DAPHNE, Ala. – Quarterback Tyrone Swoopes lunged into the end zone for a game-winning 6-yard touchdown as the unranked Texas Longhorns upset No. 10 Notre Dame 50-47 in double overtime and earned the United States Sports Academy’s first College Football Game of the Week honor of the 2016 football season.
The Longhorns (1-0) were led by true freshman quarterback Shane Buechele, who threw for 280 yards and two touchdowns in his debut and became the first freshman quarterback to start a season-opener for Texas since 1944. Swoopes, a backup quarterback for the Longhorns, carried 13 times for 53 yards and the game winning touchdown run.
Texas led Notre Dame 31-17 in the third quarter before the Irish – behind quarterback DeShone Kizer’s 215 passing yards and five touchdowns – rallied to take the lead in the fourth. The Longhorns regained the lead 37-35 on an 18-yard touchdown run from D’Onte Foreman, but the Irish blocked the extra point and returned it for two points to tie the game with four minutes left to play in regulation.
The teams traded touchdowns in the first overtime period, but in the second overtime period Notre Dame settled for a field goal before Swoopes powered through the Irish defense for the game-winning touchdown.
A blue ribbon panel of 17 members, consisting mostly of former college football coaches and athletic directors and including Academy faculty, chaired by former U.S. Naval Academy athletic director and former Marshall University head football coach Jack Lengyel, selects the weekly winner of the Academy’s College Football Game of the Week Award by ballot. At the conclusion of the college football season, the panel selects the Academy’s College Football Game of the Year.
The College Football Game of the Year Award is part of the Academy’s Awards of Sport series, a function of the American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA), which was established as “a tribute to the artist and the athlete.”
Each year at the conclusion of the college football season painter Daniel Moore, the ASAMA 2005 Sport Artist of the Year, is commissioned by the Academy to render a painting depicting a memorable and pivotal moment to commemorate the selected College Football Game of the Year. In addition, the Academy contributes $5,000 to the winning university’s scholarship fund.
Fans are encouraged to follow the Academy’s Game of the Year process and compare their selected games of the week to the committee’s selection.
The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission Sports University created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call (251) 626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.
By Eric Mann
Eric Mann is the United States Sports Academy Communications Assistant