Bosa Shrugs Way To Winning Sack

When Ohio State needed a play to beat Penn State on Saturday night, the Buckeyes turned to their best player, and he delivered like always. There were a lot of heroes in the double-OT win, but the winning play was turned in by Joey Bosa, who as usual shrugged his way to success.

After the postgame dogpile, after single-handedly ending a road challenge that had been balanced on a knife’s edge for the better part of the past few hours, Joey Bosa did what Joey Bosa does.

He shrugged.

Me again, he seems to say with his trademark celebration every time he makes a sack or continues his 13-game streak of making a tackle for loss?

Yes. Him again.

“Not discarding anybody else,” head coach Urban Meyer said, “but you expect with as good a player Joey Bosa is, you kind of expect him to go make a play to win the game. That's how talented he is.”

There are five-star busts and then there are players who seemingly outperform that lofty ranking. Bosa is the latter.

Need a strip-sack to change momentum, like in the fourth quarter when down against Virginia Tech? Bosa is your man. Need someone to pressure the quarterback in his own end zone, leading to a game-altering interception like against Maryland? Bosa is your man. Need another strip-sack that leads to a safety, essentially a nine-point swing, like against Cincinnati? Just call Bosa.

“That’s what he does,” linebacker Darron Lee said. “He just makes plays. He makes plays when we need it, and he makes plays even if we don’t even really need it. That’s how Joey is. He’s an animal and he makes plays.”

This one against Penn State, though, the walkoff sack, might have been his best. He already had 1½ sacks on the day but with Penn State facing fourth-and-5 and a White Out crowd of more than 107,000 hoping that their underdog Nittany Lions could finish the upset, it was time for something special.

Dog tired, Bosa lined up on the right side of the Ohio State line. The tackle kicked out, the guard doubled inside. He had a free lane to get to quarterback Christian Hackenberg until running back Akeel Lynch got in the way, but Bosa had a full head of steam and threw Lynch back into Hackenberg, who crumbled under the pressure.

“That wasn’t what I was supposed to do, I was supposed to hit the guard and wrap up, but he blocked down so the hole opened so I just took it,” Bosa said. “I was tired of trying to work my way around the back so I just ran him over.

“I was so tired. I didn’t even know it was a sack until everyone started yelling and I looked over at the ball. Adolphus came to hug me and I just fell down and everyone jumped on top of me. I’m just so, so exhausted.”

The Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas product has 26 tackles, 11.5 TFL and eight sacks on the season. He’s a sure-fire first-round draft pick who seems ticketed for Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors as a sophomore.

When asked if they’re happy to be on the same side as Bosa, all his teammates can do is shrug.

“One thing I can say is I’m really glad he’s on our team,” quarterback J.T. Barrett said.

Ohio State fans are, too.

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