Washington Debriefing: Urban Meyer Ends His Career with a Rose Bowl Victory

By Jake Anderson on January 2, 2019 at 8:15 am
Haskins grabs a rose after his Bowl victory

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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The 2018 Ohio State Buckeyes became just the ninth team in school history to win the Granddaddy of them All. 

The Short Story

The Rose Bowl started with a pair of three-and-outs from each team before Dwayne Haskins and the Ohio State offense put up 21 first-half points. Washington struggled offensively for the first 30 minutes, mustering only a field goal as the Huskies continued their scoring drought. 

Haskins and co. came out firing after the break, putting together a clinical drive out of the locker room. After that, however, the offense collapsed, punting on the next five drives. Washington, on the other hand, resurrected its entire team and put together a valiant comeback to cut the lead to five points. Ohio State recovered the onside kick and ended the game in victory formation.

Quick Breakdowns

Offense

The Buckeyes relied on a first-half barrage to skate past Washington, who finally figured out how to play defense in the second half. Per usual, Ohio State relied on Haskins to push the offense downfield, starting with this touchdown to Parris Campbell.

Campbell's reception put him over 1,000 receiving yards on the season.

Haskins continued his dominance throughout the first half, with this dime putting at 50 touchdown passes for the season. 

Dobbins was able to add a touchdown to put the Buckeyes up 28-3. 

Mike Weber added 96 yards on 15 carries, basically carrying the rushing attack for much of the night. The offense struggled the rest of the way, but the Buckeyes were able to do enough to hold off the Huskies. 

Defense

The Silver Bullets allowed just three points in a stellar first half but seemed to let off after the break. The back seven largely outplayed Washington's star-studded secondary, however, breaking up seven passes on the night. 

Jeffrey Okudah had arguably the best game of his young career, highlighted by this timely deflection. 

Brendon White, however, stood out the most. He was second on the team in tackles and added this pick on Washington's two-point conversion. 

The defense failed to stop the Huskies the majority of the second half, but some timely stops prevented a Washington comeback. 

Who Earned a Buckeye Leaf?

Offense: Dwayne Haskins

The Ohio State quarterback threw for 251 yards and three touchdowns in what could be his final game as a Buckeye

Haskins was also named the Rose Bowl's Offensive Player of the Game. 

Defense: Brendon White

The sophomore safety was second on the team with eight tackles, including two behind the line of scrimmage. 

White was named the Rose Bowl's Defensive Player of the Game.

Honorable Mention: Jeffrey Okudah

Biggest Surprise

For much of the season, Ohio State has relied on its halftime adjustments to pull away from its opponent. Against Washington, the Buckeyes were outscored 19-7 coming out of the locker room. 

Haskins also had "just" 251 passing yards, his second-lowest full game output this season. The quarterback was coming off of a Heisman-and-playoff-snub and had the opportunity to hit 5,000 yards through the air, making his struggles even more surprising. At the same time, Washington's defense is one of the best in the nation. Am I entitled to thinking 251 passing yards is a below-average performance? 

Jim Tressel's Least Favorite Moment

Jim woke up on Tuesday at his usual time with his usual pancakes and biscuit order from Bob Evans. Tressel then proceeded to call every member from his 2010 Rose Bowl-winning team to check up on them. 

Though Tressel loves the Rose Bowl more than life itself, he was screaming at the TV after five straight punts in the second half. He watched helplessly as the Bucks accomplished four three-and-outs in the final 30 minutes to turn a possible blowout into a one-score game. 

Biggest Question Moving Forward

The Ryan Day era has begun. 

How will his tenure compare to Urban Meyer's? Will the offense continue to be as explosive as this year? Who will be the quarterback next year?

The Buckeyes have no shortage of storylines as they head into the offseason. 

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