Sunday, December 21, 2014

Mauti left off Lombardi list, Hodges honored by Big Ten

Four Big Ten players were among the 25 quarterfinalists for the Lombardi Award, given annually to the top linebacker or lineman in the country. To many people's surprise, Penn State linebackers Mike Mauti and Gerald Hodges did not make the cut.

Mauti left off Lombardi list, Hodges honored by Big Ten

Four Big Ten players were among the 25 quarterfinalists for the Lombardi Award, given annually to the top linebacker or lineman in the country.

To many people's surprise, Penn State linebacker Mike Mauti did not make the cut. Neither did Gerald Hodges.

Snubbed? Considering their performances through the first six games, yes. Especially Mauti, who has earned two Big Ten defensive player of the week awards and one national defensive player of the week honor. 

Today, Hodges was named the Big Ten defensive player of the week after posting 11 tackles (1.5 tackles for loss), one forced fumble and two pass breakups in Penn State's 39-28 win against then-No. 24 Northwestern. 

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That's three conference defensive player of the week awards for Penn State players in six weeks this season.

Michigan State's William Gholston (DE), Ohio State's Johnathan Hankins (DL), Purdue's Kawann Short (DT) and Wisconsin's Chris Borland (LB) were the four Lombardi quarterfinalists from the Big Ten. 

Mauti is averaging 9.5 tackles per game (Borland is averaging 8.8 and Hodges is averaging 8.3). 

Mauti has more tackles and sacks than the two linemen (Hankins and Ghloston). 

Penn State ranks No. 2 in scoring defense in the Big Ten and No. 19 in the nation. 

-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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