Penn State, Purdue sweep B1G Player of the Week honors
Neither Penn State nor Purdue were favored on Saturday.
Technically, both came in as underdogs against divisional foes, but both had winnable matchups. They just needed their stars to play like stars and to capitalize down the stretch.
That’s exactly what both teams did, and as a result, they earned all four of the B1G weekly honors.
For Penn State, Saquon Barkley earned the B1G Offensive Player of the Week award while Brandon Smith picked up the B1G Defensive Player of the Week honor. And for Purdue, J.D. Dellinger earned the B1G Special Teams Player of the Week honor and Brian Lankford-Johnson got the B1G Freshman of the Week nod.
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Barkley’s award came after a career day in which he racked up 202 rushing yards. That was the highest total for a PSU player since Larry Johnson in 2002. His 45-yard touchdown run helped Penn State jump out to a lead it wouldn’t relinquish against previously-unbeaten Maryland.
PSU cruised thanks to Barkley and a dominant defensive effort from Smith. The walk-on finished the day with a career-high 14 tackles and one tackle for loss. He held a dominant Maryland rushing attack in check and picked off Perry Hills in the first quarter.
In the B1G West, Purdue got a key win because of the rushing efforts of Lankford-Johnson, who racked up a career-high 127 yards on 18 carries. In his first career start, he finished with a game-high 182 all-purpose yards and propelled Purdue’s first B1G road win in two years.
Purdue pulled out that win thanks to a clutch overtime kick from Dellinger. His game-winning overtime boot was the Boilers’ first in program history. Dellinger, who also made a 37-yarder, had the most points (10) by a Purdue kicker in two years.