Another year, another Washington Huskies loss on the biggest stage of the year. But at least they made this one a game, even if it took until the fourth quarter for that to happen.
For the third season in a row, the Huskies kicked off in a premiere bowl game against an elite opponent, and for much of the afternoon looked as if they didn’t belong on the same field of play. There were a handful of bright spots to be found — among them was Myles Gaskin eclipsing the 1,200-yard mark for the fourth consecutive year, and a spirited effort to mount a comeback for the ages in the fourth quarter — but almost all of them were overshadowed by Washington’s failure to score a touchdown until nearly 48 minutes of game time had elapsed.
The game got off to an inauspicious start for the Ohio State Buckeyes, as a false start before the first play of the afternoon put Ohio State at 1st and 15. Two negative plays completed the three-and-out, and Myles Gaskin’s first carry went for a five-yard gain. Unfortunately, the Dawgs were unable to convert and went three-and-out themselves, with Joel Whitford’s 48-yard punt giving tOSU possession at their 23.
Ohio State’s vaunted passing offense came to life on their second drive that went 77 yards in 11 plays, resulting in a 12-yard score on a Parris Campbell post route. But the star of the drive was running back Mike Weber, who earned gains of 9, 14, 10 and 19 yards on the drive, including a fourth-down conversion that advanced Ohio State from the 31-yard line all the way to the 12.
Parris Campbell:— Land-Grant Holy Land (@Landgrant33) January 1, 2019
-Scores the opening touchdown of the Rose Bowl
-Becomes the 5th Ohio State receiver to have 1,000 yards receiving in a single season pic.twitter.com/rrOwOf9zGS
Washington’s offensive woes continued on their second drive, with the Dawgs going three-and-out for a second consecutive drive. Thankfully, the Washington defense stepped up to force another three-play drive and the UW offense finally came to life, advancing 53 yards in nine plays to the Ohio State 23. Unfortunately, back-to-back false start and holding penalties stalled the drive, but Peyton Henry split the uprights on a 38-yard attempt to get Washington on the board, at a 7-3 deficit.
However, the Buckeyes refused to allow the Huskies to maintain the momentum they gained on their scoring drive, controlling the ball for 3:56 during their 10-play, 75-yard drive that culminated in a 19-yard Dwayne Haskins touchdown pass to Johnnie Dixon. Even worse, linebacker DJ Beavers went down with what appeared to be a serious injury to his left leg, leaving the Washington defense at a further talent deficit as the Buckeyes built their lead into a 14-3 score.
The Huskies and Buckeyes traded punts on their next five series, with both offenses moving the ball before the opposing defenses stiffened up on their sides of the 50. But Ohio State capitalized when it marched 57 yards in 46 seconds to score one final touchdown with 0:14 remaining in the first half, to take a 21-3 lead into halftime.
Huskies kneel. Halftime: Ohio State 21, Huskies 3. Stats: pic.twitter.com/cIRNBhRS7t— Adam Jude (@A_Jude) January 1, 2019
The nightmare continued for the Huskies at the start of the second half, with Washington’s opening drive ending in a punt and Ohio State answering with an 80-yard touchdown drive to extend their lead to 28-3. At that point, the rout appeared to be on, and Ohio State took their foot off of the gas.
That proved to be a mistake, as Washington’s defense held the Buckeyes scoreless for the final 23 minutes of the game while rallying to score three touchdowns in the game’s final 12 minutes, all of which involved Myles Gaskin in some facet. But sadly for the Huskies faithful, Ohio State recovered Washington’s onside kick attempt with under a minute left to play, snuffing out UW’s comeback effort and sending Urban Meyer out with a victory in the Granddaddy of Them All.
- Today’s Rose Bowl marks two years in a row in which the Huskies were physically outclassed by a superior Big 10 opponent in a New Year’s Six bowl. Ohio State’s talent advantage was clear all afternoon, especially at the skill positions.
- Among Washington’s players, the game ball unquestionably belongs to Myles Gaskin. The senior running back carried the ball 24 times for 121 yards and two touchdowns.
- Taylor Rapp saw some action on the first drive of the day but was pulled almost immediately, purportedly due to a hip injury he suffered in the conference championship game. His absence was keenly felt against an Ohio State passing offense that is as potent as any in America.
- Jake Browning’s stat line in his final game in a Husky uniform: 35 completions on 54 attempts for 313 yards and an interception on a two-point conversion attempt. His 54 passes represent a career high, exceeding the 52 throws he made against Arizona State in 2015 as a true freshman.
- Washington’s first snap in the Ohio State red zone didn’t come until inside the first minute of the fourth quarter.
- Next up: the traditional national signing day in February, followed by the start of spring football in either March or April.