The Rose Bowl is set and it is a classic Pac 10 vs Big 10 match-up. The best Big 10 team, BCS ranked #9 Ohio State Buckeyes takes on the best of the Pac 10, BCS ranked #7 Oregon Ducks. Ohio State has known for weeks they have been in the Rose Bowl but have been waiting anxiously to find out who their opponent would be.
Oregon wins 37-33 over Oregon State to earn first trip to Rose Bowl since the 94 season
The question was answered Thursday as the Oregon Ducks hooked up with the Oregon State Beavers. The game, hosted by Oregon in their home Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon is known as “The Civil War”. Chip Kelly in his first season as coach of the Ducks was more than a little on edge after Oregon scored their first touchdown. Kelly met his quarterback Jeremiah Masoli out on the field after the scoring drive and scolded him, telling him he needed to speed up the offense.
The Rose Bowl was on the line for the first time in the history of the Civil War. The game was a classic back and forth battle. Oregon led by LeMichael James, rushing for 166 yards and three touchdowns and Jeremiah Massoli throwing for 201 yards and one touchdown in the Oregon win.
A key drive in the game featured LaGarrette Blount coming off the bench in the third quarter and pounding the ball through the Oregon State defense. Blunt was playing for the first time since he sucker punched a Boise State lineman the first game of the season. Blount capped off the drive with a punishing 12 yard run and ended up with 51 yards rushing. Blount also was the key rusher in the drive to kick the final field goal and assuring Oregon a trip to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
Chip Kelly on the Dan Patrick Show discussing the suspension and re-emergence of Lagarrette Blount stated, “I really didn’t know how great our back up running backs were before we suspended Blount.” He went on to say ,” I’m just proud of him. He has been through a lot.”
Blount for his part after the game stated, ” This means everything to me. (speaking of the Rose Bowl trip) I’m at a loss for words.” Blount is currently the third string running back for Oregon and will almost assuredly be used in the Rose Bowl.
Ohio State will again have a long layoff before their Rose Bowl appearance
The Ohio State Buckeyes again have an extra long layoff going into their Rose Bowl appearance. In their last five games the Buckeyes have rushed for over 200 yards. Ohio State seems to be adapting to their athletic quarterback Terrelle Pryor. For his part Pryor still has to enhance his ball protection and make better decisions.
The game will essentially be laid on the shoulders of the Ohio State Buckeye defense. The defense has been strong all year and they will need to stop the run. Only problem with that is Jeremiah Masoli is a strong passer also.
The Rose Bowl will be held on it’s traditional New Years Day along with it’s traditional Rose Bowl match-up of Pac 10 champ and the Big 10 champs. The added bonus is both Oregon and Ohio State will possibly be playing for a season ending top five ranking in a final BCS tally.