On New Year’s Day 2019, the Rose Bowl game will have its traditional matchup of the Big Ten champion against the Pac-12 champion for the first time in five seasons.
The No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes are set to face the No. 9 Washington Huskies in Pasadena. It’s not the College Football Playoff, but it’s still a very nice matchup of top-10 teams in one of the greatest venues in all of American sport.
Sunday, after the matchup was made official, the head coaches of both schools held a teleconference to preview the game.
Ohio State’s Urban Meyer is a three-time national championship winner, and has won the Big Ten in three of the last five seasons.
Washington’s Chris Petersen is considered one of the best in the nation as well, leading the Huskies to the College Football Playoff in 2016, and three straight New Year’s Six bowls.
Here’s a quick rundown of what both coaches had to say as they looked ahead toward that matchup on New Year’s Day.
+ Urban Meyer said that he grew up watching the Rose Bowl, and that “it’s been a bucket list and a dream to go coach out there.”
+ Chris Petersen said that Ohio State represents “quite a challenge” for his team.
+ Petersen said he first met Meyer when he was the head coach at Utah and Petersen was the offensive coordinator at Boise State. When Petersen first got the Washington job, he came out to watch the Buckeyes practice and pick Meyer’s brain for a few days.
+ Petersen called the Huskies’ season “rocky.” He said he has a lot of respect for his team for going through all that they did and staying focused.
+ Meyer said he hasn’t watched much Washington film yet, although he did see some of the Pac-12 Championship Game. They will start digging into what the Huskies do starting on Monday.
+ Petersen said the Huskies are thrilled to be going to the Rose Bowl, especially with a chance to play Ohio State. “It’s just been a long time since this program has gotten an opportunity to go there.” The Huskies’ last trip came after the 2000 season when they beat Drew Brees and Purdue, 34-24.
+ Petersen was asked about his team coming into the season with Playoff expectations. “You just need to deal with it, adapt, adjust, and regroup, and move forward.”
+ Petersen said “Ohio State could easily, with their resume, be in that four-team tournament.” But he said there will still be a lot of excitement from both teams to go to Pasadena because “the Rose Bowl carries that much weight.”
+ Meyer echoed that sentiment: “I’ve always wanted to be in the Rose Bowl. I know our players are very excited about it. We talked about it, If you’re in the playoff, great; if not, to think that you get a chance to go play in the historic Rose Bowl, we’re all excited to go do it.”
[Header photo courtesy: Scott Eklund/Red Box Pictures]