Maybe the Iowa defensive line has just decided to trade off weeks in being honored by the Big Ten as the best damn defensive player in the conference. A week after Mike Daniels dieseled his way through the Ball State offensive line and earned Defensive Player of the Week honors, Adrian Clayborn, the leader of Iowa's band of merry terrormonsters, was tabbed by the Big Ten for best in show honors:
Adrian Clayborn, Iowa
SR, DE, St. Louis, Mo./Webster Groves
Clayborn registered a game-high 10 tackles, including three tackles for loss and a sack, to help hold Penn State to a field goal in a 24-3 victory on Saturday. The senior defensive end’s 10 tackles were two shy of a career high. His three tackles for loss pushed the Nittany Lion offense back 19 yards, including a 15-yard sack. Clayborn was part of a Hawkeye defense that limited PSU to only 54 rushing yards and allowed only three of 13 third-down conversions. Trailing 17-3 at halftime, Penn State took its opening drive of the third quarter to the one-yard line, only to be stopped short on third and fourth down to force a turnover. Clayborn earns weekly laurels for the third time in his career, including nabbing defensive honors on Oct. 25, 2009, and special teams accolades on Sept. 27, 2009.
LAST IOWA DEFENSIVE POW: DT Mike Daniels on Sept. 27, 2010.
Apparently making Clayborn your cell phone background isn't much of an advantage when it comes to, you know, blocking him. Anyone who saw Clayborn in action Saturday night can attest that this honor is well-deserved; after four relatively quiet games, Clayborn exploded back on the scene with a monstrous effort that was his most spectacular since he singlehandedly shut down Georgia Tech's triple option in the Orange Bowl and made Josh Nesbitt so bitchmade he still gets night terrors from thinking about that night. Hell, one of his most jaw-dropping plays isn't even reflected in that already-gaudy stat line: a fourth-quarter play where he smashed through the PSU player(s) nominally tasked with blocking him, wrapped up poor Bob Bolden like a python, and drew an intentional groundind penalty when Bolden frantically threw the ball away. Oh, and that all happened in about 3.2 seconds.
With the win, Clayborn notched Iowa's sixth win in this category since the beginning of the 2009 season. The other winners:
* Tyler Sash (9/13/09, Iowa State)
* Pat Angerer (9/27/09, Penn State)
* Adrian Clayborn (10/25/09, Michigan State)
* Troy Johnson (11/22/09, Minnesota)
* Mike Daniels (9/25/10, Ball State)
No other Big Ten team has notched as many DPOW honors as Iowa in that span (Ohio State is second-best, with five nods). This defense? It's good.