Heading into the season everybody thought a big strength of the Ohio State football team would be the defensive line and that certainly has been the case.
Before the season began I thought the defensive line could be Larry Johnson’s deepest and most talented group during his tenure at Ohio State. With the way the big guys up front have played so far they certainly have met expectations.
So much attention of the media has been on defensive end Chase Young, and rightfully so. He is recognized by many as the best player in college football.
Young has had a monster season recording 29 tackles (15.5 for loss) and 13.5 sacks. Other players on the line also performed well through eight games but were overshadowed by Young’s performance.
With the game changer sitting out the Maryland game they were noticed though.
Ohio State had 7 sacks on the day and linemen were responsible for 5. Davon Hamilton and Tyreke Smith each had 2 and Zach Harrison 1. The defensive line also accounted for 8 of the 11 tackles for loss.
That shouldn’t have come as a surprise though with a look at the Ohio State football team stats. 13 linemen, besides the star DE, have registered 128 tackles (34.5 for loss) and 14.5 sacks so far this season.
Just as important is the way they have disrupted the running game and pressured the quarterback. That has certainly made things easier for the back seven to help in run support and defend the pass.
These players will have one more game to hold the fort until Young gets back on the field. The Ohio State University announced today he won’t be eligible to play against Rutgers but will be back for the Penn State game.
There is no doubt Larry Johnson and the other linemen are glad the DE will be back on the field. Young simply changes how offenses prepare because he has to be accounted for on every play. The game changer makes the deep, talented unit even better.