Analysis: Ohio State’s Young will chase Heisman to New York | TribLIVE.com
Penn State

Analysis: Ohio State’s Young will chase Heisman to New York

Associated Press
1984920_web1_1984920-e6e7d4be58244ec090a062382949030b
AP
Ohio State defensive end Chase Young celebrates a sack against Penn State during the second half Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, in Columbus, Ohio.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Chase Young needed help from a police officer to get through the crowd of fans that poured onto the field after Ohio State beat Penn State at the Horseshoe. Otherwise, Young spent Saturday doing pretty much whatever he wanted for the Buckeyes.

The defensive end returned from a two-game NCAA suspension and reinserted himself into the Heisman Trophy race with three sacks among four tackles for loss and nine tackles overall in Ohio State’s victory over Penn State. The most basic numbers hardly tell the full story.

“Oh my gosh,” Buckeyes coach Ryan Day said. “I think Chase Young deserves to be in New York. How dominant of a player is Chase Young? And the impact he has on the game is just unbelievable.”

New York City is where the Heisman ceremony will be held Dec. 14, and yes, Young unquestionably should be there as one of the finalists for college football’s most famous award. Young’s candidacy will test Heisman voters, but it should be an easy exam. There should be place for the most talented player in college football on every ballot even though history says a few things will work against him:


— Young’s position. No player who exclusively plays defense ever has won the award, but there have been a few in recent years who have been finalists.

— Young missed two games. They weren’t big games, but missing games usually hurts a Heisman contender.

— Young has two talented teammates on the other side of the ball who have played well enough to be in the Heisman conversation.

None of that should deter Heisman voters. The question is not whether Young should be a finalist. Clearly, the answer is yes. Young has been so good, leading the nation with a school-record 16 sacks, he will enter the last two games of the season with a chance to catch presumptive frontrunner Joe Burrow from LSU and become the first defense-only Heisman winner.

“He’s an incredible player,” Ohio State defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley said. “If there’s a more dominant player in the country on defense, bring me the tape.”

In April, Young will follow in the path of the Bosa brothers and become the latest Buckeyes pass rusher taken in the top five of the NFL Draft. Maybe No. 1 overall. On Saturday, he broke the Ohio State record for sacks in a season previously held by Vernon Gholston, another former top-five pick.

Quarterbacks have had a lock on the Heisman for most of the last two decades. Since 2000, only three times has the award gone to a non-quarterback. USC running back Reggie Bush won it in 2005 — and was stripped of the award because of NCAA violations. Alabama RBs Mark Ingram (2009) and Derrick Henry (2014) are the other players to break the run of quarterbacks.

In the age of offense and with quarterbacks more efficient than ever before, it is understandable the Heisman has become almost exclusively for passers. Burrow is on his way to a historic season, on pace to set records for completion percentage (78.9) and efficiency rating (203.66). He has thrown for 4,014 yards, 41 touchdowns and just six interceptions for the No. 1 team in the country.

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was so good before being injured last week that he should still receive consideration. Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts is in the mix. Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard and Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor are having sensational seasons.

Young has two more chances to make a statement: Saturday at No. 10 Michigan and then in the Big Ten championship game Dec. 7.

The following week he should be in the Big Apple with a legitimate chance to make Heisman history.

Categories: Sports | Penn State
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.