Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Penn State awards tracker: Week 5
By Josh Moyer
The awards picture is starting to materialize, and one Penn State player might soon become a favorite to win an award or two.
Every week, NittanyNation will check in and update how some of its best players are faring on the awards lists. Penn State has five players vying for 10 awards this season, and three of those five players are on defense.
Two players watched their stock drop after Saturday's performance, but a few slid up the charts:
LB Michael Mauti (Butkus, Bednarik): If the season ended tomorrow, Mauti would be on the short list for these awards. The Walter Camp Football Foundation believed no defender played better than him Saturday, and it would be difficult to argue otherwise. Mauti finished with two interceptions and half a sack. His forced fumble was not reflected in the stats because it was later ruled the ball was coming out before Mauti's tackle. Regardless, this was the best game from a Penn State linebacker in a long time -- and Mauti shot up every award list this week.
WR Allen Robinson (Biletnikoff): The sophomore's video-game numbers finally ended Saturday, as he came away with just three catches for 35 yards. He'll see more double-teams in this Big Ten season, and the Northwestern game will go a long way in determining whether this last contest was an exception or the new norm. All A-Rob stock is on "hold" right now.
Linebacker Gerald Hodges hasn't had a breakout season.
LB Gerald Hodges (Bednarik, Butkus, Lombardi, Nagurski): He's a solid linebacker, but he's no longer the best on the team. He can't win awards when Mauti has outshined him every single week. He's having a good season but not one worthy of national discussion. He has 39 tackles but just 11 of those are solo; five PSU players have more solo stops. Couple that with his lack of tackles-for-loss (one for minus-5 yards) and forcing just two turnovers, and he might no longer even be a favorite for the All-Big Ten First Team.
DT Jordan Hill (Lombardi, Outland): The senior admitted last week he was frustrated about his lack of production. Without Devon Still, Hill has faced constant double-teams and hasn't been able to fight through them. His ability is allowing teammates to make plays, but it isn't helping his award prospects. He has just one stop in the backfield this season and recorded just 20 tackles. At this time last season, Hill had five tackles for loss and 25 stops.
C Matt Stankiewitch (Rimington): The center could make a push on this list if all his games were like the last one. Penn State ran up the middle early and often behind Stankiewitch and finished with 173 yards. The Nittany Lions' offense is still ranked just No. 86 in the country, though, and it will have to do a little better for the senior to get noticed. The awards committee almost never hands a trophy to a player whose rushing offense isn't ranked within the top 40.