By Aaron Valdez
A fairytale ending unfolded on New Year’s Day as the No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes sent out Head Coach Urban Meyer with a bang by defeating the No. 9 Washington Huskies 28-23 in Pasadena’s renowned Rose Bowl game.
Despite not competing for the national title this year, Meyer, who announced in early December he was retiring at the end of the season, was still more than satisfied to cap off his well-decorated career with his first Rose Bowl win.
“I am a very blessed person with my family. I’m very blessed that I’ve had some of the best coaches in college football coach for me, and you look at our rosters over the years, you could say that we have had the best players to have ever played this game and I’m very proud of that,” Meyer said in a postgame interview.
The early stages of Tuesday’s “Granddaddy of them all” saw the Buckeyes come out with a full head of steam. Much like how he was the whole season, Ohio State’s stalwart QB Dwayne Haskins was a man on a mission, spearheading the offense while finishing the game with 251 passing yards and three touchdowns. Haskins was also named MVP of the game.
Washington succumbed to Ohio State’s early sucker punch as the Huskies fell behind 28-3 after three quarters of play. However, the Huskies came to life in the final quarter as they notched three touchdowns to cut the Buckeyes’ lead to just five points.
It was a worthy effort by the Pac 12 champions but Washington’s comeback attempt came in vain as its last-ditched onside kick was easily corralled by Ohio State. This put the game on ice and eventually gave the 28-23 win to the Big Ten champion Buckeyes.
This win improved Meyer’s all-time Ohio State record to an impressive 83-9 and 12-3 in bowl games. Despite being crowned Rose Bowl champion, the 54-year-old still stands by his decision to retire and said he “doesn’t believe he’s going to coach again.”