Mike Hull, Anthony Zettel Named to BTN.com’s All-Big Ten First Team

Two leaders of Penn State’s stellar defense have earned all-conference recognition.

Linebacker Mike Hull and defensive tackle Anthony Zettel were selected by BTN.com to the conference’s first team, a precursor to the conference’s season awards. The first team chosen by Big Ten coaches and media members will be officially announced on Monday at 6 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.

The two have led Penn State’s defense, which ranks in the top 10 nationally in rushing defense, total defense, scoring defense, pass efficiency defense, and third down conversion percentage defense.

Hull, who played his final game at Beaver Stadium on Saturday against Michigan State, leads the Big Ten with 134 total tackles. He tallied 13 tackles against the Spartans, his third most of the year, the eighth time he’s eclipsed 10 tackles in a game this season. He also collected an interception, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery this season. He sits in sixth place on both Penn State’s career and season tackling lists, is an All-America nominee, and is on the Bednarik Award watch list. Against Ohio State, Hull recorded a career-high 19 tackles in an incredible team defensive performance.

Zettel, a junior, is tied for Penn State’s lead with three interceptions, the most recent coming against Michigan State that — at least momentarily — seemed to shift momentum to the Nittany Lions. He leads the defense with 15 tackles for loss which ranks fourth nationally, and his eight sacks is fourth in the Big Ten. Zettel, a key component up front in Penn State’s nation leading run defense, is also an All-American candidate.

Zettel’s most dynamic play of the year came against Ohio State when he intercepted J.T. Barrett’s pass and returned it 40 yards for a score. The play sparked a comeback that would ultimately force overtime. It was also Penn State’s first interception that was returned for a touchdown since 2009.

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Ben Berkman

State College, PA

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