Penn State’s Barkley earns Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honor

IOWA CITY, IOWA- SEPTEMBER 23: Running back Saquon Barkley #26 of the Penn State Nittany Lions rushes up field during the third quarter past defensive lineman Cedrick Lattimore #95 of the Iowa Hawkeyes on September 23, 2017 at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)

UNIVERSITY PARK — In perhaps the least surprising news of the season, Penn State running back Saquon Barkley has been voted Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in the Nittany Lions’ 21-19 victory over Iowa Saturday night.

It’s the second time this season that the junior Heisman Trophy candidate has been awarded the honor, and the fourth time in his career.

Barkley rushed for a career-high 211 yards on 28 carries and scored a touchdown, caught 12 passes for 94 yards, and added three kickoff returns for 53 yards on his way to a school-record 358 all-purpose yards as the Lions subdued the Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium. The previous Penn State record of 341 yards was set by Curt Warner in 1981.

Barkley’s 358 all-purpose yards are the 10th highest total in Big Ten history. His 211 rushing yards are tied for 15th in Penn State history, along with Lydell Mitchell (1971), Curtis Enis (1997) and Eric McCoo (1999).

Barkley also set a career high in catches, doubling his previous personal best.

He is also the seventh player in Penn State history to eclipse the 3,000-yard rushing career milestone. With 3,090 yards to his credit, Barkley ranks seventh on the school’s all-time list.

 

Barkley will be back in action Saturday, when the fourth-ranked Nittany Lions host Indiana at 3:30 p.m. on Big Ten Network in the “Generations of Greatness” game.