Rose Bowl: Oregon celebrates, but has a business plan for Ohio State
Los Angeles, California – The celebration was on last night after Oregon’s 59-20 win over Florida State in the Rose Bowl. In one corner, Oregon safety Erick Dargan could be heard yelling, “I’m on top of the world!” On the other, running back Kenny Bassett and wide receiver Byron Marshall were dancing in unison to Wiz Khalifa’s hit soundtrack “We Dem Boyz.”
Then there was Oregon outside linebacker Tyson Coleman, who was busy putting his pads and cleats away – like he would after any other game. He knew that the Rose Bowl victory was a step in the right direction, but the team still has one more mission to accomplish before they can celebrate catching their white whale.
“We enjoy it tonight,” he said, “but when we get back to Eugene, it’s all business.”
It’s uncharted waters for Oregon, but head coach Mark Helfrich said after the game that, “we’ve got a plan.”
During the celebration, Dargan was asked who he’d rather face between Alabama and Ohio State in the national championship. He paused, looked over to the television in the top corner of the room and saw the Crimson Tide had a 7-6 lead over the Buckeyes.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I just want to celebrate with my team and then get back to the drawing board.”
Now Dargan and the rest of teammates know who the drawing board will be centered on. In eleven days, Oregon will meet Ohio State in Arlington, Texas for a date with the Buckeyes in “Jerry’s World.” Ohio State traveled into New Orleans and beat No. 1 ranked Alabama 45-38 in the Sugar Bowl last night.
Based on the celebration t-shirts passed out to players and coaches, the team understands the unique situation their in. For the first time, a Rose Bowl victory isn’t the the closing point on a successful. The season isn’t over, and Oregon’s “won, not done” t-shirts displayed that.
Oregon running back Byron Marshall said they’ll have to be more prepared for Ohio State than they have for any team this season.
“One game down, one more left,” Marshall said. “We can’t let down. We cant ease up. We have to keep grinding and work that much harder.”
Still, the win is something Oregon players feel confident about with only one team left on the road to possibly its first national championship.
“Man it means the world,” Oregon wide receiver Johnny Loyd said. “We’re making history right now. Don’t sleep on us.”
Follow Joseph Hoyt on Twitter @JoeJHoyt