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Ohio State football: Taking a closer look at Joey Bosa

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We take a look at how sophomore defensive lineman Joey Bosa has dominated his opponents this season.

Jonathan Ernst

Charting Joey Bosa versus Maryland

Pass Plays Run Plays Double Teamed Run Stuffs QB Pressures QB Hits Sacks
41 19 9 3 9 2 1

  • Bosa pressured the quarterback an astounding nine times on 41 pass plays. A pressure is charted any time that Bosa affected a regular drop back, whether he made the quarterback step up into the pocket, scramble from pressure or get the ball away quicker than he wanted to due to Bosa's pass rush.
  • Bosa took over the game as a pass rusher, accounting for the nine pressures, two quarterback hits and one sack. He affected the two quarterbacks on 29% of their drop backs, which is just a dominant percentage.
  • He was double teamed nine times, all on passing plays.
  • A run stuff occurs when a ball carrier is taken down 1-yard past the line of scrimmage or less. He recorded three run stuffs against Maryland.
  • Whenever Maryland ran jet-sweep, it was away from Bosa.
  • Whenever Maryland ran read-option they ran it at Bosa, one resulting in a huge tackle for loss when Bosa took the quarterback.
  • In the second half, Maryland started to chip him with a running back out of the backfield more often.
  • On one of Maryland's touchdown runs late in the game on the goal line, Bosa displayed poor gap discipline. He should have shot the B-gap but decided to go outside on his own terms. Maryland ran a play right up the B-gap for an easy score. When you have great players like Bosa, sometimes they try to make plays on their own because they have the talent to do so, rather than executing the scheme. I am sure Bosa will learn from this in the film room.

Film Breakdown

Bosa is difficult to game plan for because he is lined up all over the line of scrimmage. In the base 4-3, he can play interior defensive line and defensive end. They have also experimented playing him standing up in an amoeba look, or playing different techniques in the 3-4.

Here is how Bosa lined up versus Maryland:

4-3 DLE 9-technique

9-technique defensive ends line up on the outside shoulder of the tight end. Bosa is not the prototypical 9-technique defensive end, as it is usually reserved for a speed pass rusher.

4-3 7-technique and 6-technique

7/6-technique strong side defensive ends are known as powerful, run stuffing defensive ends who can set the edge and rush the passer. Bosa is the prototypical 7/6-technique defensive end. He typically lines up on the outside shoulder of the tackle and the technique depends on how the offense lines up.

3-4 6-technique

The 3-4 6-technique knives into gaps and is more of a pass rusher than a 3-4 5-technique.

3-4 3-technique

3-4 3-technique ends are shaded to the guards outside shoulder, looking to shoot the B-gap. Bosa has the quickness to shoot the gap and his first step is quick enough to line up in this technique, even though his power is his strength.

(Amoeba) Stand-up 3-4 6-technique

Same as the 3-4 6-technique but this look just gives the opposing quarterback and center more of a challenge to identify the Mike linebacker and gage who is rushing the passer. This is out of the Amoeba defense, where the defensive line is standing rather than down in three or four-point stances.

Here are some of Bosa's biggest plays versus Maryland:

Above, Bosa is lined up on the outside shoulder of the tackle in a 6-technique. Bosa easily beats the tackle with his quickness and keeps his hands active. He forces the quarterback to step up in the pocket and gets a hit on the quarterback as he is releasing the ball. This forces an errant throw right into an interception.

Bosa is lined up on the outside shoulder of the guard in the B-gap. The guard thinks that Bosa is crashing the B-gap but Bosa hits him with a swim move and slices through the A-gap for the easy sack. Bosa has performed this highly effective swim move many times this season.