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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - No. 2 Penn State football will hit the road this week, opening a two-game road swing beginning with a trip to sixth-ranked Ohio State. Although solely focused on the Buckeyes, the Nittany Lions hauled in the weekly awards this week, coming off a spectacular performance against Michigan in the Penn State White Out game.
Weekly Award Rundown
Following the victory, three different Nittany Lions earned five weekly awards for their performances against Michigan. Quarterback Trace McSorley earned the Rose Bowl Big Ten Player of the Week honor in addition to being selected as the Walter Camp National Player of the Week.
McSorley, who threw for 282 passing yards against the Wolverines, rushed for three touchdowns, tossing one touchdown reception to mark his 22nd consecutive game with a touchdown pass. Earning Walter Camp National Player of the week honors, McSorley is just the ninth Nittany Lion to earn the honor and the first offensive selection.
-- Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) October 23, 2017
Running back Saquon Barkley and linebacker Jason Cabinda picked up a pair of Big Ten Weekly honors named offensive and defensive players of the week, respectively. Barkley was also selected to the Paul Hornung Award weekly honor roll.
Barkley has been a staple of the weekly awards releases this year, collecting his third offensive honor of the year with one Special Teams Player of the Week honor earlier this season. Cabinda's honor marks his first career Defensive Player of the Week award.
Meyer: 'He's the best
all-purpose guy we've probably faced in maybe my career'
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer had high praise for Barkley, calling the midseason All-American probably the best all-purpose guy the Buckeyes have faced in his career.
"He's obviously a great running back but they do a good job using him and creating matchup issues," Myer said. "But his threat - no disrespect for the great running backs. You have different ways of bottling up great running backs. It's hard, especially this guy, really hard. But the fact that they motion him out and create matchup nightmares, that's what makes this guy. He's - I'd be careful to say this, but he's as good an all-purpose running back we've seen. And that's 30 years."
On the defense too ...
Meyer also made note of Penn State's defense, which executed at an elite level in Saturday's 42-13 win against the Wolverines.
"They just come after you," Meyer said. "They're very aggressive with - their defensive line, it's not a read-and-react, they're up the field and they menaced the team up north. They were all over the place."
The Nittany Lion defense racked up 7.0 sacks against the Wolverines, while also forcing a pair of fumbles. Cabinda, who led the team with 13 tackles, forced an O'Korn fumble on Michigan's first drive of the third quarter before cornerback Christian Campbell's strip sack early in the fourth quarter, which defensive tackle Robert Windsor picked up for his second career fumble recovery.
-- Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) October 22, 2017
Penn State's defensive line accounted for more than half of the Nittany Lion sacks Saturday, with Cabinda and linebacker Manny Bowen combining for 1.5 sacks. For Meyer, Cabinda alongside the defensive line is reason to take note.
"The combination of him and that defensive line, like any very good team, that's what you notice right away, is the explosiveness of the defensive line and a guy like No. 40, great player," Meyer said.
In the statistical rankings, Penn State's scoring defense is tops in the conference and FBS, allowing an average 9.6 points per game, also sliding up to the top spot in team passing efficiency defense (94.02). A total of 27 different Nittany Lions have recorded at least a half of a tackle for loss this season as Penn State also enters the week leading the Big Ten and ranked fourth in FBS averaging 8.4 tackles for loss per game.
On the offensive side of the ball, Barkley continues to remain atop the national standings all-purpose yards, averaging 211.14 per game. Barkley logged 176 all-purpose yards against the Wolverines, rushing for 108 yards with 53 receiving yards and 15 yards on kick return.