LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky senior linebacker Josh Allen has been named a semifinalist for the 24th Chuck Bednarik Award, it was announced today. The award recognizes college football’s most outstanding defensive player of the season.
Allen, a 6-foot-5, 260-pound linebacker from Montclair, New Jersey, recorded 11 tackles (nine solo), including a pair of quarterback sacks, both of which caused fumbles, in No. 12 Kentucky’s 15-14 win over Missouri on Saturday. With the win, the Wildcats improved to 7-1 overall, 5-1 in the Southeastern Conference, and clinched their first winning league record since 1977.
Allen is one of 20 semifinalists, including nine players from the SEC on the list.
Allen has been a terror on defense the entire season as he leads the Southeastern Conference and ranks second nationally in sacks (10.0) and leads the SEC and ranks third nationally in tackles for loss (14.5). He also ranks second nationally in forced fumbles (five).
Interesting Allen notes:
- With 10 sacks on the season, Allen has the most sacks since Dean Wells had 10 sacks in 1992 and is tied for the third-most in a season
- Nine of Allen’s 10 sacks this season have come in the second half, including six in the fourth quarter and three in the third
- Allen is just the fourth player in school history to record 10 or more sacks in a season, and the first since Dennis Johnson in 2001
- Allen is the only player in the FBS since 2000 to have at least 56 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, five forced fumbles and four passes defended in his team’s first eight games of a season
- His 24.5 career sacks and 34.0 TFLs rank second on UK’s career lists
Allen has earned first-team midseason All-America honors from the Associated Press, ESPN.com, Pro Football Focus, CBS Sports and The Athletic, and been named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week three times.
Allen, the first UK player to earn Walter Camp National Player of the Week since 2004, also is on the watch list for the Lott IMPACT Trophy and semifinalist list for the Dick Butkus Award.
Semifinalist voting for both of the collegiate awards presented by the Maxwell Football Club will begin on Wednesday Oct. 31 and will close on Nov. 18. Three finalists for each award will be announced on Nov. 19 and a second round of voting will take place at that time. Eligible voters include Maxwell Football Club members, NCAA head football coaches, sports information directors and selected national media. All semifinalists are listed in alphabetical order by school with the player’s school, position and class designated.
The winners of the 82nd Maxwell Award and the 24th Chuck Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show presented by Gildan which will be broadcast live on ESPN on Dec. 6, 2018. The formal presentation of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club’s Awards Dinner on Friday, March 8, 2019 at the Tropicana Casino & Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
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