teams have been honored, including 101 different Division I programs. 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.
This is Texas’ sixth national team of the week honor.
The Longhorns return home to Darrel K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium to host Wyoming on Saturday with a 7 p.m. CT kick on the Longhorn Network.
The other National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Sept. 9 were:
- James Madison (2-0): Trailing 35-24 entering the final frame and following a lengthy weather delay, James Madison clawed its way for a thrilling 36-35 victory at Virginia. In the teams' first meeting in 40 years, JMU scored the game-winning touchdown on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Jordan McCloud to Kaelon Black with 55 seconds remaining to cap an 80-yard drive. JMU had a balanced attack with 228 passing yards and 167 on the ground and holding UVA to just 18 rushing yards.
- Miami (2-0): Tyler Van Dyke completed 21 of 30 passes for 374 yards and five touchdowns as Miami took down No. 23 Texas A&M, 48-33, at Hard Rock Stadium. Van Dyke became the first Hurricanes quarterback to ever throw five scoring passes against a team ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 as Miami’s receiving corps put on a show. Jacolby George scored touchdowns on three of his five receptions, including a dazzling 64-yarder in the game’s final three minutes that put it away for Miami.
- Rice (1-1): The Owls knocked away a tying two-point conversion attempt on Houston’s second overtime possession to give Rice a 43-41 win over Houston, its first Bayou Bucket win since 2010. JT Daniels tied his career high with 401 passing yards as Rice snapped a seven-game losing streak to Houston and a 17-game losing streak to Power Five programs dating back to 2013.
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Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of 1,100 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.
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2023 FWAA All-America Committee
Kirk Bohls, Austin American-Statesman (Chair)
Travis L. Brown, Bryan-College Station Eagle
Ken Capps, Freelance
Angelique Chengelis, Detroit News
Brett Ciancia, Pick Six Previews
Scott Dochterman, The Athletic
Scott Farrell, collegepressbox
Bryan Fischer, FOX Sports
John Hoover, All Sooners
Mike Huguenin, Freelance
Shehan Jeyarajah, CBS Sports
Nate Mink, Syracuse Post-Standard
Ben Portnoy, The State
Tony Siracusa, Last Word on College Football
Phil Steele, Phil Steele Publications
Dusty Thibodeaux, WarhawkReport.com
Ryan Thorburn, Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune
John Wagner, County News Review (Minn.)
Jon Wilner, Bay Area News Group