As His Parting Gift, Urban Meyer Gives Ohio State a Rose Bowl Victory

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PASADENA, Calif. — A colleague as soon as suggested Urban Meyer to search out a second amid every sport to savor. At Ohio State, the regimented coach typically would take away his headset between the third and fourth quarters to soak within the college marching band blasting the classic rock tune “Hang On Sloopy.”

The higher the Buckeyes had been taking part in, the longer he would pay attention.

On Tuesday, as Meyer’s dominant squad constructed what gave the impression to be an irreversible lead over Washington within the 105th Rose Bowl, the coach was in a position to soak up each final be aware.

“This has been on the bucket list,” Meyer stated of successful his first Rose Bowl. “I love all the other bowls, but being a Big Ten guy from Ohio and watching the Rose Bowl in the ’70s with Archie Griffin, it’s everything everybody says it was.”

In what Meyer maintains was a soccer teaching farewell that got here as a results of his personal well being considerations, the No. 6 Buckeyes withstood a late rally by No. 9 Washington to prevail, 28-23, and make a gentle case that omitting them from the College Football Playoff in lieu of Oklahoma (gradual out of the beginning blocks in opposition to Alabama) and Notre Dame (glued to the blocks in opposition to Clemson) was an oversight.

As for Meyer, himself, he departs with a considerably difficult legacy, with nice achievements on the sphere tarnished to a diploma by issues that occurred away from it.

He received three nationwide titles — one with Ohio State and two with the University of Florida — and his successful proportion of .853 is unmatched amongst energetic coaches. Yet the college suspended him three video games this season, concluding he mishandled the problem of an assistant coach accused of home abuse. And at his earlier cease, in Florida, there have been a appreciable variety of gamers concerned in off-field misconduct.

So whereas there isn’t a denying his genius as a coach, to his critics, not less than, the studies that he would begin his retirement by serving to instruct a enterprise class at Ohio State on management and character appeared like satire. In reality, he will likely be doing simply that.

Meanwhile, in opposition to Washington on Tuesday, Meyer’s Buckeyes (13-1) corrected this season’s predominant deficiency — yielding lengthy positive factors on the bottom. Coming into the sport, Ohio State had allowed six dashing touchdowns of greater than 75 yards, essentially the most by any Football Bowl Subdivision protection since 2003.

The Huskies (10-4), nevertheless, scrounged out simply 3.6 yards per carry, with their lengthiest working play protecting 19 yards. They resorted to a tailback cross by Myles Gaskin within the fourth quarter to lastly put a landing on the scoreboard.

Washington’s quarterback, Jake Browning, helped generate two extra scoring drives within the fourth quarter, each on Gaskin rushes, the latter with simply 42 seconds left within the sport. But a failed 2-point conversion and an onside kick try simply recovered by Ohio State closed out the comeback try and despatched Meyer into retirement with a significant victory.

Pressed to disclose his ideas within the final minute, Meyer stated, “It was, ‘Are you kidding me?’ until we got the onside kick.”

Last week, Meyer labeled his quarterback Dwayne Haskins’ two earlier video games — 11 touchdowns passes, 895 yards — as amongst “the best performances in college football history.”

Yet, on the Buckeyes’ first scoring drive on Tuesday, all however three of the preliminary 65 yards got here on runs, primarily by Mike Weber, who carried the ball 4 instances for 52 yards on the drive.

With the Huskies anticipating one other run, Haskins then hit a wide-open Parris Campbell for a 12-yard landing, offering an early validation for Ohio State having named Ryan Day, the crew’s offensive coordinator, as Meyer’s successor.

Washington untangled itself from a dreadful begin offensively — two three-and-outs — and drove to a subject aim, solely to concede one other prolonged march by Ohio State that resulted in a landing on Haskins’ 19-yard toss to Johnnie Dixon.

The Huskies’ offense was so quiet within the first half that Browning’s shining event was a punt out of a shotgun formation that was downed at Ohio State’s 3-yard line.

Still one other three-and-out by Washington on its subsequent sequence enabled the Buckeyes to flip the sphere. For Haskins’ third scoring strike, they wanted to motor solely 47 yards, with Haskins ending the drive with a 1-yard landing cross to Rashod Berry.

The scoreboard stated 21-3 at halftime. The feeling within the stadium stated the hole was wider, and the notion remained so when Washington went backward on consecutive snaps from Ohio State’s 32-yard line after accepting the second-half kickoff.

Seven performs later, the Buckeyes seemingly put to mattress any doubt that Meyer wouldn’t exit on a excessive be aware. Reversing the script of the primary rating, Haskins threw for all however two of the 77 yards the Buckeyes traveled, after which handed off to J.Ok. Dobbins for a 3-yard landing run.

Meyer’s prior departure from teaching was attributable to extreme stress. Though diminished, it has not been eradicated. Asked not too long ago if he feels nervous earlier than video games, Meyer stated, “Deathly ill might be more appropriate.”

After Tuesday’s sport, Meyer half-joked that in earlier years a cellphone would have been at his ear as he walked off the Rose Bowl subject, with the coach looking for updates on recruits.

“The new guy has got to worry about that,” he stated.

But whereas there are few who can be stunned if Meyer, a mere 54, finally ends up going again into teaching sooner or later down the street, for the second, he appeared enthusiastic about savoring this victory.

“While we enjoyed tonight, I don’t believe I’m going to coach again,” he stated.

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