UK's Jones, Snell Earn SEC Player of Week Honors; Linebacker Josh Allen Named Butkus Award Semif
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Kentucky junior linebacker Jordan Jones (pictured) and sophomore running back Benny Snell Jr. earned Southeastern Conference Player of the Week honors, it was announced by the league on Monday, Oct. 30. Jones was named Co-Defensive Player of the Week, while Snell was named Co-Offensive Player of the Week.
In just his second game back after missing four contests with an injury Jones turned in a game-high 13 tackles in the Wildcats’ thrilling 29-26 victory over Tennessee at Kroger Field. He added a pair of tackles for loss and a sack, which was part of a possession where the energetic linebacker recorded all three tackles to force a three-and-out. It was his fifth career game of at least 10 tackles.
Kentucky’s defense bent but didn’t break throughout the win, holding the Volunteers to just nine points after fumbles allowed Tennessee to start four possessions in UK territory. It also forced a punt to set up the offense’s game-winning touchdown drive and then held on the Vols’ final possession to secure the victory.
For the season, the 6-foot-2, 221-pounder from Youngstown, Ohio has 33 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack and one forced fumble. Jones is the SEC’s leading returning tackler from 2016 with 109 total tackles and 15.5 tackles for loss.
Snell rushed 27 times rushed 27 times for 180 yards and three touchdowns – season highs in all categories – in the win over Tennessee. It marked his fourth 100-yard game of the season and ninth of his career. His three touchdowns were each set up by his own long runs of 27, 48 and 23 yards. He also caught a two-point conversion pass.
Only a sophomore, the 5-11, 233-pound running back from Westerville, Ohio, broke into UK’s all-time top-10 rushing list with 1,812 career yards.
Josh Allen is one of 15 candidates for nation’s top linebacker award
Kentucky junior linebacker Josh Allen (pictured) has been named a Butkus Award semifinalist, it was announced Monday, Oct. 30 by the Butkus Foundation. The award is given annually to the nation’s top college linebacker.
Allen, from Montclair, New Jersey, is one of 15 semifinalists for the award. He is one of five players on the list from the Southeastern Conference, including two each from No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Georgia. Finalists will be named on Nov. 20 and a winner announced on or before Dec. 5.
Allen has garnered national attention for his play this season, already having been named a midseason All-American by both The Associated Press and Sports Illustrated. He currently ranks second in the SEC and 12th nationally in sacks per game (0.88) and third in the conference in total tackles for loss (9.5). The 6-foot-5, 230-pounder has 47 tackles, three pass breakups, three quarterback hurries and two forced fumbles.
For his career, Allen now has 14.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss in 33 games. His sack total ranks him third amongst active players in the SEC.
Previous winners of the Butkus Award include stars such as Reuben Foster (Alabama, 2016), Manti Te’o (Notre Dame, 2012), Luke Kuechly (Boston College, 2011), Von Miller (Texas A&M, 2010), LaVar Arrington (Penn State, 1999) and Brian Bosworth (Oklahoma, 1985 and 1986).
Photos by UK Athletics