DALLAS (FWAA) – Ohio State defensive end JT Tuimoloau notched one of the most dominant games for a defensive lineman in recent seasons Saturday in Ohio State’s 44-31 win at Penn State. Tuimoloau had six tackles, three for loss, two sacks, two interceptions and a pass breakup, forced a fumble and recovered another one as the Buckeyes rallied to stay perfect in Big Ten play. For forcing four takeaways that led to 21 Ohio State points, Tuimoloau earned the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week honor for games during the weekend of Oct. 29, as selected by the Football Writers Association of America.
The 6-4, 270-pound sophomore from Edgewood, Wash., was a terror to the Penn State offense from start to finish. His tipped pass on Penn State’s first possession was intercepted and led to a touchdown. He intercepted his own tipped pass on the Nittany Lions’ following possession. Then, with Ohio State leading 23-21 midway through the fourth quarter, Tuimoloau had a sack and forced a fumble that he recovered, leading to another OSU touchdown on the next play.
Later in the quarter came the final highlight when Tuimoloau intercepted a pass and returned it 14 yards for a touchdown to extend the Ohio State lead to 44-24.
This is the sixth time for an Ohio State player to earn the weekly Bronko Nagurski
award and the second time this season, as linebacker Tommy Eichenberg won it following the opening Sept. 3 weekend of games. Prior to that, Chase Young (2019) and James Laurinaitis (2006) each earned weekly awards before winning the Bronko Nagurski Trophy at the end of those seasons. Chimdi Chekwa (2010), Laurinaitis (again in 2007) and Bobby Carpenter (2005) also won past weekly awards.
Through eight games, Tuimoloau has 15 tackles – ninth on the team – with 6.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He has started in two of OSU’s last three games. He’s 11th in the Big Ten in tackles for loss and sixth among defensive linemen. His four quarterback hurries are second on the team, just one behind Zach Harrison’s five. The 3.0 TFL’s at Penn State ties him for the top mark in a Big Ten conference game this season and the 2.0 sacks tie for second among conference games. Tuimoloau is now tied for third in the Big Ten with 2.5 sacks.
Ohio State, ranked No. 2 nationally and tied for the Big Ten’s East Division lead at 5-0, travels to Northwestern for an 11 a.m. CT game Saturday on ABC.
Each week during the regular season, the FWAA has selected a Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week since 2001. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce finalists for the 2022 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 16. The national defensive player of the year will be chosen from those finalists who are part of the 2022 FWAA All-America Team and presented with the trophy at the Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet on Dec. 5 at the Charlotte Convention Center. N.C. State head coach Dave Doeren will be the keynote speaker.
The FWAA has chosen a National Defensive Player of the Year since 1993. In 1995, the FWAA named the award in honor of the legendary two-way player from the University of Minnesota. Nagurski dominated college football then became a star for professional football's Chicago Bears in the 1930s. Bronislaw "Bronko" Nagurski is a charter member of both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame.
Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers and key executives in all areas of college football. The FWAA works to govern media access and gameday operations while presenting awards and honors, including an annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its programs and initiatives, contact Executive Director Steve Richardson at 214-870-6516 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Charlotte Touchdown Club
The Charlotte Touchdown Club is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1990 for the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and professional football in the Charlotte, North Carolina region. Since its inception, the club has grown as well as diversified, boasting a sponsor team of more than (80) companies. The Club's activities and services focus community attention on the outstanding Citizenship, Scholarship, Sportsmanship, and Leadership of area athletes and coaches. Through individual and corporate support, nearly $3,000,000 has been raised and donated to benefit the Touchdown Club's scholarship efforts. For more information call 704-347-2918 or touchdownclub.com.