The University of Washington football team is preparing for a big game on New Year's Day. They play Ohio State in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. KNKX sports commentator Art Thiel previewed the matchup with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick.
"This is really a big deal for longtime Huskies fans," Thiel said. "The Rose Bowl has been, for many, many years, the granddaddy...of all bowl games.
"It's sort of diminished in stature with the advent of playoffs, but this is still a big deal, especially for West Coast fans. And especially because this is against Ohio State — a Big Ten rival.
"For many, many years the then-Pac-10 and the Big Ten had the annual Clash of the Titans at the Rose Bowl. So, I think a lot of fans who savor history are going to really enjoy this."
Thiel pointed out it's been 18 years since Washington has played in the Rose Bowl.
He said the game will be a clash of Ohio State's potent offense and Washington's strong defense.
"The Huskies are ranked fifth in the country (in defense), giving up only 15 points a game. Ohio State's offense averages 44 points and that's ranked eighth.
"This is going to be a primetime matchup of great offense versus great defense. And I think Ohio State's athletes just are of higher caliber.
"As much success as (UW head coach) Chris Petersen has had — they only had three losses this year — they did have some offensive problems and I think that's going to trip them up."
Thiel's prediction for the game: Ohio State 38, Washington 28.