2010 Rose Bowl - Ohio State vs. Oregon
Oregon QB Jeremiah Masoli & OSU QB Terrelle Pryor
Oregon QB Jeremiah Masoli & OSU QB Terrelle Pryor
Posted Dec 29, 2009

The CFN 2010 Rose Bowl Preview - Ohio State vs. Oregon

2010 Rose Bowl

Ohio State (10-2) vs. Oregon (10-2)

Pasadena, CA, Jan. 1, 4:30 pn, ABC

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Team Pages and 2009 Season
OregonOhio State 


- 2009 CFN Rose Bowl Preview
- 2008 CFN Rose Bowl Preview
- 2007 CFN Rose Bowl Preview
National Rankings
25th Total Offense 71st
32nd Total Defense 5th
7th Scoring Offense 47th
52nd Scoring Defense 5th
6th Rushing Offense 19th
39th Run Defense 5th
92nd Passing Offense 106th
37th Passing Defense 17th
46th Turnover Margin 4th
Position Ratings
relative to each other
UO 5 highest
1 lowest
4.5 Quarterbacks 4
5 RBs 4
3.5 Receivers 2.5
4 O Line 4
4 D Line 4
3.5 Linebackers 4
4 Secondary 4.5
3.5 Spec Teams 4.5
4 Coaching 5
Rose Bowl History
2009 USC 38, Penn State 24
2008 USC 49, Illinois 17
2007 USC 32, Michigan 18
2006 Texas 41, USC 38
2005 Texas 38, Michigan 37
2004 USC 28, Michigan 14
2003 Oklahoma 34, Washington St 14
2002 Miami 37, Nebraska 14
2001 Washington 34, Purdue 24
2000 Wisconsin 17, Stanford 9
1999 Wisconsin 38, UCLA 31
1998 Michigan 21, Washington St 16
1997 Ohio State 20, Arizona State 17
1996 USC 41, Northwestern 32
1995 Penn State 38, Oregon 20
1994 Wisconsin 21, UCLA 16
1993 Michigan 38, Washington 31
1992 Washington 34, Michigan 14
1991 Washington 46, Iowa 34
1990 USC 17, Michigan 10
1989 Michigan 22, USC 14
1988 Michigan State 20, USC 17
1987 Arizona State 22, Michigan 15
1986 UCLA 45, Iowa 28
1985 USC 20, Ohio State 17
1984 UCLA 45, Illinois 9
1983 UCLA 24, Michigan 14
1982 Washington 28, Iowa 0
1981 Michigan 23, Washington 6
1980 USC 17, Ohio State 16
1979 USC 17, Michigan 10
1978 Washington 27, Michigan 20
1977 USC 14, Michigan 6
1976 UCLA 23, Ohio State 10
1975 USC 18, Ohio State 17
1974 Ohio State 42, USC 21
1973 USC 42, Ohio State 17
1972 Stanford 13, Michigan 12
1971 Stanford 27, Ohio State 17
1970 USC 10, Michigan 3
1969 Ohio State 27, USC 16
1968 USC 14, Indiana 3
1967 Purdue 14, USC 13
1966 UCLA 14, Michigan State 12
1965 Michigan 34, Oregon State 7
1964 Illinois 17, Washington 7
1963 USC 42, Wisconsin 37
1962 Minnesota 21, UCLA 3
1961 Washington 17, Minnesota 7
1960 Washington 44, Wisconsin 8
1959 Iowa 38, California 12
1958 Ohio State 10, Oregon 7
1957 Iowa 35, Oregon State 19
1956 Michigan State 17, UCLA 14
1955 Ohio State 20, USC 7
1954 Michigan State 28, UCLA 20
1953 USC 7, Wisconsin 0
1952 Illinois 40, Stanford 7
1951 Michigan 14, California 6
1950 Ohio State 17, California 14
1949 Northwestern 20, California 14
1948 Michigan 49, USC 0
1947 Illinois 45, UCLA 14
1946 Alabama 34, USC 14
1945 USC 25, Tennessee 0
1944 USC 29, Washington 0
1943 Georgia 9, UCLA 0
1942 Oregon State 20, Duke 16 (at Durham, N.C.)
1941 Stanford 21, Nebraska 13
1940 USC 14, Tennessee 0
1939 USC 7, Duke 3
1938 California 13, Alabama 0
1937 Pittsburgh 21, Washington 0
1936 Stanford 7, SMU 0
1935 Alabama 29, Stanford 13
1934 Columbia 7, Stanford 0
1933 USC 35, Pittsburgh 0
1932 USC 21, Tulane 12
1931 Alabama 24, Washington St 0
1930 USC 47, Pittsburgh 14
1929 Georgia Tech 8, California 7
1928 Stanford 7, Pittsburgh 6
1927 Alabama 7, Stanford 7
1926 Alabama 20, Washington 19
1925 Notre Dame 27, Stanford 10
1924 Navy 14, Washington 14
1923 USC 14, Penn State 3
1922 California 0, Washington & Jefferson 0
1921 California 28, Ohio State 0
1920 Harvard 7, Oregon 6
1919 Great Lakes 17, Mare Island 0
1918 Mare Island 19, Camp Lewis 7
1917 Oregon 14, Pennsylvania 0
1916 Washington State 14, Brown 0
1902 Michigan 49, Stanford 0

Wisconsin 17, Stanford 9, January 1, 2000. That was the last time the Big Ten won the Rose Bowl, while the classic 20-17 win over Arizona State in the 1997 game was the last time Ohio State won in Pasadena. A lot has happened since then, and it all leads up to this game that might turn out to be the biggest bowl in recent Big Ten history, at least when it comes to national perception.

The Big Ten gets a bad rap and it's mostly because of two things: 1) Ohio State vs. the SEC and USC, and 2) USC vs. the rest of the world. Take a look at the recent histories of the SEC vs. Big Ten matchups in the Outback and Capital One bowls and the Big Ten has more than held its own against the upper-division SEC teams, and the league has been fine in most of the other bowl games over recent years. However, USC, who would've steamrolled at least 115 other teams in each of the last three Rose Bowls, has been USC, and the Big Ten has gotten in the way on the biggest stage. 2006 Michigan and 2008 Penn State were excellent and deserved to be considered among the top five teams in the country, but the USC teams they faced deserved to be in the top two (and no, 2007 Illinois doesn't belong in the discussion).

And then there's the top dog phenomenon. When the killer team at the top of the standings struggles, the rest of the conference is perceived as weak, when in reality, Ohio State had one flat-out dog of an effort in the 2007 BCS Championship Game loss to Florida, and lost games it was supposed to against a superior LSU team for the 2007 national championship and against Texas in the 2009 Fiesta Bowl. Dismissed in the losses on the biggest of stages was that Ohio State hung tight with LSU for three quarters and had the Longhorns dead before Colt McCoy came up with a drive for the ages to pull out the win. Also forgotten was that up until January 8, 2006, all was right with the Buckeye and Big Ten world, but that one loss to the Gators changed everything. In other words, Ohio State really hasn't been that bad. However, Oregon isn't 2007 USC or 2008 Texas, and if the Buckeyes lose this one, it's going to be hard for the Big Ten to put a positive spin on yet another BCS failure.

Oregon overcame a four-game bowl losing streak to be, arguably, the best bowl team over the last two seasons blasting South Florida in the 2007 and Oklahoma State in the 2008 Holiday by a combined score of 98 to 52. While this game is vital for the Big Ten to win, it's just as important to the Pac 10 to go out and prove that the league isn't just Pete Carroll and the other nine. And after the way Oregon State clunked in the Las Vegas Bowl against BYU and with the way Utah beat Cal in the Poinsettia, the conference needs a big positive in a big hurry.

Yes, the Big Ten hasn't won the Rose Bowl since 2000 (however, three of the nine games since then didn't involve a Big Ten team), but only one non-USC team, Washington in the 2001 win over Drew Brees and Purdue, has won since 1992. To take this even further, the last time some Pac 10 team other than Washington or USC has won the Rose Bowl is 1987 (Arizona State's 22-15 win over Michigan). Half the players in this game weren't alive the last time someone other than the Huskies or Trojans won. And to make this even more meaningful for Oregon, the only time the Ducks won the Rose Bowl was 1917 … over Penn.

This year's team couldn't have started out worse with the disaster of a performance at Boise State, topped off by the LeGarrette Blount punch heard around the college football world, but the Ducks survived a shootout against Purdue, beat a solid Utah team, and then blew up the Pac 10 beating Cal, Washington State, UCLA, Washington, and USC all by 14 points or more and by a combined score of 208 to 58, or an average of 41.6 to 11.6. However, the Ducks had a few struggles away from Autzen Stadium, losing to Stanford and in double overtime against Arizona, but they were unstoppable with only two games in Pac 10 play, the 24-10 win over UCLA and the 37-33 win over Oregon State, when the offense scored fewer than 42 points. Now the O has to prove that it can still work with time off, and against the best defense it'll face all season long.

Ohio State's issues were on offense, sputtering in the passing game, struggling to find any consistency running the ball, and being unable to put away seemingly easy games without a little bit of help. However, the no-name defense was terrific, finishing first in the Big Ten and fifth in the nation. But can that be enough? Can the defensive-minded Buckeyes slow down the tremendous Oregon offensive machine? Out of all the BCS games, this is the biggest coin-flip and the biggest mystery game. And outside of the BCS Championship, it's probably the most important.

Players to Watch
: Ohio State can't win unless Terrelle Pryor is great, but he hasn't been a special player this year and he's going to be hobbling, at best, on a banged up knee. He has a torn PCL which he claims isn't a big deal, but if it limits his mobility at all and makes him a pure pocket passer, OSU is in big, big trouble. It's not a coincidence that two of Pryor's worst games came in losses, completing just 11-of-25 passes for 177 yards and a pick against USC, and throwing two interceptions in the loss to Purdue, but there were times when he was razor-sharp and everything worked at the right time. He dinked and dunked on Iowa, completing 14-of-17 passes for just 93 yards, but for the most part he was erratic when he wasn't making plays on the move, and he struggled with his consistency. Against the quick Oregon D, he could have problems finding room to run.

Stanford's Toby Gerhart ran for 1,736 yards and 26 touchdowns, averaging 5.58 yards per carry, and he came within a heartbeat of winning the Heisman. Oregon's LaMichael James had 96 fewer carries but ran for 1,476 yards and 14 scores averaging 6.87 yards per pop. Had he seen more than 11 carries against Boise State and Purdue at the start of the season, he would've been a near-lock to have equaled Gerhart's rushing total. The slippery, speedy freshman ran for 100 yards or more in nine of the last ten games, with the one time being under the mark against Washington State in a blowout (he was pulled after running for 81 yards and two scores on 13 carries). He's not afraid of contact, but he's not going to plow over anyone. It's his job to make everyone miss in the open field, and he won't get touched in a one-on-one situation. While James might be the scat back who makes big things happen on the move, QB Jeremiah Masoli will run over, around, and through anyone in his way.

The tough junior made a national mark in the Holiday Bowl win over Oklahoma State with 106 hard rushing yards and three touchdowns, while completing 18-of-32 passes for 258 yards and a touchdown with an interception, and he followed it up with a fantastic all-around season as the leader of the high-powered attack. He only threw five interceptions this year, but he threw one in each of the last three games (to go along with 15 touchdown passes on the season). His job will be to keep the chains moving with his legs and his arm and to make all the right decisions needed to get the ball to his playmakers in spots where they can do something with it.

Oregon will win if ... it gets up early. The last thing Ohio State needs is to try to mount any sort of a comeback by throwing the ball. The Oregon secondary is a strength, the Buckeye passing game finished last in the Big Ten and 106th in the nation, and with a lead, the Duck attack can do what it does best and run the ball to grind out the game. But Oregon can't be afraid to get the passing game going early on to mix things up. Ohio State will have been drilled for the last month to be disciplined and tough against the run, but Masoli has to open up the attack to go after the good, but not elite OSU corners. Purdue was able to beat the Buckeyes with 281 passing yards from Joey Elliott, USC came up with the win after Matt Barkley got hot on the key late drive, and everyone else struggled to consistently produce through the air. Navy showed that a team cam both run and throw effectively, with Ricky Dobbs completing 9-of-13 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns with an interception. Masoli has to be just as effective.

Ohio State will win if ... the running game cranks out big yards and the team wins the turnover battle. Ohio State's biggest advantage is its bulk and its toughness. Oregon can be shoved around, and Ohio State will certainly try by barreling the ball with both Dan Herron and Brandon Saine, and it needs to control the clock and keep Oregon's O off the field. In OSU's two losses, it ran for 88 yards against USC and 66 against Purdue. It ran for 97 yards in the win over Wisconsin, but that's because the offense never had the ball. Against everyone else, OSU ran for 150 yards or more and in the last five games, including against Penn State and Iowa, the offense ran for 228 yards or more in each game with 11 touchdowns. The bigger key for a team without a lot of offensive firepower will be the turnovers. OSU gave it away five times in the loss to Purdue and just 12 times the rest of the year on its way to finishing fourth in the nation in turnover margin. Oregon is almost always good for two turnovers a game, and OSU has to take advantage of every mistake.

What will happen: By all logic and reason, Oregon should win this game. The offense is better, Pryor is hurt, and OSU doesn't have a whole bunch of firepower, but don't diminish just how good Jim Tressel and his staff are when it comes to preparing for the big games. Again, Oregon isn't USC of the past few seasons and it's not a national-title caliber superpower. This is a great Duck team, but it's not an elite one, and the Buckeye defense, especially if the front four is as inspired like it was against Wisconsin can take over a game. Either this will be an Oregon blowout with an impressive performance that will launch a top five 2010 preseason ranking, or it'll be a close, tight, Tressel Ball kind of a game with the Buckeyes coming up with the win. Ohio State wins on a late field goal.

CFN Prediction: Ohio State 26 … Oregon 24 ... Line: Oregon -4

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Best Duck Bowl Moment: There have been Rose Bowls, a Cotton Bowl and a slew of minor bowls in Oregon's history, all of which paled in comparison to the 2002 Fiesta Bowl. Joey Harrington threw four touchdown passes, Steve Smith picked off three passes, and the No. 2 Ducks put a bow on the most successful season in school history by pummeling No. 3 Colorado 38-16.

Best Buckeye Bowl Moment: Beyond the plethora of Rose Bowl wins, nothing could compare to the 2003 Fiesta Bowl. In one of the most thrilling college football games of all-time, Ohio State upset Miami in overtime to cop its first unanimous national championship in 34 years. A distant runner-up was the come-from-behind win against USC in the 1969 Rose Bowl that put the finishing touches on that previous national title.

Ohio State Bowl History (18-22)
2009 Fiesta Texas 24, Ohio State 21
2008 BCS Champ LSU 38, Ohio State 24
2007 BCS Champ Florida 41, Ohio State14
2006 Fiesta Ohio State 34, Notre Dame 20
2004 Alamo Ohio State 33, Oklahoma State 7
2003 Fiesta Ohio State 35, Kansas State 28
2002 Fiesta Ohio State 31, Miami 24 (2 OT)
2001 Outback South Carolina 31, Ohio State 28
2000 Outback South Carolina 24, Ohio State 7
1998 Sugar Ohio State 24, Texas A&M 14
1997 Sugar Florida State 31, Ohio State 14
1996 Rose Ohio State 20, Arizona State 17
1996 Citrus Tennessee 20, Ohio State 14
1995 Citrus Alabma 24, Ohio State 17
1993 Holiday Ohio State 28, Brigham Young 21
1992 Citrus Georgia 21, Ohio State 14
1991 Hall of Fame Syracuse 24, Ohio State 17
1990 Liberty Air Force 23, Ohio State 11
1989 Hall of Fame Auburn 31, Ohio State 14
1986 Cotton Ohio State 28, Texas A&M 12
1985 Citrus Ohio State 10, Brigham Young 7
1984 Rose Southern California 20, Ohio State 17
1983 Fiesta Ohio State 28, Pittsburgh 23
1982 Holiday Ohio State 47, Brigham Young 17
1981 Liberty Ohio State 31, Navy 28
1980 Fiesta Penn State 31, Ohio State 19
1979 Rose Southern California 17, Ohio State 16
1978 Gator Clemson 17, Ohio State 15
1977 Sugar Alabama 35, Ohio State 6
1976 Orange Ohio State 27, Colorado 10
1975 Rose UCLA 23, Ohio State 10
1974 Rose Southern California 18, Ohio State 17
1973 Rose Ohio State 42, Southern California 21
1972 Rose Southern California 42, Ohio State 17
1970 Rose Stanford 27, Ohio State 17
1968 Rose Ohio State 27, Southern California 16
1957 Rose Ohio State 10, Oregon 7
1954 Rose Ohio State 20, Southern California 7
1949 Rose Ohio State 17, California 14
1920 Rose California 28, Ohio State 0
Oregon Bowl History (9-13)    
2008 Holiday Oregon 42, Oklahoma State 31
2007 Sun Oregon 56, South Florida 21
2006 Las Vegas BYU 38, Oregon 8
2005 Holiday Oklahoma 17, Oregon 14
2003 Sun Minnesota 31, Oregon 30
2002 Seattle Wake Forest 38, Oregon 17
2002 Fiesta Oregon 38, Colorado 16
2000 Holiday Oregon 35, Texas 30
1999 Sun Oregon 24, Minnesota 20
1998 Aloha Colorado 51, Oregon 43
1997 Las Vegas Oregon 41, Air Force 13
1995 Cotton Colorado 38, Oregon 6
1994 Rose Penn State 38, Oregon 20
1992 Independ. Wake Forest 39, Oregon 35
1990 Freedom Colorado State 32, Oregon 31
1989 Independ. Oregon 27, Tulsa 24
1963 Sun Oregon 21, SMU 14
1960 Liberty Penn State 41, Oregon 12
1958 Rose Ohio State 10, Oregon 7
1949 Cotton SMU 21, Oregon 13
1920 Rose Harvard 7, Oregon 6
1917 Rose Oregon 14, Penn 0