Hill, Ficken Earn Big Ten Weekly Honors

Mike Pettigano

The senior defensive tackle and sophomore placekicker both earn conference honors for their performances in this weekend's victory over Wisconsin.

Penn State has made the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Week award its own over the past year, so it makes all the sense in the world that a Nittany Lion would close out the season by receiving conference accolades once again. The Big Ten even decided to give us a special teams award as well.

Jordan Hill, the senior defensive tackle out of Steelton, had a career day on Senior Day, compiling 12 tackles which including three for losses as well as two of the Nittany Lions' three sacks on the day to win defensive player of the week honors. Eight of those tackles came in the fourth quarter or overtime of Penn State's 24-21 victory.

Hill finishes the season with 64 tackles (8.5 TFL), 4.5 sacks, an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

This week marks the fifth time this season that a Penn State player has taken home defensive honors from the conference. Hill has won twice (Iowa, Wisconsin) as did Michael Mauti (Navy, Illinois). Gerald Hodges also won for his performance against Northwestern.

Freshman Deon Barnes took home Freshman of the Week honors for his defensive play against Navy as well.

No word yet from the Big Ten if they have decided to change the name of the defensive award permanently.

Additionally, much-maligned kicker Sam Ficken was honored for his performance on Saturday when he went 3-for-3 on field goal attempts, including the game-winner in overtime. After a horrid start to the year, including the 1-for-5 clip against Virginia, Ficken ended the season with 10 straight makes, none bigger than his final kick to help put the Badgers away and get Penn State their eighth and final win of the season.

Other Award Winners:

Offensive: Robert Marve, Purdue

Freshman: Frankie Williams, Purdue


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