Rose Bowl Players To Watch
QB Dwayne Haskins, Soph. Ohio State: In almost any other year he’s the runaway Heisman winner after throwing for 4,580 yards and 47 touchdowns with just eight picks. Granted, he’s not the running quarterback Ohio State usually likes to employ, and his 400-yard games seemed to get blown off a bit too easily, but a case could be made that he’s been far, far more clutch than either Tua Tagovailoa or Kyler Murray.
He bailed the team’s butt out of the fire late against TCU, threw for 470 in the SO-not-his-fault loss to Purdue, and was brilliant in the close call win over Maryland. In the Big Ten Championship? 34-of-41 for 499 yards and five scores against Northwestern.
DT Dre’Mont Jones, Jr. Ohio State: Chase Young has taken over for Nick Bosa as the star pass rusher on the outside, and it’s been Jones who has been the leader on the interior with 8.5 sacks, 13 tackles for loss, and 40 stops on the year. He’s not massive, but the 6-3, 286-pounder is ultra-quick in the backfield and is great at hold his own against the power teams.
QB Jake Browning, Sr. Washington: The four-year starter is about to crank up the historic passing charts with one more good game. Already 37th among the all-time NCAA leaders, he’s just 118 yards away from moving into the 32nd slot, and 213 away from passing Jared Goff for 31st.
As is, his two Pac-12 titles, one College Football Playoff appearance, and third straight big bowl game appearance should put him among the Washington quarterbacking greats, but … it would be nice to win once of these massive bowl games. He threw for 2,879 yards and 16 touchdowns with ten interceptions this season – his worst year of his four – but all that matters now is closing out with a bang.
LB Ben Burr-Kirven, Sr. Washington: One of the nation’s most dangerous tackling machines, he came up with almost 100 more stops than UW’s second-leading tackler, making 165 on the year including 20 against Arizona State and 19 against Oregon. He’s not much for getting into the backfield, and he’s not all that big at 220 pounds, but he’s all over the place with double-digit stops in 11 of the 13 games.