The Big Ten released its weekly Player of the Week awards on Monday and a pair of Penn State players snagged them.
Running back Saquon Barkley and linebacker Brandon Smith were named the conference’s Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week, respectively, for their performances in the Nittany Lions’ 38-14 win over Maryland. Its the first time Penn State swept the awards since Daryll Clark and NaVorro Bowman won them in 2009.
Smith’s honor makes it two straight weeks where a Nittany Lion player won the defensive award as Marcus Allen was chosen last week. Smith led the defense with a game- and career-high 14 tackles. He also picked up his first career interception.
Barkley became the first Penn State player to win the offensive award since Bill Belton in 2013. Barkley had 202 yards rushing on 31 carries and became the 15th Nittany Lion to surpass the 200-yard mark.