Ohio State is Cheez-It National Team of the Week

DALLAS (FWAA) – It doesn’t get much closer, and it doesn’t get much better than the Ohio State Buckeyes' 17-14 win at Notre Dame on Saturday. The No. 6 Buckeyes scored on their final play from a yard out, esssentially walking off past the No. 9 Fighting Irish in a memorable rally in primetime. For completing what was a 15-play, 65-yard drive to rally and win, the Buckeyes (4-0) are the Cheez-It National Team of the Week, as selected by the All-America Committee of the Football Writers Association of America.

DeaMonte Trayanum scored the game-winner to rally past what was a Notre Dame 14-10 lead halfway through the fourth quarter. Taking the ball with 8:22 left, Ohio State drove deep into Irish territory on its next possession but turned the ball over on downs. The Buckeyes got the ball back with under 90 seconds to play and drove to the Notre Dame 1-yard line with seven seconds left following a 21-yard completion to Emeka Egbuka.  

Two plays later Trayanum ran up the middle for the game-winner. Buckeyes quarterback Kyle McCord finished 21-of-37 passing for 240 yards, including the clutch connection with Egbuka, one of three clutch throws on third- or fourth-down on the final drive. Egbuka led OSU receivers with seven catches for 96 yards. TreVeyon Henderson led the Ohio State run game with 104 yards on 14 carries and a score. Lathan Ransom paced the defense with 13 tackles, including seven solos. 

“At the end of the day, you either get the yard or you don’t,” Trayanum said in a post-game presser.

Ohio State swept the home-and-home series – the Buckeyes won last year, 20-10 – and has now own six straight games against Notre Dame going back to 1995. The Buckeyes’ defense that has given up only 34 points in four games is currently tied for the second-best scoring defense in the FBS (with Oklahoma), giving up 8.5 points per game. 

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 Ohio State’s sixth national team of the week honor. The Buckeyes are idle this coming weekend.

The other National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Sept. 23 were:

  • Florida State (4-0): In another of the day’s feature games, the Seminoles won in Clemson’s Death Valley 31-24 in overtime, snapping a seven-game losing streak to the Tigers. Quarterback Jordan Travis lofted a perfect pass to a leaping Keon Coleman just over the goal line for a 24-yard touchdown catch on the opening possession. The Seminoles then held Clemson out of the end zone on downs. Clemson missed a 20-yard field goal with 1:45 left that would have given it the lead.
  • Oregon (4-0): The No. 10 Ducks erupted for a 35-0 halftime lead and commanded the game throughout in a 42-6 demolishing of No. 19 Colorado before a sold out Autzen Stadium. At halftime, Oregon had more first downs (22) than Colorado had total yards (21) and the Ducks held a 481-72 advantage in total yards at the break following the third quarter. Oregon had seven sacks and only gave up a score with 2:51 left.

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Florida Citrus Sports is a not-for-profit event management organization dedicated to positively impacting the Orlando region while enhancing the quality of life in Central Florida through world-class events, including the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl, the Pop-Tarts Bowl, the Florida Blue Florida Classic, the Camping World Kickoff and the FC Series. For more information, visit FloridaCitrusSports.com.

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 tiger@fwaa.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