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There's a Party at the Quarterback and Everybody's Invited
By Tony Gerdeman

COLUMBUS — When you're in college, Saturdays are for partying, that's just how it is. There are some parties, however, that you don't want to be invited to, especially if you're the quarterback facing Ohio State's 'Rushmen' package.

The Rushmen package is, of course, the OSU nickel package featuring defensive ends Tyquan Lewis, Jalyn Holmes, Nick Bosa, and Sam Hubbard all lined up together, and it proved incredibly effective Saturday night in Madison, Wisconsin.

Each of the Rushmen tallied a sack against Badger quarterback Alex Hornibrook and they combined for 11 tackles and six tackles for loss. They also closed the game out with a walk-off sack, with all four members meeting at the quarterback simultaneously.

Technically, Tyquan Lewis got to Hornibrook first, but they all could have very well arrived in the same car.

How and why did this happen? Because the invitations said to be prompt.

"It’s a party," Jalyn Holmes said on Monday. "We just say it’s a party to the quarterback. Whoever gets there first, gets there first. It’s a race and we just celebrate when we get there."

The difference between a normal party and a Rushmen party, however, is that a Rushmen invitation RSVPs you.

"That nickel package was pretty impressive today," Sam Hubbard said after the game early Sunday morning. "We were getting there all day. The leader of the D-line got there and we were all pretty close right behind, I’m really proud of him and just really happy we got the win. I can’t really describe this feeling we’ve got right now."

The feeling that Hubbard was unable to describe could probably just be summed up as pure joy. Leading up to that play, however, each of the Rushmen knew that the game had just been placed in their hands when the Badgers were stopped on third down in overtime.

"Me, Sam, Nick and Tyquan looked at each other like, ‘The game is on us now,’" Holmes recalled. "So you never know what coverage is and stuff like that, but I felt like the coverage had our back and we just rushed as fast as we could and we got there in time and it just ended the game."

Even though the final play came on fourth down, it was third down where the Rushmen terrorized Hornibrook throughout the night. Basically, they invited him to their party and then they danced all over him.

"Third down is the money down," Hubbard said. "It’s a defensive lineman’s time to shine. That nickel package is a lot of speed, a lot of skill on the field. We had a lot of success on Saturday night and it’s fun to be out there with those guys because everybody can make a play at any time."

Everybody loves a party, which is why defensive line coach Larry Johnson introduced the idea of holding these impromptu parties at the opposing quarterback.

"I think that’s just how Coach Johnson really motivates us all," Hubbard said. "Our theme is 'R2X'. Rush to the 'X', and 'X' is the quarterback, and you can see on that last play all four of us were at the 'X' like we’re supposed to be. That’s what we do."

"It’s very fun being out there with Nick, Sam, and Tyquan, and even Rashod Berry as well when he gets his chance," Holmes added. "We just get to show the world our talents and our speed. We can all play anywhere on that defensive line."

In other words, they enjoy these little parties that they get to have.

And as for Larry Johnson the party planner? Well, he'll be sending out a few more invitations to opposing quarterbacks each week for the rest of the season.

Don't expect those invitations to be warmly received, however. But when the party is in your honor, you don't really have a choice. You have to show up.

Player profiles relevant to story:
6 - Hubbard, Sam | 11 - Holmes, Jalyn | 59 - Lewis, Tyquan | 97 - Bosa, Nick
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