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Penn State's Mauti Earns Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week

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Sophomore linebacker records career-high 11 tackles in dramatic 35-21 win over Northwestern

Penn State linebacker Michael Mauti (Mandeville, La.) has been selected Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week after helping Penn State rally to historic 35-21 win over Northwestern last Saturday.

Mauti recorded a career-high 11 tackles (10 solo) and three tackles for loss in the comeback win over the Wildcats earn his first career conference accolade. He shares the honor with Wisconsin cornerback Antonio Fenelus.

A redshirt sophomore, Mauti broke his career-high in tackles for the third consecutive games and tied for game-high honors with 11. The promising member of  “Linebacker U.” was instrumental in helping the Nittany Lions keep Northwestern off the scoreboard in the second half, limiting the visitors to 130 yards on 31 plays in the final two periods.

Penn State fell behind, 21-0, but rallied to score on five consecutive possessions to take a 35-21 lead and lift Joe Paterno to his 400th career victory. The Hall of Fame mentor became the first Football Bowl Subdivision (Div. I-A) coach to reach the milestone and just the third all-time in all NCAA divisions.

Mauti recorded two of his minus-yardage hits in the second half, including a sack in the fourth quarter in an electric Beaver Stadium.

Mauti missed the Illinois game on Oct. 9 with a sprained ankle but has been wreaking havoc since his return, breaking his career-high in each of the last three contests. The former Mandeville High School All-American made eight tackles at Minnesota and 10 in the 41-31 win over Michigan before recording 11 against Northwestern.

For the season, Mauti is second on the squad with 60 tackles, including a team-high 31 solo stops. He has 5.0 tackles for minus-17 yards, with 2.0 sacks and one pass break-up. Mauti missed the 2009 season with a serious knee injury.

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