DALLAS (FWAA) – The Yale Bulldogs gave their historic home stadium a historic victory for the ages, coming from behind to score a 49-43 overtime upset of Army to open the 100th anniversary of the Yale Bowl. The Bulldogs’ first win over Army since 1955 earned them the Big Game National Team of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Sept. 27.
The announcement came exclusively on SiriusXM Radio’s “College Sports Today,” hosted by Mark Packer and Phil Savage.
Running back Tyler Varga’s school-record-tying fifth touchdown run in the extra session was the game-winner after Army missed a 25-yard field goal on its overtime possession. The Bulldogs held Army on first-and-goal at the seven to force the field goal try. Army also missed a 42-yard field goal as time expired in regulation.
Yale (2-0) is just the third FCS school to earn the FWAA’s weekly honor, joining North Dakota State and Appalachian State. FCS teams are eligible when playing FBS schools. It was the Ivy League’s first win over an FBS opponent since 1986 (Penn over Navy, 30-26).
Yarga, who ranks second among FCS players with 168 rushing yards per game, ran for 185 yards. Many of the 34,142 in attendance rushed the field to celebrate after the Bulldogs rallied from a 28-14 deficit two minutes into the third quarter.
“For the second week in a row, it wasn’t pretty, but the perseverance of these guys came through,” said Yale head coach Tony Reno. “We continue to follow the process, taking it one play at a time. This is an incredible group of young men that has limitless potential.” Yale rallied from 21 points down to beat Lehigh last week.
Other Big Game National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Sept. 27 included:
• Air Force (3-1): The Falcons handed Boise State its worst loss since joining the Mountain West Conference in 2011, forcing seven turnovers in a 28-14 win. Quarterback Kale Pearson rushed for a career-best 127 yards and a touchdown and also threw one, and Falcons safety Weston Steelhammer had three interceptions as part of the notable defensive effort.
• Minnesota (4-1): The Gophers claimed the Little Brown Jug for only the second time in 24 years, beating Michigan 30-14 in Ann Arbor . Leidner, coming off a one-week hiatus due to injury, ran for a touchdown and threw for another as Minnesota ended a six-game series losing streak. Minnesota ’s defense limited Michigan to 171 total yards.
• Northwestern (2-2): The Wildcats opened Big Ten play with an impressive 29-6 win at Penn State, riding three rushing touchdowns by Trevor Siemian and an interception return for a touchdown by Anthony Walker. It was Northwestern’s first win at Penn State since 2004. Walker’s 49-yard interception score gave the Wildcats a 20-6 lead to start the fourth quarter. He also had eight tackles.
• UCLA (4-0): The Bruins turned a matchup of the last two Pac-12 South champions into a 62-27 runaway over Arizona State with a 28-7 scoring surge spanning the second and third quarters. Ishmael Adams had a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and also ran an interception back 95 yards for another score. Brett Hundley, returning from a left arm injury, threw for 355 yards and four touchdowns, including an 80-yarder to Jordan Payton to open the second half.
The Football Writers Association of America has named a national team of the week since the 2002 season. This is the first season The Big Game Football Factory has presented the award. Members of the FWAA All-America Committee decide the weekly honor. Each remaining Monday during the 2014 college football regular season, the FWAA will name a National Team of the Week.
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2014 Big Game National Teams of the Week
• Weekend of Aug. 30: Texas A&M Aggies
• Weekend of Sept. 6: Virginia Tech Hokies
• Weekend of Sept. 13: Boston College Eagles
• Weekend of Sept. 20: Mississippi State Bulldogs
• Weekend of Sept. 27: Yale Bulldogs
As a member of the Football Writers Association of America, College Football America staff members Chuck Cox, Matthew Postins and Kendall Webb are proud to be a part of the organization that sponsors the Team of the Week selection in FBS. Each week I’ll update you on the latest selection. The College Football America 2014 Yearbook Encyclopedia featured all of the eligible teams earlier this football season. The book is available on iTunes for just $9.99. Get a copy today. It’s the most comprehensive College Football book of its kind.