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Ranking the best defensive linemen in college football

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Ed Oliver dominates Rice in Houston's win (1:27)

Ed Oliver starts his Heisman campaign by racking up 13 tackles, including 3.5 for loss. (1:27)

The nation's best run-defender takes on the most electrifying rushing quarterback in the country when Houston takes on Arizona on Saturday (12 p.m. ET, ESPN). Houston's Ed Oliver is as good as it gets on the interior of the defensive line, using his quickness and incredible agility to make sideline-to-sideline plays like a linebacker. Arizona QB Khalil Tate had perhaps the best six-game stretch from a running quarterback in history last season, with three of those games seeing him go more than 200 yards on the ground (excluding sacks).

Oliver's unique skill set will be a crucial component to Houston's ability to contain Tate. As for Oliver's standing among defensive linemen across the nation, it's a deep year in the trenches, but Oliver ranks among the best in the country.

Here's a look at PFF's top edge defenders and interior defensive linemen early in the 2018 season.

Edge defenders

1. Nick Bosa, Ohio State
Despite playing only 896 snaps in his first two seasons, Bosa has proven to be the best all-around defensive player in the nation. There will be plenty of comparisons to his brother, Joey, and while brother comparisons are often lazy and unfair, there are many similarities between the duo. Both dominated in their years at Ohio State while beating offensive tackles in nearly identical fashion. Bosa led all edge defenders with a 93.9 overall grade last season, which means Bosas have led PFF's edge defender rankings in three of the past four years.