Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Penn State's Deion Barnes, Mike Mauti earn Big Ten honors

Ted Roof's defensive unit effectively shut down Navy's triple option on Saturday, limiting the Midshipmen to just one touchdown. According to the Big Ten, it was one of the more dominant performances in the conference this week.

Penn State's Deion Barnes, Mike Mauti earn Big Ten honors

Ted Roof's defensive unit effectively shut down Navy's triple option on Saturday, limiting the Midshipmen to just one touchdown. According to the Big Ten, it was one of the more dominant performances in the conference this week.

Linebacker Mike Mauti and defensive tackle Deion Barnes both picked up weekly conference accolades.

Mauti, who racked up 12 tackles, is the Big Ten defensive player of the week. Meanwhile Barnes, a redshirt freshman defensive tackle, was named the co-freshman of the week with Indiana quarterback Nate Sudfeld.

Barnes, a Philly native, recorded five tackles, including a sack.

Bill O'Brien was so impressed Barnes' performance that the Penn State coach made some lofty comparisons.

O'Brien said if you've coached in the NFL -- like he has -- you know what a good pass rusher looks like. Tamba Hali and DeMarcus Ware were two names O'Brien mentioned.

"I'm not saying he is there yet," O'Brien said. "But the way he gets off the football, he uses his hands, the way he gets off the edge, the way he understands where the quarterback sets up and the way he tries to strip the ball shows his potential."

The last Penn State player to be named Big Ten freshman of the week was quarterback Rob Bolden, two years ago.

It's the second time Mauti has been named the Big Ten defensive player of the week. 

Mauti's award is the first Nittany Lion to win the award since Gerald Hodges recorded 19 tackles in a 10-7 victory over Illinois last season.

-Emily 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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