Penn State awards tracker: Week 1
September, 4, 2012
By Josh Moyer | ESPN.com
Andrew Weber-US PresswireMichael Mauti led the Lions with 12 tackles in the opener against Ohio.With a hide-and-seek offense that disappeared in the second half on Saturday and a defense that allowed nearly 500 yards, Penn State players aren't going to get a lot of love from the awards committees.
Every week, NittanyNation will check in and update how some of its best players are faring on those lists. Penn State has four players vying for eight awards this season, and three of those four players are on defense.
No player really improved his stock after Week 1, but some didn't drop too much. Here's the list:
LB Gerald Hodges (Bednarik, Butkus, Lombardi, Nagurski): Hodges missed some time with minor bumps and bruises -- a wrapped lower right leg the team said was not serious -- so maybe he has an excuse for a performance that didn't reflect a player on four watch lists. He finished No. 2 on the team in tackles with 11, but only two of those were solo. He forced no turnovers, made no tackles behind the line and didn't take control of this game. This was average, at best, for Hodges and moved him down all four lists.
C Matt Stankiewitch (Rimington): The fifth-year senior was a bright spot for a young offensive line Saturday as three Ohio defensive tackles combined for just one solo tackle. But -- and this is a big but -- only one of the last 13 Rimington winners played on a rushing offense that finished worse than 40th. Right now, Penn State stands at No. 90. No matter how well Stankiewitch might do on that line, it'll be challenging for him to stick out.
LB Michael Mauti (Butkus): The defense's team leader was the best out of the worst Saturday, and he likely didn't drop too far down the Butkus Award watch list. Paul Posluszny won the award in 2005 by averaging less than 10 tackles a game; Mauti had 12 Saturday. The difference between the two? Mauti needs to better disrupt the offense behind the line of scrimmage. He made too many tackles upfield.
DT Jordan Hill (Lombardi, Outland): Eleven other PSU players recorded just as many, or more, tackles (4) than Hill on Saturday. He looked less like a Lombardi Award finalist and more like an honorable mention on the All-Big Ten team. Hill will definitely get better, but this was a step back from last season. No one's watch-list stock fell more Saturday than Hill's.