LB Hodges earns weekly Big Ten honors

Linebacker Gerald Hodges was named Big Ten defensive player of the week after an 11-tackle performance against Northwestern -- making the honor the third for the Nittany Lions in six weeks.

Michael Mauti earned the first two for Penn State, Sept. 17 and Oct. 1.

Hodges played a key role in Penn State's upset win over the Wildcats. He finished with a team-high 1.5 tackles-for-loss, forced a fumble and broke up two passes. For the first time this season, he outshined Mauti.

"It was definitely a challenge," Hodges said Saturday. "Every year, Northwestern tries to spread the offense and tire us out. But our coaches do a great job with the fast-paced offenses."

Coming off a school-record 704-yard performance against Indiana, the Wildcats sputtered against Hodges and Co. Penn State limited Northwestern's No. 9-ranked rushing offense to 112 yards and allowed just 247 total yards on offense.

The conference player-of-the-week award was the third of Hodges' career.