“After the first game, I don’t know if you could tell when Nick got that first sack and I was out and I tried to come back. After that, I was limping, and I was like, oh, I felt something pop.”
After Nick Bosa went down with a groin injury in Ohio State’s third game of the season against TCU, he announced he would not be returning to the team to focus on the NFL Draft. This opened the door for Chase Young to be the Buckeyes’ next star defensive end. However, despite still having a solid year, Young was unable to play at his highest level as a result of numerous injuries sustained early in the season.
Talking to the media on Thursday ahead of the Rose Bowl, Young revealed he played through pain most of the year with a high ankle sprain on his right foot and a low ankle sprain on his left foot. Young explained that while he would tweak the injuries often in practice, he never felt he was in danger of missing a game. In some instances, like after Penn State, he would find himself limping after games.
Despite the bad ankles, Young managed to have himself a nice year. He finished the season with 9.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss with 32 total tackles. He also batted down five passes and forced a fumble. The time off before the team’s bowl game has finally given him some time to heal, as Young said he is now fully healthy and ready to go for Tuesday’s matchup against Washington.
“I couldn’t just let myself sit there and just watch. I wanted to play and finish what we started. We had a goal. I feel like if I was in the playoffs, I’d be playing, so why not play in the Rose Bowl.”
Numerous players around the country with aspirations of playing in the NFL are deciding to sit out their non-playoff bowl games in order to focus on the draft. Big-name guys like Stanford running back Bryce Love, West Virginia quarterback Will Grier and Michigan RB Karan Higdon are just a few of the NFL-bound players forgoing their team’s final game. Ohio State defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones is not one of those guys.
Despite already being projected by many as a first-round pick, Jones wants to play one last game with his teammates. He said that despite some family members and other people in his corner not wanting him to play in the Rose Bowl, he loves this group of guys and just playing the game of football way too much to not partake in the last game of the season.
Jones had a phenomenal year for the Buckeyes. He finished the season with 8.5 sacks and 13 tackles for a loss from the interior while recording 40 total tackles. He also had a pick-six as well as three fumble recoveries (one for a TD) and a forced fumble. Jones likely could have gone pro last season, but decided to return for one more year and believes he made the right decision in doing so.
“We really had an outstanding year and a terrible week. If you let it linger, then it can impact performance moving forward [...]. That game’s not looked upon lightly. It’s not like ‘oh, it’s OK, let’s move on.’ I think everybody feels it.”
It has now been over a month, and Michigan is still trying to figure out what happened when it’s No. 1 defense allowed 62 points to a struggling Ohio State team. Wolverines defensive coordinator Don Brown put the onus on himself as he tried to make sense of what happened that day in his first public comments since The Game when he spoke to reporters on Thursday.
Brown said the team made mistakes that day that they did not make in their previous 10 victories. He said that their “day one” mistakes suddenly reappeared, not helped by the fact that Dwayne Haskins had arguably the best game of his career. Ohio State’s receivers made plays over and over again as Ryan Day’s offensive scheme exploited all of Michigan’s weaknesses.
Brown will have to figure out how to repair all of the problems his defense faced before they play the Buckeyes again at the end of next season, but his job will not get any easier. The Wolverines are losing a ton of talent on defense this year, including defensive ends Chase Winovich and Rashan Gary as well as linebacker and captain Devin Bush Jr. Ohio State will have it tough, however, as they have to play Penn State and Michigan back-to-back to end the season in 2019.
Kaleb Wesson was named the Big Ten Player of the Week after big performances against Youngstown State and UCLA wherein he averaged 23 points and 9.5 rebounds. Wesson had a career-high 31 against the Penguins and a career-high 12 rebounds against the Bruins. The Buckeyes are now 11-1 on the season, and will play their last non-conference game of the season when they take on High Point at noon this Saturday.
The lady Bucks will hit the hardwood to open up Big Ten play when they take on Purdue on Friday at 4 p.m. ET. They finished non-conference play 4-5 with a pair of games being cancelled as a result of the wildfires in California. The two-time defending conference champs lead the series against the Boilermakers 46-29 including four of the last five and have won the last two games played in Mackey Arena.
The Ohio State men's hockey returns to the ice this Friday and Saturday night for a two-game series against Mercyhurst. The Buckeyes currently sit at 9-4-3, with a 4-2-2-2 record in the Big Ten. OSU leads the all-time series with Mercyhurst 6-2-1.