Ryan Donnelly/Land of 10
Ohio State has two terrific pass rushers returning, but will Chase Young or Nick Bosa have the edge in sacks this season?

Ohio State football: Will Chase Young or Nick Bosa lead Buckeyes in sacks?

Austin Ward

During the week, Land of 10 reporters following the Buckeyes address pressing questions on the minds of the Ohio State fan base with our daily feature. To ask Austin Ward a question, follow along on Twitter and suggest a topic right here. Check back Monday through Friday as we dive into the Ohio State Question of the Day. Go here to see all of our previous answers.

Dance moves or shrugs? Odds are, Ohio State is going to see plenty of signature celebrations from both Chase Young heading into his sophomore season and Nick Bosa during what he has already admitted is likely his final campaign with the Buckeyes. Good luck, opposing offensive lines. This might be the most talented one-two punch of defensive ends in the country.

Ohio State-Larry Johnson-Ohio State Buckeyes-Ohio State football-Rushmen-sacks-stats-depth chart-2018
Larry Johnson has built one of the best defensive lines in the country. (Ryan Donnelly/Land of 10)

As much as I agree that this will be a breakout year for Young, the pick here to lead the Buckeyes in sacks is still going to be Bosa. There’s something different about the way he’s carrying himself this spring — establishing himself as a leader, getting extra individual reps on the side to fine tune his technique and bringing an unmistakable motivation to make sure Ohio State doesn’t have any slip-ups that keep it out of the College Football Playoff again. And with Bosa in line for more reps this year — even with the Rushmen continuing its rotation up front — it’s a safe bet that he’s going to easily surpass the 8.5 sacks he posted on the way to winning Big Ten defensive lineman of the year last season.

But make no mistake: Bosa is going to have to increase those numbers just to hold off Young for the team lead. Like Bosa, Young also showed up on campus looking the part physically and boasting rare skills for a freshman. But with an extra year of development now in the weight room and more time with defensive line coach Larry Johnson, Young also will be in line for a step up in production as he slides into a starting role for the Buckeyes.

The key for Ohio State is that Young’s emergence should prevent teams from deploying the kind of double or triple teams against Bosa that his older brother, Joey, faced during his career. And that figures to allow both of them to do what they do best and get after the quarterback consistently and boost the overall sack numbers for the Buckeyes this season.

Maybe they’ll just trade the lead back and forth, providing an entertaining subplot to follow as the Buckeyes try to defend the Big Ten championship. But in the end, Bosa is the odds-on favorite, and I’m betting on The Shrug.

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