University Park, Pa. — Senior safety Mark Rubin (Amherst, N.Y.) made the biggest play of the game in Penn State's 13-6 win at No. 10 Ohio State on Saturday and has been honored by the Big Ten Conference for his efforts.
Rubin made a career-high 11 tackles (nine solo) and forced a crucial fumble to earn Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week accolades. The conference honor is the first for Rubin, who becomes the seventh Nittany Lion to be recognized by the conference office this season.
The Big Ten also announced that Penn State's Nov. 8 contest at Iowa will kick at 3:30 p.m. ET; 2:30 p.m. CT in Iowa City. The game will be an ABC regional telecast, with ESPN airing outside the ABC coverage area. The contest is Penn State's 10th announced TV appearance of the season, with 173 of its last 175 games having been televised.
Rubin previously was selected the Walter Camp Football Foundation Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts vs. the Buckeyes. The former Amherst High School standout led a defensive effort that limited Ohio State to its lowest point total in Ohio Stadium since a 6-0 loss to Wisconsin in 1982. Penn State held OSU to 61 rushing yards on 31 carries, 121 yards below its season average. Ohio State's Chris Wells entered the game averaging 123.8 ypg (10th in nation), but was held to just 55 yards on 22 carries.
With the Buckeyes leading, 6-3, in the fourth quarter, Rubin hit Ohio State quarterback Terrell Pryor and knocked the ball loose. Senior linebacker Tyrell Sales (Butler) shielded the ball from Wells and knocked it backwards, where sophomore linebacker Navorro Bowman (District Heights, Ohio) recovered at the OSU 38. Quarterback Pat Devlin (Downingtown) and tailback Evan Royster (Fairfax, Va.) led the Nittany Lions downfield, with Devlin scoring on a one-yard run with 6:25 to play for a 10-6 Penn State lead.
After taking the lead, the Nittany Lions forced a punt and Kevin Kelly (Langhorne) connected on a 35-yard field goal for a 13-6 lead. In the final minute, senior cornerback Lydell Sargeant (Lompoc, Calif.) grabbed his third interception of the season in the end zone and the Lions ran out the clock, improving to 9-0 overall and 5-0 in the Big Ten.
Rubin's fumble hit is one of four plays nominated for this week's Pontiac Game Changing Performance. Fans can cast their vote for the play until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday at www.pontiac.com/ncaa.
A starter in every game this season, Rubin is fifth on the team with 43 tackles and has 1.0 TFL and an interception.
Penn State remains No. 3 in this week's Bowl Championship Series rankings and Associated Press, USA Today Coaches and Harris polls. The Nittany Lions are idle this week and return to action Nov. 8 at Iowa (5-3, 2-2). The Hawkeyes were idle last week and visit Illinois on Saturday.