Ohio State Football: It appears the ‘Rushmen’ are even better this year


With three outstanding defensive ends from last year’s Ohio State football team moving on many thought the pass rush wouldn’t be as strong. No worries there.

One group on the Ohio State football team you may have thought would have taken a hit this season would have been the ‘Rushmen’. That certainly hasn’t been the case and the pass rushers this year may even be better than the talented group last year.

How could that be the case with defensive ends Tyquan Lewis, Sam Hubbard and Jalyn Holmes moving on to the NFL? Well, defensive line coach Larry Johnson has the best defensive end in the country, a three technique tackle who plays like a DE and extremely talented players on the edge who have been waiting for their opportunities.

And coach Johnson is allowing them to pin their ears back and attack the quarterback.

If you watched the first three games of the season I’m sure you have been impressed with the Ohio State pass rush. After checking out the numbers the Rushmen have put up so far during the first quarter of the regular season, you may be even more so.

Let’s first take a look at the defensive ends beginning with last year’s Big Ten Lineman of the Year.

Nick Bosa: While he sat out during the end of two blowout wins the first two games, and the second half of the TCU game after suffering an injury in the second quarter, Bosa still has 4 sacks and 6 tackles for loss. When he isn’t sacking the quarterback he is making him nervous in the pocket expecting to be drilled by the ‘Little Bear’.

Chase Young: This former 5 star recruit has lived up to his billing. His 2 sacks don’t tell the whole story as he is constantly pressuring the quarterback. Often it seems like it’s a race between Young and Bosa to see who can get to the QB first.

Jonathon Cooper: The No. 3 ranked weak side DE in the 2016 recruiting class got his first sack of the season Saturday. Expect more to come.

Now for the tackle who will probably play end on Sundays.

Dre’Mont Jones: The senior had 6 tackles, two for a loss and a sack vs. TCU. Oh yeah, he also returned an interception 28 yards for a touchdown. For the season, Jones has 3 sacks and 4 tackles for a loss.

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I took considerable heat when I wrote the article titled “Could the ‘Rushmen’ be even better this year?”. I now think they may be.

If the four Rushmen on this year’s team stay on the pace they are on they will end up with 40 sacks by the end of the regular season. Last year’s five Rushmen had 25.5 and the defensive line only totaled 32 overall. And that was in 14 games.

Who knows how the rest of the season will play out when other talented defensive linemen get more involved in the pass rush. I expect opposing quarterbacks will be hitting the ground often.

Next. One and done for Dwayne Haskins?. dark

It’s not a surprise coach Larry Johnson has another strong group of Rushmen again this year though. I doubt any defensive line coach has ever sent more pass rushers to the NFL so he is used to reloading the line. And nobody does it better.