Barkley impresses voters in Big Ten Conference

The Associated Press

Penn State’s Saquon Barkley is the offensive player of the year for the second straight season and Iowa linebacker Josey Jewell is defensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Big Ten Conference team released Wednesday.

Wisconsin took the other two top honors. Freshman running back Jonathan Taylor was voted newcomer of the year after leading the league in rushing by a wide margin. Paul Chryst was named coach of the year after guiding the Badgers to a 12-0 regular season prior to their loss in the Big Ten championship game.

Conference champion Ohio State and Wisconsin each had seven players on the first team.

Barkley held down two spots, as a running back and all-purpose player. He has rushed for more than 100 yards in four games, including a 211-yard night against Iowa, and caught 47 passes for 594 yards and three TDs. He leads the Big Ten in kick returns, averaging 28.4 yards and running two back for touchdowns.

Jewell, a second-team pick last year, averages a Big Ten-leading 11.4 tackles. He has 13.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, two interceptions and 11 pass breakups.

Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson, the national co-leader with seven interceptions, was the only unanimous first-team pick.

Quarterback J.T. Barrett, center Billy Price and defensive end Tyquan Lewis — all of Ohio State — and Barkley are repeat first-team selections. Price made the team as a guard last year.

Indiana kicker Griffin Oakes is first-team kicker for the second time in three years. Oakes was not on the first or second team last year.

The All-Big Ten team was selected by 25 writers and broadcasters who cover the conference.

Panthers keeping Narduzzi around

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh has signed coach Pat Narduzzi to a new contract that will keep him with the Panthers through the 2024 season.

The school announced the deal Wednesday. Financial details were not disclosed.

Narduzzi is 21-17 in three seasons with the Panthers, including a 5-7 mark in 2017. Pitt pulled off major upsets in each of the last two years. The Panthers were the only team to beat eventual national champion Clemson in 2016 and stunned second-ranked Miami last month. Pitt has also sent 14 players to the NFL during Narduzzi’s tenure, including five in 2017.

Athletic director Heather Lyke called Narduzzi a “tireless worker” and said the athletic department is “deeply committed” to helping Narduzzi and his staff help the Panthers compete at the “highest level” in the ACC.

3 up for POY honor

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, Stanford running back Bryce Love and Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson are the finalists for The Associated Press college football Player of the Year.

The winner will be announced Thursday. The finalists are the same as those for the Heisman Trophy, which will be presented Saturday.

Mayfield has led the No. 2 Sooners to the College Football Playoff, where they will play No. 3 Georgia in the Rose Bowl. Mayfield leads the nation in passer efficiency rating and has thrown for 4,340 yards and 41 touchdowns.

Love is second in the nation in rushing at 164.2 yards per game on 8.32 yards per carry for the 15th-ranked Cardinal.

Jackson, last year’s Heisman winner, leads the nation in total offense at 411 yards per game.

The AP player of the year has been awarded since 1998. Last year’s winner was Jackson. Oklahoma has had three previous winners: quarterback Josh Heupel in 2001, quarterback Jason White in 2003 and quarterback Sam Bradford in 2008.

Stanford’s only AP player of the year was Christian McCaffrey in 2015, one of five players to be AP player of the year but not win the Heisman.

COMMENTS