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Penn State Football: The Other Guy Awards

by on November 10, 2015 6:00 AM
University Park, PA

Penn State football has finally hit the bye week and if it feels like it was later this year than ever before you'd almost be correct.

In this case the bye is "just" the latest first-bye date for the Nittany Lions since 1958 when Penn State's only bye came on Nov. 22.

So a few days shy from a record, but still pretty far into the season.

With just two games left to go in the regular season and a bowl game after that, it's far too late to hand out midseason awards during the bye week.

Instead, it's time to take a look at three players who are getting a bit overlooked as the season goes a long. No Saquon Barkley on this list, this is all about the other guys.

 

OFFENSE: Brandon Polk

  • 13 carries for 130 yards, 5 catches for 56 yards. 2 total TDs, 140 return yards.

Polk hasn't exactly gone unnoticed with his patented jet-sweep but at the same time fan's frustrations with the predictability of the play overshadow his general success running it. All in all only four players have more all purpose yards than him this season and his rushing average clocks in at a whopping 9.2 yards an attempt on 13 carries. Sure, maybe it's a bit predictable, but it works more often than it doesn't. In an offense looking for any way it can find to get first downs, no reason to knock a weapon that works. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. And Polk certainly looks plenty good to go. If nothing else, he's performing extremely well for a true freshman. That leaves Penn State with plenty of time to find new ways to use his speed.

*Honorable mention: Nick Scott


DEFENSE: Trevor Williams

  • 27 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 INT, 2 BU, 3 PD.

Williams is far from unknown but after being a point of frustration for many fans over the years but Williams has been a steady rock for Penn State at the corner position starting 10 games and coming up with 27 tackles, three for a loss, along with an interception and five total passes defended. His 17 solo tackles also ranks the best among the most active corners on the team. Maybe Williams isn't getting the press like some of his harder hitting counterparts, but he's not a conversation piece and that says a lot about the strides he has made this season.

*Honorable mention: John Reid


SPECIAL TEAMS: Manny Bowen

  • 15 tackles, 1 Fumble Recovery.

It can be hard to get hyped up for special teams but Manny Bowen is a wrecking ball on kick off coverage. Fifteen tackles and a recovered fumble might not light up the box score but watch Bowen when he's on the field and it's worth your time. For a unit that hasn't exactly glowed with greatness this season, Bowen has been easily one of the bright spots.

*Honorable mention: Koa Farmer



Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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