Maher Earns Third Big Ten Award of 2011
Nebraska place-kicker/punter Brett Maher picked up his third Big Ten weekly honor on Monday, as he was named Co-Special Teams Player of the Week along with Purdue's Kawann Short. Overall, it is the fourth time this season the Huskers have earned the special teams award. Freshman Ameer Abdullah was selected following NU's 42-29 win over Fresno State after he totaled 231 all-purpose yards, including a 100-yard return for a touchdown.
Maher was a difference maker in the field position battle once again for the Huskers in their 17-14 win over No. 12 Penn State on Saturday at Beaver Stadium. The junior averaged 45.0 yards per punt on eight tries, while placing five punts inside the Nittany Lions' 20-yard line. Maher had two punts of 50 yards or more, including a 61-yard bomb that pinned PSU on its own 11-yard line in the final five minutes of the game. One of 20 semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award, Maher now ranks seventh nationally in punting with an average of 45.37 yards per punt.
The Kearney, Neb., native also converted his only field goal attempt of the afternoon on Saturday with a 41-yard try. Maher is 16-19 on the year, which ties him for ninth nationally with a .842 field goal percentage, while all three of his misses have come on attempts of 50 yards or more. Maher and teammate Rex Burkhead each rank in the top 30 nationally in scoring with Burkhead tied for 13th (9.60 ppg.) and Maher ranking 26th (8.60 ppg.)
Maher's other two weekly award came after a pair of wins over Tennessee at Chattanooga (Sept. 5) and Ohio State (Oct. 10).