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8 Position Battles to Watch For In the New Year’s Six Bowl Games

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6. Ohio State QB Dwyane Haskins vs. Washington Secondary (Rose Bowl)  

Dwayne Haskins (7) broke several Ohio State passing records this season. He’s the engine to the Buckeyes’ offense (The Spun).

No other FBS quarterback passed for more yards (4,580) and touchdowns (47) than Ohio State’s Dwyane Haskins this season. The redshirt sophomore flashed brilliance in the pocket on a week-to-week basis, displaying the ability to burn defensive coverages in the short, intermediate, and deep passing game. As a matter of fact, here’s Haskins’ downfield passing numbers, courtesy of Pro Football Focus, which are nothing short of impressive:

  • 23 completions on deep passes, which accounts for 20 yards or more (3rd in Big Ten)
  • 786 passing yards on deep passes (2nd in Big Ten) 
  • 14 TDs on deep passes (1st in Big Ten)
  • 111.2 Passer Rating on deep passes (2nd in Big Ten)
  • On-target percentage of 69% on downfield throws of 30+yards or more.

It’s safe to say Washington’s secondary will be under fire in Pasadena. However, the Huskies have just the personnel to handle Haskins’ aerial attack. For starters, Chris Peterson’s bunch is equipped with two of the best corners in the Pac 12 in redshirt sophomore Byron Murphy (4 INTs and 13 passes defended) and senior Jordan Miller (2 INTs and five passes defended)

Both of them helped lead Washington to a No. 19 finish in Def. Passing S&P+, not to mention, they allowed only six yards per pass attempt and 9.1 yards per completion, the lowest average of any secondary group in the country.

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