Monday, November 26, 2012
Player of the Week: Big Ten
By Adam Rittenberg
On an emotion-charged day when Penn State honored a senior who unfortunately couldn't play (linebacker Michael Mauti), another veteran defender turned in an unbelievable performance in his final game at Beaver Stadium. For his efforts, Lions defensive tackle Jordan Hill is the Big Ten Player of the Week.
Hill triggered Penn State's stout defensive effort in a 24-21 overtime win against Wisconsin on senior day. He recorded a career-high 12 tackles (8 solo), including three tackles for loss and two sacks. Hill had eight tackles, two for loss and a sack, in the fourth quarter and in overtime, stuffing Wisconsin star Montee Ball for a 1-yard gain on the Badgers' first play of the extra session. He also pressured Badgers quarterback Curt Phillips on a third-down pass that forced a long field-goal try, which Wisconsin missed.
Hill played through pain after aggravating a knee injury in the fourth quarter and was the biggest reason Penn State forced eight consecutive Wisconsin punts during the middle of the game.
"The only thing that was going through my mind every time I hit the field was, 'I'm not losing this game,'" Hill told reporters afterward. "When you set that type of goal, at least for me, it makes me play a lot better."
Hill called the win "a perfect ending to a bad beginning." Like Jared Odrick and Devon Still before him, Hill continued Penn State's great tradition at defensive tackle and locked up a spot on the first-team All-Big Ten squad.