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Rose Bowl has Buckeyes taking on Washington in Urban Meyer’s final game as head coach

 

Rose Bowl 2017 photo By Ted Eytan from Washington, DC, CC BY-SA 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

Urban Meyer is 82-9 at Ohio State (megasportsnews.com photo)

The Rose Bowl today at 5 pm will feature a couple of big-play teams in #5 Ohio State from the Big Ten against #9 Washington, members of the Pacific 12. ESPN is televising the game.

It will be the final game in the Hall of Fame career of Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer.

The 54-year-old Meyer, a native of Ashtabula, Ohio, and a fan of the team growing up when the legendary Woody Hayes was coaching there, has always wanted to coach in the Rose Bowl. He will get his wish today.

Meyer has had a very successful career coaching OSU. He has an 82-9 record, 7-0 vs. Michigan, 1 national title, 3 Big Ten titles, 5 Eastern Division championships and 2 Leaders Division championships. He is popular with players, fans and media. So when he announced his retirement in early December, it was a shock but everyone understood. He is retiring due to health concerns involving headaches.   After this game, Meyer will become an assistant athletic director to his friend and boss, Gene Smith. Meyer, who has also coached at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida, is 11-3 in bowl games. He and the Buckeyes have won three of the last four bowl games.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fact that Ohio State (12-1), is in this game is a testament of good coaching, players hard work and being talented.

In a strange season, the Buckeyes have overcome a controversy involving former assistant coach Zach Smith with alleged domestic violence. The 3-game suspension of Meyer for how he handled that situation. Offensive coordinator Ryan Day becoming acting head coach during those three games where he was 3-0. Letting less talented teams hang around in games where it should have been blowouts. A once-proud defense giving up big play after big play. A 49-20 demolishing at the hands of Purdue on the road. Going 9-1 under Meyer after he came back. Surviving Maryland in overtime. Embarrassing Michigan 62-39 in the annual season finale to win the East Division. Beating Northwestern 45-24 to win the Big Ten title. So you see, this team has overcome several obstacles to beat a Top 5 team and even get to a prestigious bowl this year.

Along the way, Ohio State found a QB to replace the popular J.T. Barrett who had graduated. Dwayne Haskins did show in many 2017 games that he was capable, but that was in mop-up duty most of the time. He did win the game at Michigan when Barrett got hurt. An NFL prospect, Haskins has set several Big Ten and OSU passing records this year. Throwing for more than 396 yards or more six times in eight games. Just missed 500-yard passing game against Northwestern by 1-yard.  He has several weapons on offense for Washington to stop: RB’s J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber; WR’s Parris Campbell, K.J. Hill, Binjimen Victor, Terry McLaurin, Johnnie Dixon, C.J. Saunders and a late-in-the-season blossoming player in Chris Olave. All have speed, are elusive and can get open. Washington will have their hands full.

#9 Washington under Chris Peterson can never be counted out. They are 10-3 and always play well on the national stage.

The Huskies have playmakers too. Sr. QB Jake Browning has had an up-and-down career if you talk to media and

Myles Gaskin (courtesy gohuskies.com)

fans who follow the team. This season he threw for 2,879 yards with 10 interceptions. Only one passing game over 300 yards.

RB Myles Gaskins is the first Pacific 12 back to rush for 1,000 yards in each of his four seasons. Has 55 rushing touchdowns in his career.

The Huskies has a solid placekicker in Peyton Henry, who is 15-of-21.

Washington has a solid defensive unit. They are ranked 16th nationally against the run and have a defensive backfield as good as anybody’s in college football.

Chris Peterson with Washington is 1-3 in bowl games.