Football Hayes & Cannon

Three Things To Watch For From Washington

Washington Jake Browning Rose Bowl

Belated best wishes for a Merry Christmas, and hope you all have a safe and enjoyable New Year in 2019.

It feels like Ohio State has not played in ages, when in reality, it will only have been a little over one month since the Buckeyes clinched the B1G Championship over Northwestern, earning this trip to Pasadena in “The Granddaddy Of Them All,” the 2019 Rose Bowl.

The Washington Huskies, champions of the Pac-12, will be making their first trip to Pasadena since 2001. That game that featured the Huskies and a Purdue team that had Drew Brees at quarterback.

Like Ohio State, Washington came into the 2018 season with aspirations for he College Football Playoff.

The season-opening loss to Auburn (21-16) put the Huskies behind from the start, and midseason conference losses at Oregon (30-27) and at California (12-10) eliminated them altogether.

Still, this is a team that was 10 points from being undefeated, and should not be taken lightly by Ohio State fans.

Below are three critical areas I will be keeping an eye on, as the 2018 season comes to a close…

1. Ohio State’s Passing Game Versus Washington’s Secondary

Ranked second within the Pac-12 behind California (175 yards/game), the Huskies only give up an average of 189.4 yards per game through the air.

The leader of the Washington secondary in interceptions is sophomore Byron Murphy. Listed at 5’11”, 182 pounds, Murphy’s best game came against Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game with two interceptions, one of which was returned for the crucial winning touchdown.  Murphy is a projected first-round pick in the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft.

2.  Ohio State’s Running Game Versus Washington’s Defensive Line

In the event Ohio State’s passing game has challenges through the air, it will be imperative for Ohio State to establish its traditionally strong running game with J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber.

Just as the Huskies are tough defensively in the air, they are also very stout against the run.

Ranked second in the Pac-12, Washington only gives up about 122 yards per game on the ground.

A player to keep an eye on is Husky nose tackle Greg Gaines, who ranks among the Washington leaders in tackles and sacks. Gaines was named first-team All Pac-12, and could pose a problem for the Ohio State interior offensive line.

3.  Washington ILB Ben Burr-Kirven

A first-team All-American and the 2018 Pac-12 Pat Tillman Defensive Player Of The Year, Burr-Kirven is the type of linebacker who is always around the ball.

Burr-Kirven’s 165 tackles led the entire country and Ohio State will need to account for him on every play.

One Response

  1. So, does anyone who watched the play-offs still think Oklahoma and Notre Dame deserved to be there more than the Buckeyes did? I certainly don’t. I know the thing to do is to promote the infallibility fo the CFPC, but I’m not seeing it. Maybe I’m just too much of a Buckeye fan. It was just painful watching the announcers pumping up quarterbacks with half the passing totals of Haskins. This last season, we definitely got spoiled. You have to wonder, with all those graduating receivers and the probable loss of Haskins, will we ever see another offensive season like it? Maybe the receiver corps didn’t have a big star, but as unit they were top of the heap and Haskins had the ability to make use of their talents. There was no team in the college football universe that could guard them all. An average for the last 10 years Buckeye defence would have us in the CFP. What’s with all these guys on the defence thinking of declaring for the draft? You didn’t get it done against Purdue but you think you can play in the NFL? … well OK then.

Comments are closed.