The Ohio State Buckeyes put in the work early to outlast a late resurgence of the Washington Huskies 28-23 at the 105th Rose Bowl Game. Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer ended his career on a high note, notching up his overall coaching record to 187-32.
Buckeyes quarterback Dwayne Haskins executed 25 throws for 251 yards and running back Mike Weber made 15 rushes for 96 yards. Wide receiver Parris Campbell gained 71 yards from 11 receptions and safety Jordan Fuller made nine total tackles.
Washington quarterback Jake Browning completed 35 passes for 313 yards, running back Myles Gaskin had 24 carries for 121 yards. Wideout Andre Baccellia made 12 catches for 109 yards and linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven made 11 total tackles.
Weber presented a rushing game that Washington struggled to thwart early in the game. He ran 52 yards in four plays for Campbell to end their possession with a 12-yard touchdown catch. Long passing plays also helped Ohio State keep an upper hand.
“Mike ran the ball really efficiently and got a lot of first downs with him,” Haskins said. “[He] Opened up the passing game for us, giving us some wide-open lanes and as far as impacting the zone coverage.”
With seconds left in the first quarter, Haskins connected with wide receiver Terry McLaurin for a 32-pass. This put the Buckeyes in Husky territory in time for the second period; Ohio State edged their score to 14 points seven plays later. Near halftime, Haskins relied on his receivers again; two first-down passes and 15-yard penalty against the Huskies enabled Ohio State to score. To finish their offensive effort, Gaskins threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to K.J. Hill.
By halftime, the Buckeyes were ahead 21-3; the Huskies could only get nine first downs and 42 passing yards at this point. Washington’s mistakes were costly, having lost 41 yards to penalties in the first half.
“A big thing we want to do is establish the run early,” Campbell said. “Just from speaking from a receiver standpoint, having defenses worry about the run early on definitely makes it easier on us because defenders play a little soft, they might want to load the box.”
The Ohio State defense would stop the Huskies’ run quickly, at times making the Huskies lose yards in the third quarter. Browning was sacked twice for 13 yards during that period.
Yet the Huskies developed a comeback in the final minutes of the game, scoring 20 points in the fourth quarter. Washington started on the Ohio State 31-yard line and kept the ball in the air to progress downfield. After seven plays, the Huskies earned their first touchdown.
The Husky defense worked to keep the Ohio State possessions short. Browning made major plays by targeting receivers. Gaskin rushed in two touchdowns, edging the Washington score to 23.
Washington attempted a two-point conversion, but safety Brendon White intercepted Browning’s pass.
“I just think it’s frustrating for us, when you feel like you didn’t put your best foot forward the whole entire four quarters,” said Washington head coach Chris Peterson. “But we’ll keep battling, keep learning. Keep figuring out how to raise the bar.”