Stock Up/Down: Binjimen Victor's Big Day, Chase Young's Emergence And Ohio State Defensive Line's Health

By Colin Hass-Hill on October 2, 2018 at 8:35 am
Binjimen Victor

This edition of the weekly Stock Up/Down article had the two players whose stock went up not come through down the stretch of Ohio State's 27-26 win against Penn State on Saturday.

For a while, hope for a Buckeyes' comeback victory seemed futile. With eight minutes remaining in the game and Penn State leading by 12 points, Ohio State's win probability sat at 3.9 percent. A three-play, 75-yard drive put the game within a touchdown, then K.J. Hill's touchdown late in the fourth quarter gave the Buckeyes a one-point lead it held on to through the end of regulation.

Let's begin this week's edition with the player who began Ohio State's come-from-behind win.

Stock Up

Binjimen Victor

Where was this for the first two years at Ohio State?

Binjimen Victor made the biggest play of his collegiate career at the biggest possible moment to fill his team's sideline with hope. With his team down 12 points, the lanky 6-foot-4 wideout snagged a pass thrown behind him, shrugged off a defender, avoided a tackler then raced for a 47-yard touchdown to pull the Buckeyes within a touchdown of taking the lead.

Binjimen Victor

In his first two season at Ohio State, Victor primarily worked as a red-zone threat, not as a middle-of-the-field play-making receiver that he showed himself to be on Saturday. 

It remains to be seen whether Victor can turn that single catch into a larger role in the offense that he can take advantage of, but there's no one doubting his potential. Few receivers can pull of the catch and run that put the Buckeyes in position to jump-start the comeback attempt. Now, Victor must prove he can produce with consistency that he has not yet shown.

Chase Young

While Victor entered the Ohio State program needing to gain muscle and weight in order to look like a college football player, Chase Young looked like an NFL player the moment he set foot on campus.

After a year of learning from Larry Johnson while sitting behind Nick Bosa, Jalyn Holmes, Sam Hubbard and Tyquan Lewis, Young finally has a chance to show how dominant of a presence of the edge of a defense he can be. Penn State learned first-hand.

The 6-foot-5, 265-pound end had six tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks, two hurries and a pair of deflections to knock down certain would-be catches. With Bosa out due to injury, Young has been a focal point of opposing offensive lines. But on Saturday, he showed he can be a force, even with the increased attention.

Chase Young
Chris Holtmann

Prior to taking the job at the helm of the Ohio State men's basketball program, Chris Holtmann had only ever recruited to schools as a head coach at Butler and Gardner-Webb. Though he pulled in good players at both programs, the question remained whether he could recruit at the level the Buckeyes expected. 

After Holtmann's work on Ohio State's 2019 recruiting class, that no longer remains a question. He doesn't just have what it takes to get by, but has re-energized the Buckeyes and began to infuse the program with a much-needed young talent.

Ohio State added four-star forward E.J. Liddell to a class that already ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten. It quickly shot up from No. 13 overall in the nation to No. 4, behind USC, Kentucky and Louisville. 

Trace McSorley

Dwayne Haskins should not have won his third Big Ten Player of the Week honor this week. It's not that he didn't pull it together after a poor first-half performance. He was simply outperformed.

Instead, that should have gone to Trace McSorley, who baffled the Ohio State defense for the majority of the game and managed to accomplish the usually impossible task of push his way in the Heisman Trophy conversation despite his team losing. He accrued 461 total yards, the most in Penn State history.

McSorley went 16-for-32 for 286 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including a 93-yard score to K.J. Hamler. He added a career high of 175 rushing yards on 25 carries. His 51-yard scramble was the longest rush of his career.

Breathe easy, Ohio State fans. You'll never have to see McSorley, a senior, take on the Buckeyes again (unless, of course, both teams make the College Football Playoff, in which case, good luck).

Stock Down

Ohio State defensive line’s health

While the rest of the Buckeyes have been fairly durable this season, four key defensive linemen have dealt with injuries. 

Nick Bosa remains out until at least November with a core muscle injury that he suffered during the TCU game two weeks ago. Robert Landers did not play against Tulane with an undisclosed injury, and though he played against Penn State, he did not start. On Monday, Urban Meyer said Chase Young has been dealing with a "little bit" of an ankle injury, but he has played through it. Dre'Mont Jones, who has played a key role on the defensive line with Bosa out, suffered a sprained ankle on Saturday, but played through it.

Landers, Young and Jones are all expected to play against Indiana on Saturday, though some of them might be banged up. 

Rashod Berry

No one would dispute Rashod Berry's immense athletic potential. He looks like a WWE superstar and jumps like an NBA player. The problem for Ohio State lies in Berry's inability to smoothly translate his physical gifts to the football field.

He has played the most snaps of any tight end this season, yet has a single catch for six yards. On Saturday, Berry let a well-placed pass sail through his hands and bounce off his facemask, leading to a Penn State interception. 

Rashod Berry

The converted defensive end also has multiple penalties this season, including a pair on kicks that have backed the unit up. Berry has the physical traits to impact the offense more often, but hasn't been able to do so much this year.

Though he hasn't been able to get involved with the ball much, Berry had a key block on Victor's touchdown on Saturday, which should not go unmentioned. Urban Meyer called the downfield blocking "elite" on Monday, and Berry's block was a prime example of how that can lead to big plays. 

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