Penn State weakside linebacker Gerald Hodges (Paulsboro, N.J.) was named the Big Ten's co-defensive player of the week on Monday for his performance in the team's win at Northwestern on Saturday night.
Hodges tallied a career-high 14 tackles (eight solo) and 1.5 sacks against the Wildcats. The junior also intercepted Dan Persa on a ball tipped by defensive tackle Jordan Hill and returned it 63 yards to Northwestern's 19-yard line. The play proved crucial as Silas Redd scored on the next play from scrimmage to give the Nittany Lions a 34-24 lead that would stand as the final.
“I feel as though that definitely was a game-changer,” Hodges said after the game. “Right after that we went into the end zone and we were only up three. A couple times we had them down there they were in field goal position, but we knocked them out.”
Hodges, who has stepped up since strongside linebacker Michael Mauti suffered a season-ending ACL injury on Sept. 24, leads Penn State (7-1, 4-0 Big Ten) with 58 tackles and is second with eight tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.