After his stellar two-interception, one-forced fumble, .5-sack, six-tackle performance yesterday, senior linebacker (and everyone's favorite crush du jour) Michael Mauti was named the Walter Camp Football Foundation Defensive Player of the Week today.
After a performance against Temple last week that landed him on the Bednarik watch list, Mauti, perhaps the most vocally critical of Illinois coach Tim Beckman's staff being on campus hours after the sanctions against Penn State were handed down, took that emotion and channeled it into pure dominance. According to Dave Jones,
Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase was asked if the atmosphere was chippy at any point other than the halftime dust-up where players came together as they exited the field. He responded that he had met Mauti and Jordan Hill at Big Ten media days in Chicago in July and concluded they were good guys. Then, he related this scene from the third quarter:
"One time, I handed the ball off and ran my fake. Mauti said, 'Man, I could have lit you up.' And I said, 'Man, I appreciate you not doing it.'"
Mauti also earned a helmet sticker from the Big Ten blog on ESPN.com for his performance; and also, there was this:
Our CFB Final Helmet Sticker via Twitter followers went to LB Michael Mauti - Penn State. 6 tkls, 0.5 sack, 2 INT— Lou Holtz (@ESPNDrLou) September 30, 2012
Thanks, Dr. Lou, for at least partially recognizing what many of us Penn Staters have known for a while: Michael Mauti is amongst the premier players in college football this year (Te'o who?).
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