According to Urban Meyer, this is the end of the road for him. He has indicated that he is retiring after the Rose Bowl against the Washington Huskies. Just don’t be surprised if this is a temporary retirement and we see him coaching again in two or three years. The College Football Playoff was the goal at the beginning of the season and that obviously didn’t happen.
The loss to Purdue on the road was an absolute killer. It was the deciding factor in holding them out of the playoff. A play away from losing to Maryland didn’t help matters, either. The Buckeyes turned it on late in the season, as they smashed Michigan and then breezed past Northwestern to win the Big Ten. The best alternative than going to the playoff is the Rose Bowl, so this will not be a failure of a season if they beat the Huskies on New Years.
It’s tough to call a year in which they blow out Michigan and win the Rose Bowl a failure. The Rose Bowl has traditionally featured the Pac-12 and Big Ten, but with the College Football Playoff, it has gotten away from that when the game is used as a playoff contest. The Grand Daddy of Them All is getting back to its roots with Washington and Ohio State.
The Huskies defeated the Utah Utes by a score of 10-3 in the Pac-12 Championship. It was a slug fest that was dominated by solid defensive play on both sides. Give credit to Utah who may have won that game if they had Tyler Huntley playing.
Washington is going to need to find more points against Ohio State if they want to win, though. Ohio State named the score against a good Michigan defense. Washington is going to have to contain a QB is destined to be one of the top quarterbacks taken off the board in the upcoming draft. In all likelihood, barring a setback, he will in fact be the first QB taken. If Kyler Murray declares for the draft instead of playing baseball, then there could be some debate for the next few months.
Dwayne Haskins is not sitting the Rose Bowl out, as he hopes to get ushered into the NFL with a victory is the most historic bowl game in college football. Another quality performance against a top defense could elevate his draft status some more as well.
Michigan had no idea how to contain him and the Huskies better have used the last month studying his tape closely. We’ll see what Haskins does for a curtain call in the Rose Bowl. Washington QB Jake Browning, along with running back Myles Gaskin, will be playing in their final collegiate game as well. Gaskin is primed to be a success in the NFL, but the future of Browning is a little iffier. Head below for our free Washington vs. Ohio State pick in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day.
Washington Huskies vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Rose Bowl Betting Odds:
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Washington vs. Ohio State Pick:
Haskins had looked like the most pro-ready NFL quarterback out of the list of prospects going into 2019. With Justin Herbert returning for his senior season at Oregon, it opens the door up even more for Haskins to be the first quarterback off the board in April. Defensive linemen are expected to dominate the top-10, with Haskins falling somewhere between 7 to 20th.
It’s usually easy to pinpoint where the top QB’s landing spot is going to be in drafts, but this season is a wildcard. Haskins has the stats to back up a first-round selection. He’s thrown a whopping 47 touchdowns and 8 interceptions with a 70.8% completion in 2018. Michigan had zero answer, as Haskins tossed 6 touchdowns and no interceptions. In his previous three games, he’s thrown 14 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
Haskins led Ohio State to 549 yards per game for 2nd in the FBS. The only team that averaged more offense was Kyler Murray and Oklahoma. They also averaged 43.5 points per game. Haskins threw for 470 yards against Purdue, so there isn’t much blame that can be put on him for the loss.
He isn’t the only weapon Ohio State have. They can pick their poison with Haskins and J.K. Dobbins in the backfield. Dobbins has rushed for 1,029 yards with 11 touchdowns and 248 yards receiving. The sophomore figures to play an even bigger role in the offense under new head coach Ryan Day next season. Washington are 16th in the FBS against the run. They will plug up lanes with their terrific defensive line, so I think this game is going to be all about Haskins through the air.
The weakness for Ohio State has been their secondary this season. They’ve given up 239.8 yards per game through the air for 83rd in the nation. The Huskies’ offense has been so inconsistent, though, that it’s hard to depend on them. Browning has thrown 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, as he has fallen off significantly without elite weapons to pass to. John Ross played a large role in the 43 touchdowns he threw as a sophomore in 2016. Since that season, Browning has regressed and has killed his own draft stock.
Gaskin is the focal point of the Washington offense. With Browning struggling to find a rhythm, Gaskin has rushed for 1,147 yards and 11 touchdowns. I just don’t know if Gaskin alone is going to get it done against Ohio State, though. Browning has to come up with big plays vertically and that element of their game hasn’t been there without a deep threat. Haskins is likely going to be the difference here, as the Buckeyes have a sizable advantage at quarterback. In what is Urban Meyer’s last game at Ohio State, look for him to go out as a winner in a 35-24 final or thereabout in Pasadena.