Friday, December 26, 2014

Hodges named Big Ten co-defensive player of week

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 34-24 win at Northwestern on Saturday night.

Hodges named Big Ten co-defensive player of week

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.

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The former Paulsboro High School standout shared this week's honor, the first of his career, with Purdue defensive tackle Kawann Short.

--Jake Kaplan

About this blog
Joe Juliano has been a staff writer for The Inquirer for 20 years, covering college sports, golf and the Penn Relays.

Joining Joe this season will be John Stuetz, an intern for The Inquirer and senior at Penn State majoring in print journalism and marketing. This is John's third season covering the Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for the Daily Collegian, the university's student newspaper. A native of Glenside, Montgomery County, John graduated from Cheltenham High School.

For Joe, this will be his fifth season on the paper's Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for United Press International from 1976 to 1984.

Reach Joe at jjuliano@phillynews.com.

Joe Juliano Inquirer Staff Writer
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