Penn State's Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges left off Lombardi Award list

Posted: October 09, 2012

Four Big Ten players were among the 25 quarterfinalists for the Lombardi Award, given annually to the top linebacker or lineman in the country. However, Penn State linebackers Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges did not make the cut.

Were they snubbed? Considering their performances through the first six games, the answer appears to be yes.

For Mauti, who has earned two Big Ten defensive player of the week awards and one national defensive player of the week honor, it especially seems so.

And on Monday, Hodges, a Paulsboro High graduate, was named the Big Ten defensive player of the week after posting 11 tackles (1.5 tackles for loss), one forced fumble and two pass breakups in Penn State's 39-28 win against then-No. 24 Northwestern.

That's three conference defensive player of the week awards for Penn State players in six weeks this season.

Michigan State defensive end William Gholston, Ohio State defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, Purdue defensive tackle Kawann Short, and Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland were the four Lombardi quarterfinalists from the Big Ten.

Borland is averaging 8.8 tackles per game. Mauti is averaging 9.5, and Hodges is averaging 8.3. Mauti has more tackles and sacks than Hankins and Gholston.

Penn State ranks No. 2 in scoring defense in the Big Ten and No. 19 in the nation.

Ex-Lions kicker struggles. Penn State transfer Anthony Fera, now kicking for Texas, missed a 41-yard attempt Saturday with about five minutes left that would have tied the game against West Virginia. The Longhorns ended up losing the game, 48-45.

Saturday was Fera's first game back after sitting out the first four with a groin injury. He had made a 38-yarder in the third quarter that gave the Longhorns a four-point lead over the Mountainers.

"The last one was not a bad kick," Texas coach Mack Brown said of Fera's miss. "It was just off to the right."

This article contains information from the Associated Press.

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