Jayhawks named National Team of the Week by FWAA
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Fresh off its 24-21 overtime win over Texas, Kansas has been named the National Team of the Week by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). The come-from-behind win marked KU’s first over UT since 1938 and snapped a 19-game Big 12 Conference losing skid.
Bending, but not breaking against the run all day, Kansas’ defense came up with an extraordinarily clutch stop against the NCAA’s leading rusher, UT’s D’Onta Foreman, on fourth-and-5 with 58 seconds left allowing redshirt freshman quarterback Carter Stanley a chance to orchestrate a game-tying drive against Texas Saturday afternoon inside Memorial Stadium.
Stanley answered the call with a 52-yard drive to get KU into field goal range for senior kicker Matthew Wyman to tie the contest at 21-21, from 36 yards away with seven seconds remaining in regulation. Perhaps the unsung hero of the contest was wide receiver Steven Sims Jr., who wrestled away an interception in the end zone after an errant pass would have sealed the game for Texas. On the second play of overtime freshman safety Mike Lee snatched KU’s sixth takeaway of the game, setting up a Wyman 25-yard field goal to knock off the Longhorns and claim KU’s first Big 12 Conference victory since 2014, 24-21.
The valiant defensive effort allowed the Jayhawks (2-9, 1-7 Big 12), who were down by 11 points in the fourth quarter to Texas (5-6, 3-5 Big 12), an opportunity to send the game to an extra period and eventually win the contest. The defense scored the team’s first touchdown and secured four of its six total turnovers on four-straight possessions in the second quarter as five Jayhawk defenders recorded 11 or more tackles—led by sophomore defense end Dorance Armstrong Jr., who contributed a career-best 11 total tackles (9 solos) 2.0 sacks, 3.0 TFLs a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in the win.
The Football Writers Association of America’s National Team of the Week was created as part of the Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll in 2002. Since then, it has been awarded each Monday during the regular season by various committees that have included members of the FWAA All-America Committee, the association’s board of directors and its past presidents. Kansas has won the award on two previous occasions: following a win over Missouri on Nov. 29, 2008 and following a road win at Texas A&M on Oct. 27, 2007.
In addition to being named National Team of the Week by the FWAA, Armstrong and Wyman picked up weekly awards by the Big 12 Conference following the win over Texas.
UP NEXT: Kansas closes out the regular season when the Jayhawks travel to in-state rival Kansas State, Saturday, November 26. Kickoff against the Wildcats in the Dillons Sunflower Showdown is slated for 11 a.m., with the broadcast designated to FOX Sports 1.
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