Ohio State: 10 thoughts from Rose Bowl victory
Ohio State ended its season with its first Rose Bowl victory in nine years, defeating Washington 28-23 on Tuesday in Pasadena, Calif.
It wasn’t easy, even though the Buckeyes cruised to a 28-3 lead before the Huskies mounted a comeback.
The sixth-ranked Buckeyes are likely to come out no worse than No. 5 in the final AP poll, if not higher after No. 5 Georgia lost the Sugar Bowl and No. 3 Notre Dame was blown out in its CFP semifinal.
Here are 10 thoughts on Ohio State’s Rose Bowl victory.
1. Buckeyes still need to stiffen on defense
For three quarters, Ohio State shut down one of the Pac-12’s best offenses about as well as could be expected. But the Huskies stunned the Buckeyes with their fourth-quarter prowess, holding a 170-15 yardage advantage and scoring 20 points in the final 15 minutes.
2. Mike Weber looked like he belonged in the NFL
His numbers — 15 carries, 96 yards — were more solid than spectacular but Weber showed the toughness and vision to pick up yards in all kinds of situations. In his final college game, the Buckeyes running back looked as healthy and strong as he has all season.
3. Chase Young is going to be scary
Yes, he’s really good already. But ESPN’s broadcast team pointed out how much injured Buckeyes star Nick Bosa has helped guide Young, a true sophomore defensive end, as far as preparation and how to study for opponents. Match that with Young’s immense physical gifts, and the sky’s the limit.
4. Myles Gaskin quietly made history
Washington’s senior running back didn’t have a highlight-reel run; his long was 19 yards. But Gaskin was UW’s entire running game, with 121 yards and two TDs on 24 carries (plus a TD pass). He also became the second FBS back to run for at least 1,200 yards in four straight seasons, joining Ron Dayne.
5. OSU’s O-line still makes too many mistakes
The Buckeyes were whistled for nine penalties for 53 yards, continuing a season-long problem. Five of those penalties were by the offensive line including an inexplicable false start on the first snap of the game. There is just no excuse for that 14 games into a season.
6. Campbell deserving of record
Parris Campbell had 11 catches (on 12 targets) for 71 yards and a score. The senior ends his final OSU season with 90 catches, breaking the OSU single-season mark of 85 set by David Boston in 1998. Campbell also tied A.J. Jenkins (Illinois) and Austin Carr (Northwestern) for 10th on the Big Ten’s single-season receptions list.
7. Jeffrey Okudah had his best game
The stats say OSU sophomore cornerback Jeffrey Okudah had five tackles and two pass breakups. Those numbers hardly speak to his impact. He broke up a fourth-down pass to kill a Washington drive deep into OSU territory in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter he made two likely touchdown-saving tackles.
8. Somehow OSU was outgained
If you didn’t believe that the Huskies made a heck of a comeback, consider this: After three quarters, Ohio State had outgained Washington 349-274 and did so in fewer plays, averaging 6.46 yards a play. By game’s end the Huskies gained 444 yards to 364 for the Buckeyes.
9. Urban Meyer never let down his guard
In his final game before retirement, OSU coach Urban Meyer never let on to ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi that this game was anything out of the ordinary. Even in the postgame interview Meyer talked about the great players and assistants he has had, but did not reveal a public display of emotion.
10. Haskins left an indelible impression
If this was the final game for Dwayne Haskins as Ohio State’s quarterback, he leaves an enormously high standard behind. His 50 passing touchdowns in 2018 are tied for fourth all-time in FBS in one season, and with 4,831 passing yards the redshirt sophomore became the first Buckeye to lead the nation in that category. If he turns pro — he said after Tuesday’s game that he was “50/50” on the decision — many analysts expect him to be the first quarterback picked in the NFL Draft.