Came Through Pasadena In The Low Low

Intriguing Game- The Rose Bowl

(9) Washington Huskies at (6) Ohio State Buckeyes

Washington: I had them as one of my four to make the playoffs this year, but things didn’t pan out that way as I expected them too. Now, here they are as champions of the Pac-12 for the second time under head coach Chris Petersen. This offense is led by two guys who decided to come back for one final season and that’s quarterback Jake Browning and running back Myles Gaskin who is the university’s all-time leading rusher. These two have been through it all together as teammates. This year however, it’s been a down year for both, but don’t let that grab your attention because this team has no issues at all moving the football down the field. What’s really carried this team this year has been their defense. They are one of the best in the nation which ranks in the top 15 in the country and only gives up a little north of 300 yards per game. This is a team that shouldn’t be underestimated at all. They’ve been decimated with injuries all around, yet they still won ten games and I think they’d be in consideration for the top four in the playoff bracket if they’re healthy. To finish off the season, they will face one of the hottest teams in college football.

Ohio State: It’s been quite the year in Columbus, Ohio for this program. The Zach Smith investigation was one thing, Urban Meyer was suspended for the first three games of this season, the Buckeyes offense was off to a quick start and the defense couldn’t stop anybody. I remember at the beginning of the year, I said if there was a team to give Alabama a difficult time, it was this group. But when they began to barely hold on and win games, I became concerned. All their issues caught up with them when they were upset by Purdue and the Michigan Wolverines were even crowned the Big Ten East champions and it was finally their year. I also forgot to mention they lost Nick Bosa for the year to injury. Remember all of this? When they welcomed Michigan to the shoe, they had to remind us all just who they were, and they showed up to win a huge game to give them the Big Ten East division for the second straight year along with a trip to the conference title game in Indianapolis. They won their division, they won their conference title game, so they’d be a shoe in to get into the top four, right? Not at all. They finished sixth in the final rankings and here they are. Dwayne Haskins had a season to remember and was nominated for the Heisman. The season finale is here, and they’ll look to win the Rose Bowl.

Washington Player To Watch: Aaron Fuller Jr– He really had to step it up and become Jake’s go to guy this year. Anything that was thrown in his direction, he caught it. He’s a smooth route runner, he’s quick after the catch and wherever he’s lined up, he gets his looks.

Ohio State Player To Watch: Dre’Mont Jones– When Bosa got hurt, he became the leader of this entire defense. He’s made his presence known in both stopping the run and getting to the quarterback. He’s also an athletic guy and I remember a play against TCU earlier in the year when he intercepted Shawn Robinson.

Final Analysis: The Rose Bowl has always been one of my favorite bowl games. It’s so iconic and the setting is perfect. Last year’s Rose Bowl was one to remember, will this one be the same? This will be the final game of Urban Meyer’s legendary coaching career. I see the Buckeyes playing with a ton of emotion knowing this will be the final game for Urban. Washington is no slouch either. As I mentioned up top, they can push the football down the field and they will get their big plays against the Buckeyes defense. However, I see Ohio State making a key stop when it matters most. Ohio State will do what they do best and start lighting up the scoreboard. Haskins will lead the way, but look for JK Dobbins and Mike Weber to keep the offensive attack balanced

Prediction: Ohio State 44 Washington 27