IOWA CITY, Iowa – – University of Iowa sophomore defensive end A.J. Epenesa has been named Big Ten Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Week following Iowa’s 13-3 win over Iowa State in the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series battles Saturday. The announcement was made Monday by the Big Ten office. Epenesa was also named the league’s defensive Player of the Week by College Sports Madness.
The honor marks the first week Epenesa has been recognized by the Big Ten. The native of Glen Carbon, Illinois (Edwardsville HS), recorded a career-best two sacks against Iowa State, causing a fourth quarter fumble that was recovered by teammate Chauncey Golston. Epenesa had five tackles in the game, and added a pass break-up.
In two games, Epenesa (6-foot-5, 277-pounds) has nine tackles, including three sacks, and two forced fumbles. The Hawkeye defense is allowing just 5.0 points per game and 199.5 yards total offense. Iowa held Iowa State to 19 net rushing yards on 25 attempts.
Epenesa is the first Hawkeye to earn the Big Ten’s weekly honor this season. Former running back Akrum Wadley was recognized following Iowa’s final game of the 2017 season.
The Hawkeyes (2-0) host Northern Iowa (0-1) on Saturday (6:30 p.m., BTN) in the final nonconference game of the season. The game is sold out.