Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Penn State awards tracker: Week 6
By Josh Moyer
One major awards list saw a lot of movement recently -- and none of it benefited Penn State.
The Rotary Lombardi Award quarterfinalists were announced Monday, and all of Penn State's players were somehow shut out. The award, given annually to the top lineman or linebacker, had four Big Ten players listed but none from PSU.
Every week, NittanyNation will check in and update how some of its best players are faring on the awards lists. Although the Lombardi Award is no longer available to Penn State players, some are still making a good push for other honors.
Penn State has five players currently vying for eight awards:
Gerald Hodges had 11 tackles against Northwestern.
LB Michael Mauti (Butkus, Bednarik): Mauti's snub on the Lombardi List was the most surprising and received biting criticism on a national level. His performance Saturday didn't jump off the stats page -- nine tackles, no turnovers or breakups -- but that didn't tell the whole story of a defense that dominated the Wildcats. Mauti helped force four straight three-and-outs, and his overall performance this season has put him in the conversation as one of Linebacker U's 10 all-time linebackers. Through six games, the fifth-year senior contributed toward five turnovers, got a hand on six passes and recorded a team-high 57 tackles.
WR Allen Robinson (Biletnikoff): He rebounded from a below-average game last week to pick up right where his hot streak left off. Robinson grabbed nine receptions for 85 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He's on pace to break just about every Penn State single-season receiving record and has a real shot to be a finalist for this award. Nationally, he's near the top in every category: 15th in yards (524), 14th in receptions (41) and fourth in touchdowns (7).
LB Gerald Hodges (Bednarik, Butkus Nagurski): Hodges' stock recovered some after his best Saturday yet, where he was named Big Ten defensive player of the week. He made his presence felt early and often against the Wildcats; he came away with 11 tackles, 1.5 tackles-for-loss, two pass break-ups and a forced fumble. For the first time all year, he outshined Mauti -- and awards committees should take notice.
C Matt Stankiewitch (Rimington): He put forth another solid effort and helped Penn State rush for 161 yards, most of which came right up the middle. Northwestern's defensive tackles came away with just one stop in the backfield, and that occurred when Matt McGloin held on to the ball too long. If Penn State's rushing game continues to improve, Stankiewitch might be able to sneak in the future list. Historically, this committee doesn't award the trophy to a center whose offense boasts a rushing game ranked outside the top-50. Penn State remains No. 85.
DT Jordan Hill (Outland): The senior's hope to be a finalist improved some after a strong showing over the weekend. He's struggled this year -- and he remains a long-shot for this award -- but he could make a late push if he has more games like this. Hill finished with eight tackles, a half-sack and a tackle-for-loss. He said he didn't get double-teamed as much and, if teams start to sleep on him, he could make them regret it.