FWAA AutoNation Team of the week
FWAA AutoNation Team of the week

Rebels win in Tuscaloosa for first time since 1988

 DALLAS (FWAA) – The Ole Miss Rebels beat Alabama on its home field for the first time since 1988, forcing five turnovers that led to 24 points in a thrilling 43-37 win in Tuscaloosa. Beating Alabama in consecutive years for the first time in the 60-game series earned the Rebels (3-0) the AutoNation National Team of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Sept. 19.

Junior quarterback Chad Kelly threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 21 yards and another score in handing Alabama its first home loss in three seasons. Senior wide receiver Cody Core caught four passes for a career-high 123 yards, including a 73-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter that put the Rebels ahead by 14 points.

“Oh man, what a game,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said. “It was definitely a four-quarter battle. We thought we had it put away a couple of times, and they just wouldn’t go away. The great thing about it is we can improve so much from this. Hopefully, we’ll take all the positives from it and be excited about the win, but look at everything that we didn’t do properly and get better for next week.”

This was the Rebels’ second straight win over a top-five team. Ole Miss beat No. 4 Mississippi State 31-17 last year. Ole Miss also scored at least 43 points for a third consecutive game, the first time that has happened in school history. The Rebels were perfect in the red zone (4-for-4, 2 touchdowns, 2 field goals) and remain perfect on the season at 15-for-15 (12 touchdowns, three field goals). Kelly has now accounted for 12 total touchdowns this season.

Other AutoNation National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Sept. 19 included:

Stanford (2-1): The Cardinal overcame an 11-point second-quarter deficit and outscored USC 31-10 the rest of the way, topping the 6th-ranked Trojans 41-31 in Los Angeles. Remound Wright scored three touchdowns and Kevin Hogan passed for 279 yards on an 18-for-23 night, and the teams combined for 901 yards.

As part of AutoNation’s history of charitable involvement, AutoNation will donate $1,000 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) in the University of Mississippi’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 we’re 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 America’s 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 tiger@fwaa.com.

2015 AutoNation National Teams of the Week
• Weekend of Sept. 5: Temple Owls
• Weekend of Sept. 12: Toledo Rockets
• Weekend of Sept. 19: Ole Miss Rebels