SportsPac12: Washington-Ohio State Rose Bowl Preview
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Washington-Ohio State Rose Bowl Preview

December 31, 2018

Washington vs. Ohio State: Rose Bowl Details, Prediction, and Preview


#9 Washington (10-3, 7-2) vs #6 Ohio State (12-1, 8-1)
Tuesday, January 1, 2:00 p.m. PT, ESPN
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA

Straight-Up: Washington in a Close Win
Against the Spread: Washington  (-5.5)

The first Rose Bowl between non-CFP champions from the Pac-12 and the Big Ten since 2014 is a study in similarities and contrasts. 

Both teams are making their 15th appearance in Pasadena, though they've never met there in this bowl. Both have extra motivation. But their styles couldn't be more different. 

Washington thrives on defensive toughness, as personified by Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Ben Burr-Kirven and his 165 tackles. The Huskies allow a meager 15.5 points per game, with cornerback Byron Murphy (four picks) and safety Taylor Rapp (two picks, five sacks) rounding out their All-American stoppers.

Ohio State likes to score fast, and with flare, relying on the arm of Dwayne Haskins Jr. The sophomore quarterback threw for a school-record 4,580 yards, leading the Buckeyes to an average 43.5 points and 549 yards per game. His top wideout, Parris Campbell, pulled in 79 catches and 11 touchdowns. Neither can the Dawgs overlook the contributions of running backs J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber, who rushed for 1,029 and 858 yards respectively.

Husky quarterback Jake Browning set a few school and Conference records of his own during his four years, surpassing 11,983 career yards and 94 touchdowns. He had an off year by those standards this season, but proved tough and effective enough to give OSU plenty of problems. Especially with a bevy of top receivers to throw to, starting with Aaron Fuller. Running back Myles Gaskin, UW's leading career rusher with four consecutive 1,000+ yard seasons, is dangerous whenever he touches the ball.

OSU's defense, led by Chase Young (9.5 sacks) and Dre'Mont Jones (8.5 sacks) should keep the pressure on, but has given up 200 points in the last six games. In one of them, a 49-20 loss to Purdue, the Buckeyes lost their place in the College Football Playoffs.

Which speaks to their motivation. Ohio State Coach Urban Meyer will be retiring after the game, and his players will be looking to prove they belonged in the Playoffs, in addition to sending him off the right way. The Huskies have lost three of their four bowl games under Chris Petersen, and will be anxious to reverse that trend of coming up short in big games.

In a classic matchup between an explosive offense and a lock-down defense, the team with the best defense often wins. Expect the Huskies to get the best of the Buckeyes in a close one.

Against the Spread

  • Huskies are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games overall
  • Huskies are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win
  • Huskies are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games
  • Huskies are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games on grass
  • Buckeyes are 13-3-1 ATS in their last 17 vs. Pac-12
  • Buckeyes are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 bowl games
  • Buckeyes are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 neutral site games
  • Buckeyes are 38-18 ATS in their last 56 games on grass

                                    Notes: Ohio State leads the all-time series 8-3, with the Buckeyes winning the last meeting 33-14 in 2007. The Huskies beat Purdue and Drew Brees 34-24 in their last Rose Bowl appearance in 2001. Ohio State, meanwhile, defeated Oregon 26-17 in their last trip to Pasadena. Washington is 7-6-1 in the Rose Bowl all time.

                                    Browning is the winningest quarterback in Pac-12 history with 39 victories, and ranks fifth in career passing, fourth in total offense, and sixth in career touchdowns. Gaskin ranks third on the all-time Conference rushing list with 5,202 yards. His 55 rushing touchdowns is also third.

                                    Burr-Kirven has led the Huskies in tackles 12 times in 13 games this season. He currently leads the FBS  with 165 tackles, and is third in the nation with an average of 12.7 tackles per game.

                                    washingtonKEY STATS AND INFOOhio state
                                    Pac-12 NorthConferenceBig Ten
                                    9CFP Committee Ranking6
                                    26.6Points per Game43.5
                                    15.5Points Allowed25.7
                                    412Yards per Game549
                                    232.5Passing Yards per Game373.0
                                    179.9Rushing Yards per Game190.5
                                    116.4Rushing Yards Allowed per Game160.5
                                    185.4Passing Yards Allowed per Game239.8
                                    302Yards Allowed per Game400
                                    Jake Browning
                                    2,879 yards (16 TDS, 10 INTS)
                                    Passing Yardage and TD LeadersDwayne Haskins
                                    4,580 yards (47 TDs, 8 INTs)
                                    Myles Gaskin
                                    1.147 yards, 10 TDs
                                    Rushing LeadersJ.K. Dobbins
                                    1,029 yards, 9 TDs
                                    Aaron Fuller
                                    794 yards, 4 TDs
                                    Receiving LeadersParis Campbell
                                    992 yards, 11 TDs
                                    Ben Burr-Kirven
                                    165 total tackles
                                    Defensive LeadersMalik Harrison
                                    74 total tackles

                                    Remaining Pac-12 Bowl Game Schedule

                                    —Tuesday, January 1—
                                    Rose: Washington vs. Ohio State