Written by Robert Henry
Pasadena, CA – Ohio State hosted Washington University in this year’s edition of the 105th Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual. The Washington Huskies are ecstatic to be in this legendary bowl game. Whereas Ohio State may not be as excited due to the fact that they almost made the playoffs. Ohio State is not disappointed though because this is still the Rose Bowl Game, the “Granddaddy of Them All”, It’s also a game Urban Meyer has yet to play in. Coach Meyer might not have been able to lift the national championship trophy up but he did get to lift the coveted Rose Bowl Game Trophy up. Ohio State outlasted Washington 28-23, in another close Rose Bowl Game. Both of these teams gave it there all but unfortunately only one can walk away with the trophy and Ohio State wanted it more and took advantage of the opportunities presented to them.
Ohio State came out in the first quarter with a strong showing of power. The Buckeyes were relentless on defense only allowing the Huskies to get in field goal range once. Ohio State’s first possession may have resulted in a punt but that did not slow the offense down one bit. Washington was clearly struggling throughout the whole first quarter. The Buckeyes next drive was 11 plays for 77-yard resulting in a touchdown and putting Ohio State up early in the first quarter. A few drives later Washington was given the opportunity to tie the game up they went 55-yard on 11 plays but the Ohio State defense was not going to let Washington score any easy points. Washington had to settle for a field goal. Washington showed some great strides in the first quarter but it was just not enough with the dominate Ohio State defense.
Ohio State would go on to continue their drive that they started with before the end of the first quarter. They would also go on to score again. Buckeye’s quarterback Dwayne Haskins finds Johnnie Dixon for a 19-yard pass and a touchdown furthering the lead they had over Washington. Ohio State went 75-yards on 10 plays. The Huskies defense started to show some life coming up with some key sacks and stops that forced Ohio State to punt the ball away. Both teams at this point came out swinging both of them refused to give up and make any big mistakes. With just a minute left in the first half of the game Ohio State started its final drive of the half. In just fifty-one seconds the Buckeyes were able to march downfield for 57-yards on 5 plays. This would extend the Ohio State lead and end the first half at 21-3.
Washington deferred to the second half and received at the start of the 3rd quarter. The Huskies looked as if they were starting to get some momentum with their opening drive of the second half. The Buckeyes had other plans and were able to force the Huskies to punt the ball away. Ohio State would go on a seven play, 80-yard drive that rewarded them with a touchdown putting Ohio State up 28-3 early in the 3rd. This would be the last points the Buckeyes would score. Washington never gave up even though they were down 25 points. Washington went on to battle back and forth with Ohio State to try and get some sort of momentum so they could get back into this game. Unfortunately, Ohio State’s defense was not allowing the Huskies to put any points up in the 3rd quarter.
With Washington ending the 3rd quarter with the ball still, they went into the 4th quarter looking to make a come back. Early in the 4th quarter, the Huskies’ Drew Sample was able to pull in a 2-yard pass from running back Myles Gaskin. This would cut down the Buckeyes lead but would still need a lot more in order to upset the Big 10 Conference Champions. Ohio State went on to try to extend the lead but Washington kept on fighting and their defense was able to make big stops that were integral to making a come back. With less than seven minutes left in the final quarter of the Rose Bowl, Gaskin, on the goal line rushes for a 1-yard gain making the score 17-28 Ohio State in the lead. The final minute of the game Washington’s quarterback Jake Browning throws a pass to Ty Jones but the pass was incomplete but a flag is thrown for pass interference. This mistake would put the Huskies on the 2-yard line, which means its time for another Gaskin rushing touchdown. Washington seeing an upset in their sights elect to go for the 2-point conversion instead of the extra point. Browning throws to the back of the end zone and the ball was intercepted by Brendon White which put a big stop in Washington’s plans to upset Ohio State. The game would end with the Buckeyes setting up in the victory position and run the clock out. This would make the final score 23-28 with the Ohio State Buckeyes in the lead and the ones who take the win at this years 105th Rose Bowl Game.
As the game ended you hear the Ohio State faithful chanting “one more year, one more year”. It’s clear that although coach Meyer is leaving Ohio State and coaching he is a state and school treasure that everyone loves. Coach Meyer after the game spoke on how special it was to play in and win the Rose Bowl Game. “This has been a bucket list. We came so close, I love all the other bowls, but being a Big Ten guy from Ohio and watching the Rose Bowl in the 70s with Archie Griffin playing, it’s everything everybody says it was. It was a great game and I’ll tell you what, Washington is a hell of a team”. The Washington team never gave up which when you’re coming out of halftime down 3-21, it’s hard to keep focused. Coach Meyer was asked about what was going through his mind throughout the game and he stated “It was, ‘Are you kidding me?’ Until we got the onside kick. All credit to our opponent and the great defense we face. Rose Bowl Champions, we got our 13th win, and time to move on”. Meyer is still adamant about retiring from coaching even though he did admit that he had fun tonight. The history of the Rose Bowl Game is so rich that anyone who loves college football knows the importance of this game. It is the longest running bowl game and it’s the original bowl game to be played on New Years Day. Congratulations to The Ohio State Buckeyes on your Rose Bowl Game victory and congratulations to coach Urban Meyer for your win and may you have as fruitful of a career outside of coaching as you did as a coach.