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Rose Bowl: What we learned from Ohio State's win over Washington in Urban Meyer's finale

USA TODAY SPORTS logo USA TODAY SPORTS 1/2/2019 Josh Peter

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, right, holds the trophy after the team's 28-23 win over Washington in the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) © AP Photo Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, right, holds the trophy after the team's 28-23 win over Washington in the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) PASADENA, Calif. — Urban Meyer, in his final game before retirement, coached the Ohio State Buckeyes Tuesday in his first Rose Bowl. And aside from the roses and pageantry, it ended the same way 85 percent of his previous 218 games did.

Triumphantly.

With Meyer patrolling the sidelines, sixth-ranked Ohio State beat ninth-ranked Washington 28-23 before a crowd of 91,853 largely dressed in scarlet and gray at the Rose Bowl.

RELATED:  Ohio State tops Washington 28-23

But it was not as easy as it seemed for three quarters. Ohio State took a 28-3 lead into the fourth quarter and survived a three-touchdown rally by the Huskies.

"That was a hell of a game," Meyer said on ESPN. "It's time to move on to the next era.

"I'm a very blessed person."

What we knew is that Meyer, having won a national championship with Ohio State in 2014 and two national titles as head coach at Florida, would come prepared on game day. Here’s what we learned:

MEYER DOESN’T BELIEVE IN FINALE FLAIR: Meyer took the field shirtless, with “187-32” across his chest in bodypaint, a reference to what his career record would be a victory over the Washington Huskies in the Rose Bowl Tuesday.

OK, not really. But wouldn’t that have been cool instead of what we got?

From Meyer, we got same ol’, same ol’ -- long-sleeve white top, gray pants and his trusty head set. Fortunately, his team’s offense was less predictable than his game attire.

More: Urban Meyer's response to Ohio State fan's tribute before Rose Bowl: 'Oh, geez'

More: Let's appreciate Central Florida's feel-good, polarizing win streak now that it is over

ROSE BOWL FANS ARE EASILY AMUSED: With 1:16 left in the first half and Washington backed up deep in its own territory, fans behind the north end zone let out a roar. That’s because the referee lept in the air and snagged a wayward pink balloon. He also popped it before action could be delayed.

Ohio State fans also looked amused by one of their own — Jeff Hamms, who sported a headband that in black marker read: URBAN. He has worn it his entire state in California, evening sleeping with it on, he said.

BUCKEYES BRACING FOR MORE THAN MEYER’S DEPARTURE: Dwayne Haskins has not made an official announcement, but after his performance at the Rose Bowl it’s a good bet the sophomore quarterback will leave Ohio State early for the 2019 NFL draft.

He wasn’t spectacular, by any stretch. But he did play well enough to show he’s projected as first-round pick. In the first half, he completed 17 of 24 passes for 163 yards and three touchdowns without an interception as Ohio State took a 21-3 lead. He finished with 25 of 37 for 251 yards. He also reached 50 touchdown passes for the season.

Once again, the NFL draft should be a big day for the Buckeyes thanks in large part to Meyer’s success in recruiting and developing players. In the past three drafts, 10 Ohio State players have been picked in the first round.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Rose Bowl: What we learned from Ohio State's win over Washington in Urban Meyer's finale

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