Michigan is well aware of Chase Young's dominance.
“He’s one of the best pass rushers I’ve seen in the college game in quite some time," Jim Harbaugh said of Young. "Physical in the run. Can take on blocks. Can also shrink the edge. Also athletic enough to get penetration, flow down the line of scrimmage. In all those ways, he’s really good."
So far this season, no offensive line has been able to contain Young, or really even slow him. He's gotten to the quarterback for a sack in every game this season, and in six games, he's done it more than once. He also has a forced fumble in over 40 percent of his games his season.
Michigan will be the latest one to try on Saturday.
"He's a special player, he's got a lot of talent," Michigan guard Ben Bredeson said. "We've played a lot of players, a lot of teams who have special players like that. There's different ways to attack him, attack the defensive front. I know we're going to have a good scheme for him and for that defensive front in general."
With all due respect to Bredeson, they actually not faced anyone like Young, unless they were around to block Terrell Suggs in 2002 or Elvis Dumervil in 2005, because that's Young's current pace.
“Sometimes, he’s capable of doing whatever he wants.”– Shea Patterson
Despite missing two games and rarely playing past the third quarter, Young is somehow still within striking distance of the NCAA single-season sacks record and is just two forced fumbles shy of that NCAA single-season record as well.
On a per snap basis, Young is quite possibly the best, most dominant pass rusher in college football history. And he's also playing the best football of his career in his past two games, against the most talented teams Ohio State has faced all season.
Against Wisconsin, Young finished with six total tackles, five tackles for a loss and four sacks while forcing two fumbles. Young followed that performance with nine total tackles, four tackles for loss and three sacks, along with another two forced fumbles against Penn State.
His past two games, Young is averaging 7.5 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. Against top-15 opponents. Next, he's Michigan's problem.
“Yeah, he’s a game-changer,” Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson said. “I feel like you’ve gotta pay attention to him every single snap. Sometimes he’s capable of doing whatever he wants. A lot of respect for him and what he’s done. We’ll have some stuff.”
How Michigan handles Young on Saturday could prove to be the difference in the game, and Michigan tight end Nick Eubanks knows that as he prepares to try to block the most dominant player he's ever faced.
"It'll be very important,” Eubanks said. "That's one thing we'll probably emphasize on this week in terms of preparing for this ball game. We’ll try – as a matter of fact, we’ll do instead of trying – to prevent him from getting into the backfield."