Pitt defensive end Patrick Jones II put on a performance to remember in Pitt’s 23-20 win over Louisville, and for his efforts, he was named the Chuck Bednarik Award Player of the Week by the Maxwell Football Club on Tuesday. The honor is given to the nation's top defensive player on a weekly basis.
After a quiet couple of weeks, Jones came up with three sacks against the Cardinals, which was enough to give him the team lead for the day and tie him with Rashad Weaver for the team lead on the season. Both Pitt defensive ends now have 3.5 sacks and have been key contributors on a defense that currently leads the nation in total sacks, with 17. Last season, the team had 51 in 13 games. This year, the Panthers are on pace to top that by 11 sacks despite playing a shorter season in 2020.
The award is the second Jones has won for his standout play against Louisville, as he was also one of two Pitt players to earn recognition at the conference level. Jones was named the ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week, and he was joined by Pitt kicker Alex Kessman, who was named the ACC Specialist of the Week after converting on 100 percent of his field goals and extra points and scoring 11 points.
This occasion also marks the second time in as many weeks that a Pitt defender has been recognized at both the conference and national levels, as Weaver won ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors in addition to Walter Camp Defensive Player of the Week and Senior Bowl Senior of the Week honors after his two-sack game in Pitt’s 21-10 victory over Syracuse.
All told, Jones had a total of six tackles in Pitt’s matchup with Louisville, including three sacks and three tackles for losses. He also logged a quarterback hurry and helped the Pitt defense limit the Louisville offense to 223 yards.