DALLAS (FWAA) – Alabama running back Derrick Henry ran for a career-high 147 yards on only 13 carries and scored three touchdowns to lead the No. 3 Crimson Tide to a 35-17 win over No. 20 Wisconsin in Arlington, Texas. Henry’s big day earned him the season’s first AutoNation FWAA Offensive Player of the Week honor.
Henry, a 6-3, 242-pound junior from Yulee, Fla., gave Alabama its first score after breaking off a 37-yard run in the first quarter. He scored twice more in the third quarter, the first of which was a 56-yard run that pushed him past the 100-yard mark for the sixth time in his career. His other score was on a two-yard burst that gave Alabama a commanding 28-7 lead. He averaged 11.7 yards per carry on the night. In his last three games, all under domes, Henry has rushed for 383 yards on 46 carries, an 8.3 average, and scored six touchdowns.
“Henry has had an outstanding camp,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “I think he’s a fabulous player. He usually plays better as the game goes on in terms of workhorse-type guy. It was good to see him make some good runs out there. We think the guy can be a fantastic player for us.”
As part of AutoNation’s history of charitable involvement, AutoNation will donate $1,000 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) in Henry’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 FWAA National Defensive Player of the Week and National Team of the Week, both sponsored by AutoNation for the first time this year, have been determined collectively by a group of FWAA officers and the FWAA All-America Committee for several years. The AutoNation FWAA Offensive Player of the Week has been added this season. Nominations are taken from game performance all over the country each week and then those nominations are reviewed by the FWAA, which determines the actual recipients.
AutoNation is also the new sponsor of the 2015 FWAA All-America Team, which will be comprised of 26 first-team and 26 second-team selections as nominated by the membership and chosen by the FWAA All-America Committee. The 2015 AutoNation FWAA All-America Team will be announced at the AutoNation Cure Bowl on Dec. 19.
Coincidentally, the 2002 and ’03 FWAA All-America teams were honored on the floor of the very same Citrus Bowl Stadium. Over the years, the FWAA’s All-America teams have been honored in different locations and on various media platforms during the second-longest continuous annual selection of an All-America team in major college football.
2015 AutoNation FWAA Offensive Players of the Week
• Week of Sept. 5: Derrick Henry, Alabama