Andy Gottesman / The Lantern
For the three Ohio State captains and defensive leaders, anticipation for Friday’s game is four years in the making.
For Austin Spitler, Doug Worthington and Kurt Coleman, the Rose Bowl will be their last game as Buckeyes and they are ready to leave their legacy behind with a victory in one of the most historic and traditional games in all of football.
“You wouldn’t want any other surroundings as your last game than the Rose Bowl and the tradition and the way that they treat the teams that come out here and play in this great bowl game. It’s beautiful,” said Doug Worthington, senior captain and defensive lineman.
Worthington said the thought of playing against a team such as Oregon for their last game is a huge accomplishment for the seniors, members of a class that has the chance to become the class with the most wins in four years in Ohio State history.
With a win Friday, the senior class would finish with a career record of 44-8 and have the most wins of any class in OSU football history.
“We can leave as the most winningest class ever, we have so many things going for us,” said Kurt Coleman, senior captain and strong safety.
Coleman said that when he entered the 2009 season as a senior he had two goals for his senior year: for his team to be the Big Ten champions and to win a bowl game.
“All my goals are in place. I feel like I’m just one step away from really accomplishing everything I hoped to,” Coleman said.
Despite that possibility, the senior class has a weight on its shoulders: it has never won a bowl game. With two national championship defeats and a heartbreaking loss to Texas in the 2009 Fiesta Bowl, the Buckeyes have to prove that they can stand up in the big games.
However, Worthington said, the team is inspired by those losses to not produce the same results.
“You go out there and you understand the stakes. You’ve seen these lights before, you understand the situation,” Worthington said. “It’s something that is bittersweet because it’s so beautiful but at the end of the day you know if it’s not yours how hard it is going to feel.”
Senior linebacker Austin Spitler said that the way in which OSU stood up to Iowa on Nov. 14 showed that it’s capable of handling the big games and the high-pressured situations.
And, he said, when it comes to winning a bowl game, “What better time to do it than now, in the 2010 Rose Bowl?”