Youboty made his fifth start of the season and of his career against Penn State Saturday and came up big with an interception, three passes broken up and four tackles in OSU's 21-10 win over the Nittany Lions.
"That was excited as I've seen the whole defense," Youboty said. "It was a lot of fun being out there."
Youboty went head to head with junior E.J. Underwood for the vacant cornerback spot during preseason camp. When Underwood won the job, Youboty settled in as the nickel back.
"I looked forward to earning it in camp," Youboty said. "But there wasn't any disappointment. I knew I was going to be the nickel back. I accepted my position for the team."
But in the second game against Marshall, starting corner Dustin Fox went down with a broken arm. Youboty was summoned to replace Fox in the lineup. He responded with an interception in his first career start at N.C. State.
"Since the Marshall game, when the coaches threw me out there, I think the coaches have been pretty confident in me since then," he said.
When Fox returned for the game at Iowa, Youboty went back to the bench. But when Underwood had some struggles in that game, Youboty replaced him for last week's game against Indiana. Now he seems like he will be sticking in the lineup for the long haul.
"Ashton Youboty is just so dependable," OSU coach Jim Tressel said. "He's one of those guys that he can play our nickel positions, he can play our corner positions, he can press and play a man, he can play off and play a man, he can play deep zone. He's just a smart, smart player and very dependable. He knows when to break on the ball, and I thought he had a couple real nice pass breakups.
"I think he and Dustin had a couple key strips where the ball was really thrown fairly well. Ashton is a good player and going to keep getting better."
Youboty's day got off to a rocky start when he was flagged for pass interference on PSU's Terrance Phillips on a slant pass on the first drive. Youboty appeared to arrive at just about the same time the ball did, but the official thought otherwise and the Lions had a first down at the OSU 34.
"Personally, I didn't think it was pass interference," Youboty said. "But the refs called it. I just had to get my head right for the next play."
That he did. Two plays later, PSU quarterback Michael Robinson tried to throw to Terrell Golden on a curl in the right flat. But Youboty jumped the route and made the interception. He returned it 35 yards to the PSU 46, giving the Buckeyes a field position advantage.
"My coach challenged me all week on that play," he said. "After the pass interference, it was a little bit of redemption for me. It was about time to get that one. I had a lot of blockers in front of me. I thought I was going to take it to the house."
Youboty watched later in the first quarter as teammate Tyler Everett intercepted a Robinson pass and returned it 24 yards for a touchdown.
Youboty was asked about having a chance to do likewise: "We'll have to wait to see that. You don't get a chance to do it too often."
Between the Everett interception and Ted Ginn Jr.'s punt return for a score, Penn State held the ball for over 12 minutes in the first quarter but found itself behind 14-0.
"It was in a positive way because the special teams scored and we scored and we had to go right back out there," Youboty said of the difference in time of possession. "It was more of a positive thing. I didn't really notice."
Youboty capped his big day by stamping out Penn State's last gasp. OSU was clinging to a 21-10 lead, but the Lions had driven to the OSU 40-yard line. On fourth-and-9 there, Robinson threw in the right flat to Golden. But Youboty timed his hit perfectly to break up the pass. With that threat averted, OSU took over possession with 3:13 left and ran out the remaining time to preserve the win.
"I pretty much knew that was coming from watching the film," Youboty said of the final pass to Golden. "It was just from the receivers' alignment that was their favorite route. They got me on another slant earlier in the game, so I had to make up for it."