Utah is AutoNation National Team of the Week

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

 Utah Utes RB Devontae Booker & LB Jared Norris at Pac-12 Media Day. Photo by Jevone Moore
Utah Utes RB Devontae Booker & LB Jared Norris at Pac-12 Media Day. Photo by Jevone Moore

Utes blast Oregon in Eugene  

 DALLAS (FWAA) – The Utah Utes won their first Pac-12 opener since joining the conference in 2011 in a big way, and made a national statement as well in a dominating 62-20 win at No. 13 Oregon. The Utes are 4-0 for the first time since 2010, and have earned the AutoNation National Team of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Sept. 26.

Quarterback Trevor Wilson threw for 227 yards on 18-of-30 passing with four touchdowns, and also tallied 100 rushing yards and another touchdown as Utah (4-0, 1-0) racked up the most points its scored against a Pac-12 opponent in its five-year league history, and it was also the most points the Ducks have ever allowed in Eugene. Devontae Booker had 98 rushing yards on 22 carries and also threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Britain Covey.

“This is great momentum for us going into the bye week. For right now, this is where we want to be,” Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said. “This should definitely give us some confidence and buy-in. They really controlled the game from start to finish. It really speaks well to how our guys prepared and the type of personnel we’ve been able to assemble. This program is not easy. It’s a tough program to be a part of, but if you do it the right way then you’re going to have good results and tonight is one of those nights.”

Utah scored on five consecutive drives to gain a 27-13 halftime lead, then scored on its first four series of the second half to tally 42 unanswered points and a 62-13 lead. The Utes held Oregon to 18 rushing yards in the second half.

Other AutoNation National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Sept. 26 included:

Michigan (3-1): The Wolverines earned their first shutout win since 2012 with a dominating defensive showing, holding BYU to just 105 total yards and eight first downs in a 31-0 win. Michigan scored on five consecutive drives in the first half for all of its points.

UCLA (4-0): The Bruins won their Pac-12 opener in convincing fashion, 56-30, at Arizona. True freshman Josh Rosen threw for 284 yards and accounted for three touchdowns, and Paul Perkins added 85 rushing yards and three first-half touchdowns to put UCLA in control by intermission, 42-14.

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 Utah’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
• Weekend of Sept. 26: Utah Utes