October 22, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Another conference win, more weekly awards for Penn State.
Defensive tackle Jordan Hill was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on Monday, while tight end Kyle Carter garnered honors for the conference's top freshman.
Hill made a team-high nine tackles and had one sack in the Nittany Lions' 38-14 blowout victory against Iowa on Saturday. The senior also helped Penn State dominate in the trenches as Iowa was held to a total of 20 rushing yards.
The honor is the first of Hill's career, and a Penn State defender has now been named the conference's player of the week four times in the past five weeks. Michael Mauti has won the award twice this season for games against Navy and Illinois, while fellow linebacker Gerald Hodges was recognized for his play in the team's Oct. 6 win against Northwestern.
On the other side of the ball, Carter tied his career-high in receptions (6) and set a new best in receiving yards (85) against the Hawkeyes to be named Big Ten Freshman of the Week. This was the first time this season a Penn State player has won the award.
In other Penn State award news, both Mauti and Hodges were named Butkus Award semifinalists. The award is handed to the nation's top linebacker and the Lions are the only team to have two of the 12 semifinalists.
Mauti has 65 tackles and three interceptions, while Hodges has recorded 54 tackles and has one interception. Two Penn State players — LaVar Arrington in 1999 and Paul Posluszny in 2005 — have won the honor.
"Rally in the Valley" set for Friday night
Before the Lions' Saturday evening clash with No. 9 Ohio State, coach Bill O'Brien and his team will address fans in Rec Hall on Friday.
The pep rally is slated to start at 6:30 p.m., and men's basketball coach Patrick Chambers will introduce O'Brien.
Penn State's game with Ohio State will be for sole possession of first place in the Big Ten Leaders Division and will be an all-stadium whiteout at Beaver Stadium. According to a Monday morning press release, "very limited tickets remained for Saturday's game."