Huskies comeback falls short in 28 to 23 RoseBowl loss to Buckeyes

The No. 9 University of Washington Huskies twenty point fourth quarter explosion was the proverbial too little too late as the No. 6 Ranked Ohio State Buckeyes held to win the 105th Rose Bowl 28 to 23 Wednesday afternoon Pasadena.

The was supposed to feature a marquee matchup between the No. 2 ranked Ohio State offense against the 12th ranked University of Washington defense led by All- American Linebacker Ben- Burr-Kirvin. The Ohio State offense led by Heisman Trophy Finalist Dwayne Haskins played it’s part as the Buckeye offense bolted to a 21-3 first-half lead. The Buckeyes racked up 272 yards of total offense, 109 on the ground and most surprising to everyone in the stadium the Ohio State offense had 163 yards passing. More perplexing for Husky nation was Haskins three touchdown passes in the first half. The Huskies defense had given up just nine passing touchdowns going into the game.

Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins rolls out looking for a receiver. ( Cascadiasports.net)

What made the halftime lead seem insurmountable was not that the Husky defense could not stop the Buckeye offense . The Husky defense forced five Buckey punts in the first half. The issue for the Huskies was the Husky offenses inability to generate any type of offense. Outside of the first quarter field goal, the Husky offense managed just 42 rushing yards to go with quarterback Jake Brownings 209 passing yards. The Huskies were 3-9 on third down and had five penalties for 41 yards.

Husky Wide Receiver Aaron Fuller on the teams slow start. ( Cascadiasports.net)

The Huskies ineptitude continued in the third quarter when they punted on their first two possessions in the third quarter and the Buckeyes expanded their lead to 28 to 3 on a three-yard run by J. K. Dobbins midway through the quarter.

OFFENSE JOINS THE PARTY

For some unknown reason, the Husky offense decided it was time it joined the party. Husky running back Myles Gaskin completed a two-yard touchdown pass to Drew Sample to begin the fourth quarter. Sensing some help from the offense, the Husky defense stiffened and shut down the Buckeye offense the rest of the game. With the Buckeye offense shut down, the Husky offense was enjoying its scoring ways and went back for more.

Husky running back Myles Gaskin looks for daylight against the Ohio State. ( Ted Gangi)

Gaskins scored his second touchdown of the game on a two-yard run that brought the Huskies within striking defense at 28 to 17. Gaskin’s third touchdown of the day with 42 seconds left in the game gave Husky Nation reason to believe as the Buckeyes lead was down to five points at 28 to 23. Brownings two point after try pass was intercepted and the Huskies attempted onside kick also failed as the Buckeyes hung for the win.

While he was impressed with his teams’ overall effort Husky head coach was disappointed in the outcome.

Tough one. Very frustrating when you start the first half like we started. I had no idea why. It’s on me. It’s not these kids. They practiced hard. They’re ready to play. But we really didn’t play with that edge and that chip that we normally play with, really, just, you know, across the whole squad.
I don’t know, being off that much time, it just didn’t seem the same. I’m proud of them. A few adjustments at halftime, but really more than anything, just an attitude adjustment, make a few plays. And that breeds excitement when you make a few plays and kind of feed off each other.
So we’ll go back to the drawing board on how to prepare these guys better to come out of the gate a little bit faster. But I am proud of how hard these guys play, and I never doubt that. That’s why I think it’s really on me to figure out how to get a faster start, because it’s never a question of these guys not being all in and doing everything that we ask them to do. We’ve just got to prepare them a little differently.
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