Rose Bowl: Ohio State faces Washington in Urban Meyer’s farewell

No. 6 Ohio State and No. 9 Washington have performed in 15 Rose Bowls apiece, however by no means in opposition to each other. That will change on New Year’s Day when the Big Ten and Pac-12 champions meet in Pasadena, Calif.

The Rose Bowl is one in every of faculty soccer’s storied traditions, but it surely’s not precisely the place the 2 groups wished to finish up this season. Both had nationwide championship aspirations that had been derailed in the course of the common season.

Ohio State (12-1) stumbled in opposition to Purdue in October with a 49-20 loss that was too egregious for the College Football Playoff choice committee to miss.

Washington (10-3) misplaced three regular-season video games however bounced again to win the Pac-12 North title after which beat Utah 10-3 in the convention championship sport.

“It has been rocky. It has been tough. It has been hard. And that’s why I have a lot of respect for these kids,” Washington head coach Chris Petersen stated. “They’ve been by way of so much. There was a variety of expectations placed on them.

“At times, we’ve played really well, and, at times, we haven’t played as well as we think we can.”

There are a number of story traces from the Ohio State aspect surrounding the sport.

The largest is Urban Meyer’s retirement after the Rose Bowl. He introduced a number of days after Ohio State’s 45-24 win over Northwestern in the Big Ten championship sport that he was stepping apart after seven seasons in Columbus.

This would be the first and supposedly final Rose Bowl in Meyer’s teaching profession. He has an 11-3 document in bowl video games for a .785 profitable proportion, the second greatest in faculty soccer historical past.

“I grew up in the state of Ohio watching the Rose Bowl for many, many years,” he advised reporters. “And it’s been a bucket list and a dream to go coach out there.”

Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day was named Meyer’s substitute and he’ll take over formally as the pinnacle coach after Jan. 1.

Meyer will keep linked to Ohio State as an assistant athletic director. He additionally plans to show a management class on the college’s Fisher College of Business.

Then there’s the uncertainty about the way forward for Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. The redshirt sophomore, who completed third in the Heisman Trophy voting, hasn’t introduced whether or not he’ll stay in college for one more 12 months or depart for the NFL Draft.

After the best season by a passer in Ohio State soccer historical past, Haskins is rising into the highest 10 on many draft boards due to his arm expertise.

Haskins set a Big Ten championship sport document with 499 passing yards and 5 landing passes, elevating his season totals to FBS bests of 4,580 passing yards and 47 landing passes. He broke 20 college and Big Ten data this season.

“Rose Bowl has a great history. A lot of quarterbacks play in that game,” Haskins stated. “It’s a very rich tradition game. And looking forward to competing with my teammates.”

Teammate Dre’Mont Jones already introduced that he’ll forgo his last 12 months to enter the NFL Draft. And so did operating again Mike Weber.

Jones, a defensive deal with, is projected as a first-round decide, however neither he nor Weber will sit out the bowl sport, which has develop into extra commonplace for faculty gamers coming into the draft early to do.

“Our players know all about the Rose Bowl, they appreciate and respect the tradition, and I’m sure that’s why all those guys are playing,” Meyer stated.

If Ohio State’s gamers had been upset by the CFP snub, they are not exhibiting it. They seem motivated to play in the Rose Bowl and assist Meyer exit with a victory.

“I think I’d be shocked if our guys didn’t play well,” Meyer advised reporters. “We’re playing a very good team. And I’ve been a part of some teams where you’re worried about that. I think our guys, because they really truly care about each other, they want to win this game.”

Washington’s problem will likely be to decelerate Ohio State’s prolific offense, which ranks second nationally in complete offense (548.8 yards per sport) and in passing (373.0 yards per sport) and eighth in scoring (43.5 factors per sport).

The Huskies’ protection is anchored by Ben Burr-Kirven, the Pac-12 defensive participant of the 12 months and first-team All-American who leads the nation with 165 complete tackles.

Washington allowed simply 9 passing touchdowns this season, the fourth fewest in the nation, and 15.5 factors per sport, which ranks fifth in FBS.

Petersen additionally will likely be teaching in his first Rose Bowl and saying goodbye to a number of key performers from the previous few years.

Quarterback Jake Browning threw for 2,879 yards and 16 touchdowns this season. Senior operating again Myles Gaskin is the varsity’s profession speeding chief with 5,202 yards and 55 touchdowns.

Browning does not assume Meyer’s retirement may have any bearing on the result of the primary assembly between Washington and Ohio State for the reason that 2007 season.

“Even if he was still going to coach another 20 years I’d still want to beat him,” Browning stated. “It does not actually have an effect on my sport in any respect.

“Obviously, he wants to go out on top and so do we. It’s my last game, too, and so I’m preparing really hard and hopefully we’ll go out and win.”

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