Hodges leads defense past Northwestern

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- After playing in the shadow of Michael Mauti in September, Gerald Hodges broke out against Northwestern.

The outside linebacker finished with a team-high 11 tackles, a team-high 1.5 tackles-for-loss and -- notice a pattern -- a team-high two pass breakups. He also forced a fumble.

"One guy's always going to shine throughout a game," defensive tackle Jordan Hill said, "but it's the guys behind the scenes that [matter]. And Gerald's been a guy behind the scenes the last couple of weeks."

Hodges helped bottle up a stout Northwestern rushing offense, one that entered Saturday's game ranked as the ninth-best in the country. The Wildcats finished with 112 rushing yards -- 143 yards below their average -- and had 247 total yards of offense.

"I think our defense did a heckuva job," Bill O'Brien said. "That's a team that last week had 700 yards of offense."

Hodges' performance now brings him closer to Mauti when it comes to stats this season. Hodges now has 50 tackles to Mauti's 57, both have 2.5 tackles-for-loss, and both have four pass deflections.