UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Senior linebacker Michael Mauti (Mandeville, La.) and redshirt freshman defensive end Deion Barnes (Philadelphia) have been honored by the Big Ten Conference for their efforts in Penn State’s 34-7 win over Navy last Saturday.
Mauti was selected Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week for the second time in his career and Barnes was named the conference’s Co-Freshman of the Week for the first time. Mauti previously earned Big Ten weekly honors after the Northwestern game in 2010.
At least one Penn State linebacker has earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week every season since 2004, including senior Gerald Hodges (Paulsboro, N.J.), who was honored for the Northwestern and Illinois games last year. Penn State two-time All-America linebacker Paul Posluszny is the conference’s all-time leader in career weekly Defensive honors with five.
Mauti led a defensive effort that resulted in forcing four turnovers, including one defensive touchdown, and holding Navy to just seven points and 4 of 15 on third down conversions to boost Coach Bill O’Brien to his first career win.
The former Mandeville High School All-American posted a game-high 12 tackles (seven solo) for his fifth career game with 10 or more tackles and second this season. The Butkus Award candidate also recorded his first sack of the season (minus-21 yards) and had two tackles for loss (minus-26 ). He led a defensive effort that resulted in season highs of four sacks and nine TFL.
For the season, Mauti leads Penn State and is No. 3 in the Big Ten with 33 tackles (17 solo), with one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and a pass break-up.
Playing in his third career game, Barnes shares his first Big Ten honor with Indiana quarterback Nate Sudfeld. Making his second start, Barnes recorded a season-high five tackles (three solo), including his third sack of the young season. He forced his second fumble of the year on a sack on a Navy fourth down play from the PSU 31-yard-line early in the third quarter with the Nittany Lions leading, 20-0.
The former Northeast High School standout is tied for second in the Big Ten with three sacks and tied for No. 1 in the conference with two forced fumbles. Barnes has seven tackles (five solo), with three sacks and two forced fumbles.
The Big Ten instituted a Freshman of the Week honor in 2010.
Penn State plays its final non-conference game of the season Saturday, hosting Temple (1-1) in the 42nd meeting between the in-state rivals. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. from Beaver Stadium and the game will air on ABC (ESPN2 outer market) and the Penn State Sports Network.
The Penn State-Temple game will feature multiple events, including a reunion of Penn State’s 1982 National Championship team and All-University Day. All fans are encouraged to wear blue for a Blue Out in Beaver Stadium, with donations being collected to benefit the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR).
Penn State football season and single tickets are available. Ticket purchases and information is available at www.GoPSUsports.com/tickets or fans can call Penn State athletics Customer Relations at 1-800-NITTANY (648-8269) weekdays from 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. The pricing of 2012 Penn State football season tickets and accompanying donation levels is the same as in 2011.
Pre-paid single game parking passes for the general parking lots ($10) are also available at www.GoPSUsports.com/tickets.
Penn State Athletics is on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pennstatenittanylions) and Twitter (http://www.gopsusports.com/ot/twitter.html).