It was just another sack.

Like he had done 19 times before, Tarell Basham got to the quarterback.

This time, however, it had a bit more meaning.

After sacking quarterback Ryan Willis late in the fourth quarter of Saturday's 37-21 blowout win at Kansas, Basham became the all-time sack record holder for the Bobcats. The record stood for just less than 20 years.

“It feels great to have the all-time sack record, to know that all my hard work is showing," Basham said. "I’m not comfortable at all, though, I’m still going to go out there and fight to get those sacks. Hopefully next week we can set another record.”

Even though Basham tried to play it off, his teammates didn't. Defensive tackle Cleon Aloese greeted Basham with a bear hug as Basham left the field after the sack.

"Guys make their jokes," he said, smiling before the Texas State game. "But it's not something that's out on the table."

Basham, playing at right defensive end, came around through the middle of the line on a stunt. His speed and strength, like it has always been, was too much for the Jayhawks offensive line. 

“He is a very talented athlete and he has gotten bigger and strong with his time here,"  coach Frank Solich said before the Texas State game. "That increased strength and size is going to show, and he is going to have a great year. That is what we all are counting on and what he is counting on."

Basham, a Rocky Mount, Virginia-native is now in his senior season after having been a starter for the past three seasons. 

He said he came to Athens for the talented coaching staff and that he felt he would grow through the program.

"I really felt like this was a home for me," he said. "I was ready to come the moment I took my visit.”

But he did not just come to Ohio for the program. He came to set records.

“I most definitely made it a goal to reach the career sack record, but I also made it a goal to reach the season sack record, which I have yet to reach," Basham said before the season began. "And I plan to reach that this year with the help of the other guys on the defense. It would be nice, it would be a great touch to the end of my college career.”

The individual sack record for a season is nine, set in 1992 by Jason Carthen.

Basham's ability throughout the years has impressed his coach, who, rightly, expects him to make big plays. 

"He is looking forward to the season and showing his ability," Solich said before the season. "We have some guys surrounding him that are really good players and so he is going to have his moments and opportunities to make big time plays.”

And with Basham now at the top of the Ohio record book, he can take his true place as the best pass-rusher in Ohio Bobcats history.


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