The Rose Bowl, the next to the last bowl game to be played on Jan 1, kicks off at 5 pm ET. The game features the #6 Ohio State (12-1, 1st Big Ten – East) Buckeyes playing the #9 Washington Huskies (10-3, 1st Pac-12 – North). Our Rose Bowl free pick has the Buckeyes favored by as little as 5.5 and by as much a 7.5. The over/under is anywhere from 54.5 to 55.5.
OSU’s one loss came midseason to the unranked Purdue Boilermakers. Purdue beat the Buckeyes 49-20. Ohio State met #21 Northeastern for the Big Ten title game on Dec. 1 and won that contest 45-24. Two of Washington’s three losses on the season came to nationally-ranked teams. The Huskies lost their first game of the season, as #9 Auburn beat them 21-16. Midway through the season, they lost to #17 Oregon in OT 30-27. They also suffered a 12-10 loss to California. Washington played #17 Utah for the Pac-12 championship on Nov. 30. The Huskies beat the Utes 10-7 to take the league title.
Washington – Analysis
Our Rose Bowl free pick notes that the Huskie defense can shut team’s down. They allowed opponents just 15.5 PPG and kept them to 185 passing yards and 116 rushing yards. At the same time, Washington’s offense averaged 26.6 PPG, giving them a PF/PA differential of plus 11.1. The team’s running game averaged 180 YPG, while their air attack resulted in 233 YPG.
One thing is certain, Huskie QB Jake Browning could show better judgement. He threw 10 picks this season while completing 65.0% of his passes and tossing 16 TDs. Browning has a sound group of receivers with his preferred target being Aaron Fuller (51 REC, 794 YDs, 15.6 YPC, 4 TDs). The rush attack will be anchored by Myles Gaskin (235 ATT, 1,447 YDs, 4.9 YPA, 10 TDs) Gaskin is an exceptional talent and skilled player who can break a game open. Sophomore Salmon Ahmed, who has seven TDs and 604 yards on 99 carries, is averaging 6.1 YPA.
Ohio State – Analysis
The Buckeyes, according to our Rose Bowl free pick research, can certainly score. This season, they averaged 43.6 PPG. Of their 549 yards of offense per game, 373 came from their pass attack. They rushed for 176. The OSU defense allowed opponents plenty of yards, as teams averaged 400 yards of offense per game against them. Of those yards, 240 were through the air. Opponents scored on average 25.7 PPG against OSU. Still, the Buckeyes posted a health PF/PA differential of plus-17.9.
Sophomore QB Dwayne Haskins (70.2 COMP%, 47 TDs, 8 INTs) is amazingly accurate. He and his receivers cn blow a game wide open quickly. Two OSU receivers, Parris Campbell and Terry McLaurin, have caught 11 TDs passes and two others have combined for 13 scoring catches. Campbell leads the team with 79 receptions while McLaurin is tops in yards-per-catch at 19.7. OSU also has a fine rush attack that features sophomore J.K. Dobbins, who has 1,029 yards and nine TDs, and junior Mike Weber, who has gained 858 yards and scored five times.
Five Keys to the Game
- Huskie pass D can be exploited
- OSU can score in bunches
- UW must slow down pace of game
- Buckeyes have a very fine pass rush
- OSU attack well balanced
Our Rose Bowl Free Pick
In our Rose Bowl free pick, we are taking OSU at -5.5. Despite UW’s ability to stop teams from advancing, we think that the Buckeyes have too much in their tank to be held down for very long. The over/under of 54.5 is reachable if OSU can do their thing. A score of 37- 18 is possible. Take the over. There is one more game today with the final one being the Allstate Sugar Bowl between Texas and UGA at 8:45 pm ET. To link to our bowl picks simply follow this link