Both Washington and Ohio State had hopes of going to the College Football Playoff coming into this season, but they fell short of those dreams with some losses during the year. Playing in the Rose Bowl is a great consolation prize, as they get to play against a fellow elite program while playing at one of the most iconic venues in all of college football.
Ohio State and their passing attack are 6.5-point favorites at BetOnline as they hope that their offense can overmatch a stout defense from Washington.
Washington’s offense averaged 412 yards per game this season, ranking 60th in the country. They averaged 26.6 points per game on the campaign, earning a ranking of 85th in the nation in scoring. They were one of the best offenses in the country over the last few years, but couldn’t recapture that magic this season.
Through the air, the Huskies have averaged 232.5 yards per game for the season, which ranks 65th in college football. Jake Browning has browned out on multiple occasions this season, as he lacked the electricity to keep the offense from falling off of a cliff this season after losing his top receivers John Ross and Dante Pettis over the last two seasons.
On the ground, the Huskies average a 55th ranked 179.9 yards per game. Myles Gaskin looks like he will play in this game, and will need to be great to keep Washington from getting blown out against the Buckeyes.
Defense is where the Huskies really shine, allowing 302 yards per game for the season. That average puts them just outside of the top-10, ranking 12th in the sport in a potent Pac-12. They also boast the fifth best scoring defense in college football, giving up just 15.5 points per game to their opponents.
Washington gives up 185.4 yards per game through the air, ranking 21st in the country against the pass. The Pac-12 was more like the Wack 12 offensively this season, but the Washington defense gave up 30 points just once this season, on the road in a loss to the Oregon Ducks. A huge reason for that was their pass defense, which made third and long a death sentence for offenses.
Against the run, U-Dub gives up a 16th ranked 116.4 yards per game. They held Bryce Love to just 71 yards in their win over Stanford this year, and will need to be that good again to lock down all of Ohio State’s rushing options.
Ohio State Rose Bowl Analysis
Ohio State has the second ranked total offense in college football, racking up 549 total yards per game. Their 43.5 points per game is good for seventh in the country. Even with all of the issues in their coaching staff, the offense didn’t miss a beat and will be the best unit on the field in this game by a mile.
Only Washington State averages more passing yards per game this season, with the Buckeyes airing it out for 373 yards per game this year. Buckeyes quarterback Dwayne Haskins is the most prolific passer in the nation this year, with 4,580 yards passing heading into this game. With news that Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert is returning to school next year, Haskins is likely the top quarterback in the upcoming NFL Draft. Expect him to try and show out as a result.
While Ohio State puts its passing game first on offense, they still average a 56th ranked 175.8 yards per game on the ground, which could be a factor that flies under the radar while all eyes are on Haskins.
On defense, Ohio State gives up 400 yards per game, which ranks 68th in the country. Their scoring defense ranks 55th in the nation, giving up 25.7 points per game. For the most part the Buckeyes were strong on defense, but the two-game stretch where they allowed a combined 90 points to Michigan and Maryland was downright offensive.
Urban Meyer’s team struggles against the pass, allowing 239.8 yards per game, making them the 83rd ranked pass defense in America. But whether or not Browning can make them pay for their lack of proficiency against the pass is anyone’s guess. The Buckeyes also allow 160.5 yards rushing on average, which is the 61st best mark in that category.
Washington vs. Ohio State Trends
Washington went 10-3 straight up this season, but were a less than stellar 4-9 against the spread. The Huskies are just 1-4 against the spread in their last five non-conference games, and are a measly 2-6 against the spread in their last eight total games. Following a win against the spread, the Huskies are 1-4 against the spread over their last five games, and they are coming off of a win against the spread in the Pac-12 title game.
Ohio State went 12-1 straight up for the year, but were just a 6-7 team against the spread for the year. They say that good teams win, but great teams cover, and neither team has been great if that logic is to be believed. Ohio State has dominated the Pac-12 in their recent history, going 13-3-1 against the spread in their last 17 games against the conference that calls itself the Conference of Champions. And the Buckeyes are 4-1 against the spread in their last five bowl games.
Washington is a top-tier defensive team, but are taking on a passing attack that is arguably the best in all of college football. Ohio State will be motivated to play well here with Haskins looking to prove that he should be one of the top picks in the draft, and the Buckeyes looking to send Urban Meyer off in style.
Sure, it’s weird to think that a team would rally around Urban Meyer of all people, but there aren’t many things that embody college football quite like a redemption arc for a guy like him. Ohio State will give Meyer a memorable goodbye with a big win here.
Ohio State -6.5
BetOnline is a TOP ONLINE SPORTSBOOK for betting on College Football Deposit Bonus: 50% up to $1000