Joey Bosa began the season back home in Columbus, taking care of Ezekiel Elliott’s dog, as Ohio State played Virginia Tech. He ended the season in the locker room as No. 7 Ohio State beat No. 8 Notre Dame 44-28 in the Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium.
The college career of Ohio State’s All-American junior defensive end ended with 5:26 left in the first quarter. Bosa, who was suspended for the season opener for a team rules violation, was ejected for targeting.
The officials ruled Bosa hit Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer with the crown of his helmet. After the officials upheld the decision on review, Bosa walked around the perimeter of the field, passing behind the end zone and hearing jeers from Notre Dame fans on his way to the locker room.
“I really have no place to judge what the ref says,” Bosa said.
Bosa was gone but not forgotten. Ezekiel Elliott did the famous Bosa shrug celebration after scoring his fourth touchdown, giving the Buckeyes a 35-21 lead in the third quarter.
“I told him at halftime if he scores again, he better do it,” Bosa said.
The Buckeyes were already playing without two starting defensive linemen: the suspended Adolphus Washington and the injured Tommy Schutt.
“Oh, my goodness, that was a kidney shot,” said Ohio State coach Urban Meyer of losing Bosa. “I guess it was a proper call. He hit him below (the helmet), but it was leading with the crown of the helmet.”
Bosa apologized to Ohio State fans on Twitter from the locker room during the game.
“Leaving a game like that, the only thing I’m thinking about is letting my guys down,” Bosa said. “I’m not thinking about myself at all. I’m worried about what’s going to happen and whether they’re going to be able to step up. I’m so proud they did. It was awesome to watch.”
The remaining defensive linemen — Sam Hubbard, Tyquan Lewis, Joel Hale, Michael Hill, Tracy Sprinkle, Jalyn Holmes — got the job done. Except for Hale, all those players will return next season. Bosa’s NFL decision came out Wednesday when Meyer announced it at Media Day.
“I really was trying my absolute best to keep it unannounced that I was leaving,” said Bosa, the projected first overall pick in the NFL Draft by many analysts. “I had no intention of it coming out before the game. I had no idea he said that. He didn’t tell me. Apparently I declared for the draft in my sleep. I really didn’t want to take any attention off the team and what we were focused on doing, and that’s winning the game. Now it’s out there. He didn’t do it on purpose. He probably thought it was out there.”
Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.