The next sack by defensive end Chase Young will make him Ohio State’s record-holder for most in a season. But as prolific as Young has been, he makes sure to acknowledge the other defensive linemen.
“Chase praises all of us on the defensive line,” said Jashon Cornell, a senior defensive tackle. “He's said, 'I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m able to do,' if we're not on the inside helping him out.”
Cornell is a critical piece.
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Paired alongside nose tackle Davon Hamilton, Cornell helps command the focus of several offensive linemen. That attention aids Young as he navigates the edge of the line in an attempt to burst into the backfield.
Cornell's stats are less flashy than Young’s. He has 20 tackles, including five for a loss, and 2.5 sacks, but still has a big hand in Young’s 13.5 sacks.
It makes the recognition by Young appreciated.
“That's one of the things that we love as inside guys,” Cornell said, “when an end can give us praise about the dirty work that we do.”
He added, “Sometimes defensive ends don't understand. I used to be a defensive end. It's a hard job to go inside (against) double-teams and play against 320-pound guards and have a 320-pound tackle come down on you.”
The Buckeyes’ defensive line should see continued success Saturday against Maryland, which has allowed 21 sacks this season, third-most among Big Ten teams. The Terrapins’ offensive line ranks No. 85 in the nation with a sack rate of 7.1 percent, according to Football Outsiders.
Another unsung role for Cornell involves reviewing game footage. He finished his undergraduate work last year, receiving a degree in family resource management, so he has more time for film review to help the linemen prepare for opponents.
“Seeing stuff you might not see on the first day of watching film,” Cornell said. “I notice this about this player, I notice this about that player, stuff we can do to improve our skill set going up against them.”