A play that’ll go down as one of the greatest in Penn State history, and an out-of-body defensive performance few could’ve expected? That will draw some attention — and the Big Ten took notice.
Marcus Allen and Grant Haley shared the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week honor, while Brandon Bell earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, the conference announced Monday.
Allen, Haley and Bell were critical in Penn State’s 24-21 upset over then-No. 2 Ohio State on Saturday night at Beaver Stadium.
Down 21-17 late in the fourth quarter, the Nittany Lions went after Ohio State placekicker Tyler Durbin’s 45-yard field goal. Allen timed his leap over the interior line perfectly, swatting down Durbin’s boot with two hands.
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Haley, Allen’s fellow defensive back, scooped the ball up and took it 60 yards to the house with 4:27 to go in regulation, setting the White Out crowd into pandemonium and giving Penn State, after the ensuing extra point, a 24-21 advantage.
Meanwhile, Bell’s freak performance from start to finish helped keep Ohio State’s performance at bay. After missing four games with an unspecified injury, Bell returned to record a game-high 19 tackles while tallying a sack, as well.
Thanks to Bell and the rest of the Penn State defense, Heisman Trophy candidate and Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett was bottled up; he totaled only 26 rushing yards on 17 attempts and was sacked six times.
Penn State (5-2, 3-1 Big Ten), now ranked No. 24 in the AP Poll, travels to face Purdue (3-4, 1-3) on Saturday.