Four years after Joey Bosa clinched a victory at Penn State with a walk-off sack, another Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end put his own signature on a victory in State College, Pa.
“Chase Young comes way from the outside on kind of a stunt,” said Kirk Herbstreit on the ABC broadcast, “and played right into the hands of what Ohio State wanted.”
Young’s tackle of running back Miles Sanders for a loss of two yards on 4th-and-5 ended Penn State’s final drive. While Young didn’t feel comfortable ranking his tackle next to Bosa’s big play — “That’s for you all to decide,” he told reporters Tuesday — there’s no doubt the play came in a breakout performance. That’s been the buzz since Ohio State’s 27-26 victory Saturday.
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“Everyone says that,” defensive line coach Larry Johnson said. “Our expectation for all our guys is to play well in big games, and Chase had a great game for us. I think he showed he has enough talent to be a great football player. Right now, it’s just a matter of continuing to grow and get better.”
Young won the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week Award and the Bednarik Player of the Week award after recording six tackles, three for a loss of 11 yards. Two of those were sacks. He also broke up two passes at the line and tallied two quarterback hurries.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said Young has played through an ankle injury. He had seen glimpses of Young’s potential and said he played outstanding against the Nittany Lions.
“He’s just a second-year player that’s playing very well,” Meyer said, “and he has unlimited potential.”
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Young was a five-star prospect coming out of Dematha Catholic High School (Md.) and one of the top-10 players in the 2017 class. He appeared in 12 of 14 games as a freshman, recording 19 tackles and 3½ sacks.
Even with Ohio State losing three defensive line to the NFL draft, Young was overshadowed this season by Nick Bosa, who was earning Heisman Trophy buzz until he suffered a core muscle injury in the game against Texas Christian on Sept. 15.
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With Bosa sidelined indefinitely, there’s more room for Young to star. That’s what happened Saturday. Johnson said Young played 70 snaps. It’s the most action he has seen during his college career.
“He’s such a young player,” Johnson said. “The expectations get really high when a guy does well. There’s a lot more he can learn. But I like where his progress is going. It started in the summer. He worked really hard in the summer. He’s got some good mentors. He’s got Nick (Bosa) in front of him, Coop (Jonathan Cooper) and Beebe (Robert Landers).”
Young admitted he was nervous before the game Saturday, knowing it would be the biggest game he has started. On the game-clinching tackle, he prayed before the play. He said he does that often.
“I prayed and said, ‘God, if this play comes to me, help me make it,’” Young said. “It came to me, and I made it.”
Indiana at Ohio State, 4 p.m., FOX, 1410
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