UNIVERSITY PARK - Penn State freshman running back Saquon Barkley was selected as the Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week after a 115-yard performance against Buffalo. Barkley shares the honor with Michigan State running back L.J. Scott.
Barkley provided a spark off of the bench in the second half for the Nittany Lions, averaging 9.6 yards per carry in the win over the Bulls. He reeled off 101 of his 115 yards on eight fourth-quarter carries. He scored his first career touchdown on a 9-yard run in the fourth quarter. The 100-yard effort for Barkley is the first 100-yard rushing performance for a Penn State player since Akeel Lynch ran for 137 yards at Illinois last season.
The Coplay, Pennsylvania native is the first Penn State true freshman to rush for more than 100 yards in a game since Silas Redd had 131 yards on 11 carries and scored one touchdown against Northwestern in 2010. He is just the seventh true freshman at Penn State to rush for 100 or more yards (Matt Suhey - 1976; Curt Warner - 1979; D.J. Dozier - 1983; Eric McCoo - 1998; Austin Scott - 2003; Silas Redd - 2010). Barkley combined with wide receiver and fellow true freshman Brandon Polk to become the first two Penn State true freshmen to score touchdowns in the same game since Justin King and Derrick Williams both had touchdown receptions in the 2005 victory at Northwestern.
The Nittany Lions opens Big Ten play in prime time against Rutgers on Saturday in Beaver Stadium.The contest will air on BTN at 8 p.m.