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.

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

--Jake Kaplan