Bosa, Washington keep Buckeyes undefeated
One of just two undefeated teams left in the Big Ten, the Ohio State Buckeyes picked up the victory at home against the Minnesota Golden Gophers with two defensive players particularly standing out. Defensive end Joey Bosa (+13.3) and defensive tackle Adolphus Washington (+8.5) both continued their impressive seasons with big games in the victory.
Let’s start with Bosa, who with a grade of +54.1 so far this year is once again our highest-graded edge defender after blowing away the competition a year ago. He might only have four sacks this season, but he’s added 17 hits and 29 hurries, showing that he is indeed still putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Saturday’s win was his highest-graded game both as a pass rusher and overall since the beginning of the 2014 season. Proving that you can’t measure a pass rusher purely in sacks, he registered three hits and nine hurries on 43 pass-rushing attempts, giving him a pass rushing productivity rating of 21.4 for the game. Arguably the best defensive player in the nation, he’s consistently dominant, something which definitely helps a Buckeyes team that is looking to finish the season undefeated and make it back to the College Football Playoff.
Washington might not be quite as dominant, but his +34.5 grade in 2015 is the ninth-highest amongst all defensive interior players. He’s been solid against the run, but it’s as a pass rusher where he has been at his most dominant. Oregon’s DeForest Buckner is the only player on the defensive interior with a higher grade in that regard. For the year he has produced three sacks, six hits and 21 hurries, giving the Buckeyes a consistent pass-rushing threat from his defensive tackle spot. Like Bosa, Saturday saw him post his highest overall and pass rushing grade, registering five hurries and finishing the game with five defensive stops. If the Buckeyes are to run the table, look for these two defensive linemen to continue to impress.