Josey Jewell earns Big Ten honor, moves up Iowa's tackles list

Chad Leistikow
Hawk Central

Josey Jewell continues to march toward all-conference and all-American honors. 

Iowa senior linebacker Josey Jewell celebrates after intercepting a Penn State pass on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City.

On Monday, the fierce Iowa linebacker picked up his second weekly award from the Big Ten Conference in four games.

Jewell was named co-Big Ten defensive player of the week after matching a career high with 16 tackles in Iowa's 21-19 home loss to No. 4 Penn State.

On the other side of the ball, Penn State running back Saquon Barkley was named the Big Ten's offensive player of the week after piling up 358 all-purpose yards (including 211 rushing on 28 carries and 94 receiving on 12 catches) against the Hawkeyes.

How does an Iowa player win a defensive award when the team gives up 579 yards?

Well, Jewell was everywhere. In addition to the tackle total, Jewell posted a career high in tackles for loss (three) while also batting down two passes, recovering a fumble that was forced by A.J. Epenesa and returning a Trace McSorley interception 33 yards to set up the Hawkeyes' first touchdown.

That play might be the clip that gets shown on Jewell's postseason highlight reel. After picking off the pass, the preseason AP first-team all-American weaved through traffic to Penn State's 21, then replicated McSorley's signature celebration – a home-run-like swing of his arms and putting his right hand on his forehead as if to watch it fly.

“It was a good team game," Jewell said afterward. "But they came out, and they beat us.”

Jewell also picked up the Big Ten (and national) weekly award following Iowa's 24-3, season-opening win against Wyoming. He leads the Hawkeyes with 42 tackles and this week moved past Aaron Kampman for No. 12 on Iowa's all-time list with 343. The Decorah native needs six more to pass legendary safety Bob Sanders (348) and crack the all-time top 10. 

The Hawkeyes (3-1 overall, 0-1 Big Ten) face Michigan State (2-1, 0-0) at 3 p.m CT Saturday in East Lansing, Michigan. The Spartans are listed as an early 3½-point favorite. Fox will televise the game.