Penn State senior linebacker Gerald Hodges has earned his third career Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honor.

Hodges led Penn State's defensive effort Saturday in handing then-No. 24 Northwestern its first loss.

A candidate for the Bednarik and Butkus Awards and the Nagurski Trophy, Hodges' selection marks the third time in the past four weeks a Nittany Lion has been selected the conference's top defensive player, with fellow linebacker Michael Mauti earning the honor after the Navy and Illinois games.

A 2011 first-team All-Big Ten selection, Hodges recorded a season-high-tying 11 tackles, with 11/2 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and two pass break-ups in the 39-28 win over the Wildcats. Hodges ended any comeback hopes by the Wildcats late in the game by forcing a fumble that was recovered by freshman cornerback Da'Quan Davis.

Hodges led a PSU defense that held Northwestern to season-lows in total yards (247), rushing yards (112) and first downs (14), one week after the Wildcats logged a school record 704 yards of total offense, as well as 394 rushing yards and 36 first downs, in a win over Indiana.